Category Archives: Model boats

Low power skiff – the nested panels

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The nested panels for the Low-power skiff. Click on the thumbnail above for a larger image

This may not look like much to you, but to me it represents the latest stage in quite a few hours work, first defining the overall form of the 16ft small outboard skiff project I’m working on for a friend, then developing the panels required to create it, and then figuring out how to nest them into 4 by 8ft panels of ply for stitch and glue construction with the least waste.

As you can probably imagine, it’s been keeping me busy lately – and I need to get it out of the way because I have a VERY IMPORTANT new project to start and complete. Watch out for that, if you’re interested…

What are all the components I’ve plotted here? The top row are the heavy weights – the 1/2in components including the breasthook, bottom, central girder (my friend asked for that to ensure the bottom came out the right shape), the main frames, and the doubled frame on which we’re going to hang the outboard. The bottom row are the 3/8ths components, including the sides, bits of decks and so on. The next task is to plot about a million coordinates to enable my pal to cut the thing out accurately, and with all these parts to work with the task should keep both of us busy for some time!

One thing that doesn’t appear here that I’m also thinking about is a proper name, and I have to say that I haven’t thought of one that seems to suit it. I did wonder about naming it after my grandmother, whose name was Elsie, but she wasn’t exactly low powered. Then I thought about our sweet pet dog during my childhood, but her name, Sooty, doesn’t seem to fit. And then I thought about my elegant sister – but I suspect she wouldn’t thank me for naming a fairly utilitarian boat design after her. So how about a place name? How about the Barton skiff, which might be named after the place where I first conceived the notion that such a boat should exist. What do you folks think? Does this design look like it could be called the Barton skiff to you?

To find out more about this low-powered outboard skiff project, click here and here, and, for something I learned about after drawing this skiff and which seemed to endorse my concept, click here.

ALSO – see the latest post on this project.

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A beautiful model of a ring-netter

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Jay Cresswell’s model of Ribhinn Donn I, and (bottom right) Antonia & Ruaraidh

This stunning model of a ring netter has been made by Jay Cresswell, an ex-trawler skipper, long-standing Old Gaffers Association member and authority on marine history who has for many years lived near Aberdeen.

He writes:

‘You might like to see the attached. I’ve nearly completed a 3/4in to 1ft model of the 54ft Alex Noble & Sons-built ring netter Ribhinn Donn I. (Her sister is Silver Quest, which is currently sitting in the mud at Penryn down by Falmouth.)

‘I still have to complete rigging details, wheelhouse interior and other bits and pieces such as semi-balancing edge to rudder. The bottom is quite literally anti-fouled. The model is built from original yard drawings for these two boats.

‘This is the second ringer I’ve tackled, the other being a Weatherhead & Blackie 56-footer to same scale named Antonia & Ruaraidh after my two oldest children. (See above.) The original boat in this case is the Catherine Anne, which was chopped up a few years ago in one of the UK fishing vessel decommissioning rounds.

‘I hope you like the images. It’s been a year’s worth of spare time. There are no metal fastenings in the hull, with all planking dowelled to the frames.

‘Regards, Jay Cresswell, Aberdeen’

I certainly do like them Jay – you’ve created a couple of meticulous models that rival or better many of those seen in museums. I particularly like the way every detail seems to be properly to scale. Many thanks for sending them over.