IN FINLAND, THE WORD SISU MEANS STAMINA, FORTITUDE, GUTS. IN THE 1970S, NOTED DOWNEAST DESIGNER ROYAL LOWELL PRODUCED A LINE OF 22′, 26′, AND 30′ FIBERGLASS WORKBOATS FOR A BUILDER IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. EVEN THOUGH THE BOATS LIVED UP TO THEIR BRAND NAME, THE BUILDER WENT OUT OF BUSINESS IN THE 1980S AND THE MOLDS WERE SCATTERED.
The lone survivor is the 22, generally considered one of most able small boats ever designed. It has been built over the intervening years in Maine and Nova Scotia, but now it returns to New Hampshire, under the ownership of Eastern Boats.
Eastern’s design and lamination teams have made a couple of tweaks to the hull shape, one of which makes the 22 run drier, and updated construction with modern composite materials. They also fitted it with a modern 4-stroke outboard motor on a traditional notched transom.
Under Eastern, the Sisu 22’s cabin offers a V-berth and a portable toilet. Buyers can choose between a traditional framed “bass-boat” windshield with Bimini top at the helm or an open-sided hardtop pilothouse. With either layout, the helm and companion swivel seats rest on storage boxes that also include aft-facing seats for passengers. The rest of the cockpit is readily adaptable to multiple uses, from serious fishing to sunset-watching, with plenty of space for tackle bags and a fishbox or a set of folding chairs.
True to Sisu’s heritage, a 115-hp 4-stroke outboard is plenty of power to cruise this updated model efficiently and comfortably at speeds from the mid-teens to the low 20s. Top speed is in the low 30s.
Weight: 2,700 lbs.
Fuel: 60 gals.
Recommended power 115 hp
Price w/ Yamaha 115-hp outboard: $58,075
Contact information may be found on the Eastern Boats website.