Tag Archives: Free boat plans

A tale of two Ella skiffs part 1: in Finland, Klaus Överlund builds a sailing Ella as drawn

Klaus Överlund built the sailing Ella skiff as drawn in the space of a month or so, and has sent over a report of his first outing.

I’m delighted that the boat worked without hitches – he must have had everything very well worked out, and that he didn’t capsize despite strong winds. Clearly he has the potential to be a very good dinghy sailor!

‘Ok, still alive after the first sail! The wind was quite heavy even though the lake we sailed wasn’t that big. It was blowing in average about 8m/s (18mph) and the max wind speed was 11m/s (24mph).

‘I hadn’t actually sailed much at all before – my only experience was limited to an hour sailing a Finn dinghy with my brothers.

‘I got the rudder in place and lowered the daggerboard. My girlfriend got in to the skiff and we rised the sail. We left the beach and were a bit nervous about how we would manage to sail without falling in the water. The fair wind got us to pretty fast speed and we went on about two kilometers. The skiff worked amazingly well despite the fact that we both were total amateurs.

‘The way back home was quite hard and took about an hour. At first beacause of headwind we couldn’t get any closer to home beach, but slowly we got used to the wind and the technique of sailing to windward. Finally we got our toes happily back to dryland.

‘Next time a slower and more steady wind would be nice to go on learning how to sail.

‘The boat and the sail worked fine and didn’t let us get into in troubles. I only have two photos from the beach because while sailing, all our attention was fcused on that. It’s good to share these projects.’


Thanks Klaus – that’s a wonderful report!



The virtues of a flat bottomed skiff

The virtues of a flat bottomed skiff

I think this is an impressive video that includes a couple of very nice ideas.

My little stitch and glue skiff designs – the 15ft 6in Julie, the 14ft Sunny and the 12ft Ella – are all ply, not ply with a planked bottom, but they will still have many of the important properties of these boats, including useful rowing characteristics. And the plans are all free…

A sailing Ella skiff in Catalonia



Catalonia-based writer and sailor Ben Crawshaw (of Light Trow fame and theinvisibleworkshop) has got in touch to say that together with friends a chap called Bosco has built this example of the sailing version of the my 12ft flat bottomed Ella skiff design in his area – so far, Ben has only managed to photograph the boat but plans to sail it soon.

I had no idea – and my jaw dropped when I heard about it, and then sagged even more when I looked at the shots. (Click on them to see a much larger image, by the way.)

Folks are telling Ben that the little boat sails well, but I will of course be very interested in his verdict.

The photo shows that she has been built pretty robustly in the local style, but I can’t say I’m complaining! She looks great to me. Plans for the Ella skiff are here.