Small boats are eager companions for low-key adventures in shallow water, poking your nose up a tortuous tidal creek, good-natured spying on the boats in an anchorage, or sneaking up on wildlife in the marshes.
Built in England to very high standards of craftsmanship and equipment, the English Harbour 16 gets her good looks from company principal Adam Greenwood and her seaworthy hull from naval architect Andrew Wolstenholme. Her styling successfully marries the nearly straight sheerline of a speedy runabout with a gently curving stem and rounded transom of an early 20th-century launch. Seen in direct profile, the tiller grows from the transom in the identical arc.
Forget about speed. The EH16’s most powerful engine option—a 21-horsepower Nanni N3 diesel—won’t push her more than 11 knots, but slow is the way to explore. Stop and smell the iodine and decay rising from the mud flats at low tide. Wolstenholme gave the EH16 a very fine entry, so she’ll carve through a harbor chop like a Wüsthof through a prime sirloin. Chine flats provide lateral stability in the after sections and rise gracefully from just forward of amidships to prevent the bow wave from curling up the topsides. Her top speed equals a speed/length ratio of about 2.5, which tells us she rides on a semi-planing bottom, but flirting with full-planing mode.
U-shaped seating at the transom—known collectively as “stern sheets”—gives the helmsman a variety of positions. My favorite would be lounging athwartships, nudging the tiller with my leg.
Six power options are available, as are a variety of hull colors, solid teak for the decks, sole, tiller, steps, and engine-box lid.
This article originally appeared in the August 2014 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.