Chappelle’s 14ft skiff – another candidate for the 2008 boatbuilding season?

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Chappelle’s 14ft sharpie skiff

Chappelle’s 14ft sharpie skiff has a distinctive clubbed
leg of mutton sailing rig

Talking of sharpies, I’ve just noticed this article at Duckworks. Edited by the excellent Craig O’Donnell, it provides all the drawings and information needed to build a traditional skiff of 14ft.

Chappelle called it a ‘sharpie skiff‘, and thought that the boat should be built heavily for easy maintenance. He also gave it a sizeable leg of mutton rig on its 18ft mast – though you may feel that the club at the end of the boom-sprit is aptly named, it does allow a good sized sail on relatively short spars.

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Chappelle’s 14ft sharpie skiff

12 thoughts on “Chappelle’s 14ft skiff – another candidate for the 2008 boatbuilding season?”

  1. Hello Gavin,

    Nice one, but I´ve already chosen to build Karl Stambaugh´s

    Catbird 16, which has now two different rig options.

    keep your amazing site goin


  2. Had a look at Irens website before answering, and I think your right.

    I´m going for the lug yawl rig for two reasons:

    First I like its particular looks and the freed cockpit area, and

    Second, we have some not to high bridges in the area, and the lug yawl rig will fit better then


  3. Dear Gavin,

    in your comment you´ve mentioned the nigel Irens influence on the lug yawl rig of Stambaughs Catbird 16. Strolling through some designers website i stumled over Paul Gartside´s daysailer design #124. looks like Karl Stambaugh had a close look at the sailing rig of that one ;-). Looks really close to me.

    Best Regards


  4. Gavin,

    How would a boat like this translate into stitch and glue construction, or would it? I live in South Florida (Sarasota) where Gulf waters are thin and am dreaming of a sprit sail skiff or sharpie of some sort (this one is nice too) but do not want to hassle with "traditional" construction methods or a permanently moored boat. I need a trailer sailer. Would a ply sharpie be too light?

    1. It probably would – but to do so you'll probably have to model it in CAD, which will likely mean a few compromises. I'd look at Reuel Parker's plans and consider whether any of them correspond to the skiff in question.


  5. Did you ever build this boat?

    The CRBB chapter of TSCA is in the process of planking one right now. We are only using hand tools and local materials (and cut boat nails…).

    See our website for more info (and latest updates).

    1. I didn't – though I'm a long-time fan of Chappelle's books.

      Bill – how about sending me some photos and thoughts about the project? I've very much like to post them here.


  6. I am also building the Chapelle 14' sharpie skiff, and have been keeping a log of my progress at, with lots of pictures. I found the Crystal River TSCA site and thoroughly enjoyed their progress log and pictures. I am taking a different approach to the boat, aside from the fact that I am building her alone. I am following the design lines and sailplan as exactly as possible, but am using some modern materials: Okume plywood for the sides and bottom, and epoxy to bond and seal everything. I am making the scantlings a bit lighter than the plans call for, relying on the epoxy for greater strength. The shell of the hull is about complete, and I will turn her over and start on the inside within the next couple of days.

  7. hello i am wanting some to build a catamaran one day but after contacting James Wharram Designs the minimum price for the size i am after is around £450 can i purchase plans thet have already been used or how can i get hold of plans cheaper if not free?

    1. Probably the best way is to advertise for a copy of unused plans – it would be unethical to use plans that have previously been used to build a boat without paying an agreed fee to the designer. Alternatively, you might shop around for cheaper plans that meet your purpose.


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