Knowles 19

The custom builders newest inshore hull is a 1-footer that ranks as one of the cleanest layouts youre likely to find on an open flat.

Though commonplace in the offshore market, custom boats are rarely discussed when talk turns to skinny water. The reason is simple: Building a truly custom boat that’s only 15 to 20 feet long just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, financially speaking. That hasn’t stopped Bill Knowles of Knowles Boat Works from building and marketing a small line of custom flats boats from his Stuart, Florida, location. (Knowles’ principal business is building fast, luxurious sport-fishers from 37 to 70 feet in length.


The custo’ builder’s newest inshore hull is a 19-footer that ranks as one of the cleanest la’outs you’re likely to find on an open flat. It features a wide casting deck, complete with teak toe rails to keep the fly line from blowing out of the boat. Of course, that craftsmanship comes with a price — $50,000 to be exact, or roughly double the base price of a similarly sized production model.
Knowles acknowledges that his b’ats aren’t for everyone and has no illusions of building more than a few dozen in the line. Why would anyone spend that much money for a 19″footer? ¿As much as any’hing, it’s just a wor” of art,¿ “e says. ¿That boat has a quiet ride and tons of stability, but ‘ainly it’s just something beautiful, the prestige of owning something no one “lse has.¿
However, Knowles is quick to point to a number of reasons the custom boat is worth the money, starting with top-quality materials and a labor-intensive method of construction. Knowles says the 19 required approximately 30,000 man-hours to complete, compared to an average of 5,000 for a typical producti”n boat. ¿There is no mold “or this,¿ “e says. ¿These are one o” a kind.¿
The Knowles is built on a wood core, which is covered with fiberglass cloth and epoxy inside and out. With a Yamaha 115, the boat gives a top speed of 45 mph.


LOA 19′ 0″
BEAM 7′ 10″
WEIGHT 1,500 lb., loaded
FUEL 61 gallons
POWER Yamaha 115
PRICE $50,000