Tag Archives: julie skiff

Schoolchildren build two Julie skiffs at Faversham

A group of lucky schoolchildren have built two 16ft Julie skiffs at a Faversham Creek Trust boatcamp led by local boatbuilder Alan Thorne and assistant Malcolm Hazleton at the trust’s Purifier building.

The skiffs are to be launched at the town’s nautical festival around mid-day on the 23rd July. Naturally, Julie and I plan to be there!

See the free boat plans page in the tabs above to download the drawings etc to build this lightweight plywood flat bottomed skiff and two shorter versions at 14 and 12ft.

When I called by on Friday afternoon I met a small crowd of enthusiastic, engaged kids and a clutch of happy parents – and two cool looking boats, Santa Crews and Stormy.  Alan and Malcolm had done a good job, and the FCT’s boatcamp had been a success.

‘Have you had a good time?’ I asked.

‘Yes,’ the kids called back.

‘Would you do it again?’

‘Yes,’ they chorused.

A mother turned to me and said ‘My son’s always been a maker and now he’s decided he wants to be a boatbuilder.’

I think she must have been reasonably happy with the idea, as she did not add ‘but I think he should have a proper job as well’.

The following shots are Malcolm’s. Thanks fella!

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Philip Burton’s Julie skiff

Oxfordshire-based Philip Burton is building a Julie skiff – and once it’s done we’re naturally very much looking forward to being able to call by to see it in action on the river. Here’s what he says:

‘I have spent the last few months building my first boat which I choose to be a Julie skiff.

‘I live in Oxford uk and I’m sure you will be aware that the river Thames runs right through our beautiful university city, so I’m really looking forward to getting the boat in the water very soon.

‘I am very impressed how easy it was to follow your plans and the basic hull came together relatively quickly, and I learned a lot about stitch and glue and fibreglass techniques.

‘I used 6mm marine ply and I was quite surprised by how much it weighed, and also how much it blunted my planes and chisels. But I guess that’s the price to pay for using ply that will last a long time in wet and soggy conditions.’

A reader builds a model Julie skiff

New reader Roland Beverley got in touch yesterday with these pictures of a model Julie skiff that he’s made. Plans for both the real and the model Julie skiff are on the free plans page – see the tabs above.

Here’s what he wrote:

‘Hi Gavin,

‘I just discovered http://intheboatshed.net/ while searching for some free model plans. I am itching to build my own boat but don’t currently have the space. I used to build model aircraft and boats in my teens, so thought I’d dust off my skills and build a new bath/pond toy for my son (who is 6).

‘My Julie Skiff is made from 1/16in balsa with a 1/4in transom (in case I ever mount an outboard!). It is waterproofed with 3 coats of cellulose dope and modified with rowlocks from a picture hanging kit and oars from Sainsbury’s bamboo skewers (paddles already provided!). All of which I had lying about (some items for many years). To waterproof inside the rope locker, I’ll use a spray can of lacquer to ensure its well coated and may coat the outside too.

‘I am very pleased with it, though you’ll notice there are dents in the bow where I should have spread the load from the clamps used to hold it while the glue dried – lesson for next time. Also the playmobil pirates are a little small – but I know my son won’t mind that. He’ll probably use lego people and turn it in to a battleship 😉 He returns from his grandparents’ tomorrow – I hope he likes it!

‘Thanks ever so much for the excellent free resources!’

And thanks to you Roland – it’s always great to hear about these boats being built, either as models or as the full-sized item.