Novi 23 by

[NV23] Nova Scotia style outboard boat

Length overall22' 10"6.96 m
Beam8' 2"2.49 m
Draft8"0.2 m
Weight1499 lbs680 kg
Displacement2500 lbs1134 kg
Engine power50 - 100
Hull construction Stich-n-glue
See also Harbor Master 19Down East Cruiser 23



The Novi 23 combines traditional styling with an efficient, easy to build planing hull. She is not a true lobster boat of the double wedge type or a pure fast planing hull. The hull type is similar to what is now frequently called a picnic boat; a seaworthy planing boat but the topsides are more in the Nova Scotia work boat style. We kept the deep forefoot of the modern fast lobster boat hull but the underbody is a true monohedron. This means that the transition to planing speeds will be smooth without any excessive change of trim and without the wasteful suction of warped bottoms running at an S/L higher than 2. (S/L ratio is speed in knots divided by square root of WL in feet. Displacement boats are the ones with an S/L<1.3, planing boats have S/L>2)

The Novi 23 will perform well at displacement speeds in bad weather and run efficiently at moderate planing speeds with relatively small engines.

This boats transom is designed for a standard 20" shaft. The transom can easily be modified to accept other shaft lengths.

The Novi 23 has an enormous capacity: she can be loaded with up to 2,000 lbs of passengers, engine and gear.

The calculated top speeds with moderate load (displacement 2,600 lbs) are as follow:

  • 50 HP: 25 mph
  • 70 HP: 29.5 mph
  • 100 HP: 35 mph

Compared to traditional lobster boat types, the Novi 23 hard-chine vee bottom hull will not only be faster than the typical round bilge type but also deflects spray more efficiently.

The reduced deadrise aft increases stability at slow speed or rest.

Compared to our HM19, the vee hull will pound less and give much better tracking when running off a steep sea.

The soft riding vee hull requires more labor and materials to build but this hull shape is required for more exposed waters.

She also differs from our faster planing hulls through her deeper forefoot and generous skeg for stability and tracking.


The safe cockpit is deep and wide: 11'+ long (3,35 m), 8' wide (2,40 m) and 28" deep (71 cm). The full height motor well bulkhead provides excellent protection from following seas. The cockpit is self-bailing. The pilothouse offers standing headroom: 6' 2" in the middle (182 cm), the forward cabin with two bunks has sitting headroom. There is room for a portable head under the vee berth. A sturdy samson post is welded to the forward bulkhead.


There are so many possible options that we can not list them all.

  • The outboard can be mounted as shown in a motor well or on a transom bracket.
  • We show an open cockpit but the builder can easily add all kind of benches, seats and other boxes.
  • There is room for a small emergency outboard (kicker) on the transom.
  • The plans show wide scuppers in the side but through transom scupper are an option.
  • The companionway can be left open or closed with doors.
  • The pilothouse can be fully closed with fixed side windows or roll up plastic windows can be used.
  • The windshield can be hinged and lift.
  • Hatches and portholes are optional.
  • Access to the chain locker is shown from inside through a cut in the forward bulkhead but the builder can also cut a deck hatch if he prefers.
  • Fuel capacity is ample with 42 gallons in one tank but there is room for a second fuel tank.
  • The NV23 can be made unsinkable with expandable buoyancy foam under the sole and foam sheets glued under the gunwales for upright floatation.

Novi 23


See also

Design Length Beam Sail area Engine power Compare
Harbor Master 19 Harbor Master 19 by
[HM19] Small but able outboard cruiser based on a dory style hull
18' 9"
5.72 m
7' 10"
2.39 m
- 10 - 55
Down East Cruiser 23 Down East Cruiser 23 by
[DE23] Long cabin version of our NV23
22' 10"
6.96 m
8' 2"
2.49 m
- 50 - 100

Boats about same size as Novi 23

  Redwing 21
Power launch

LOA: 21'/6.4 m   compare
  Redwing 21 Pilothouse
Pilothouse power cruiser

LOA: 21'/6.4 m   compare
Down East Cruiser 23   Down East Cruiser 23
[DE23] Long cabin version of our NV23

LOA: 22' 10"/6.96 m   compare
  Bay Power Cruiser 23
Power cruiser / Bass boat

LOA: 23'/7.01 m   compare

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