The S240 Hull Story

Sheaffer Marine’s story began by rebuilding and restoring older (1960s and 70s) open center console flat back boats. While doing so, we learned a lot about the hulls, what people liked and what they didn’t.

In the late 1960s, the largest outboards were 70 and 90hp. Back then, engine horse power was rated at the fly wheel versus the prop, making them far less powerful than today’s engines. To get the boat on plane faster, it was necessary to build a flatter bottom giving the boat more lift. Since boats did not go as fast, they did not slide like they do with today’s larger, faster engines. Not to mention, today we have bigger bait wells, engine brackets and towers changing the whole dynamic of a boat.

Repairing and rebuilding these old boats for several years, we got to know the owners and became friends with several loyal, long-term customers who asked us to build a better Flat Back (FB).

Ben Sheaffer was convinced opinions on the flat back might change if customers could compare the flat back to a hull with a little V. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a V hull for comparison and our customers insisted on sticking with the Flat Back. And so, the Sheaffer 239FB was born.

The customers we created the 239FB for still enjoy the feel the Flat Back gives them for shallow draft and stability. Although the Sheaffer 239FB was a great boat, Ben began working with a naval architect on some problems with the FB with the goal of keeping a shallow draft and stability.

In 2001, Ben set out to build his 239V design. He wanted to show the pros and cons of varying hull designs including the 239FB hull.

After completion of the 239V, Ben unveiled it to the customers with deposits on the 239FB. Everyone changed their order to V hull.  The 239FB was undoubtedly a great boat, but the 239V was built specifically to improve upon the drawbacks of the FB. This is what we learned…

  • Same stability.
  • Faster hull.
  • Dryer, smoother ride.
  • More displacement.
  • 30% more fuel capacity.
  • More room for better pump systems.
  • More storage below deck.
  • Eliminated forward bilge pump (flatbacks have a tendency to draw more forward because the hull is lower in the bow area which holds water).
  • Larger 60”x15”x15” insolated forward fish box (flatbacks needed access to the forward bilge pump).
  • Additional compartment in the forward floor (flatback needed space for fuel tank placement).
  • Better self baling.
  • You lose 3” of draft.
  • The 240V is very similar to 239V. Same 24ft design but with added features and finer finishing details throughout the boat for an elegant, classic look.