skiff – more progress

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Nesting panels for the Julie skiff. As usual,
click on the image for a bigger picture – and please forgive the
construction lines!

I won’t say too much now as it’s after midnight, but I’ve made some useful progress.

The drawing is a mess with so many construction lines still in place, but it shows all the major panels mapped to the ply sheets. I’d like to think that most of you will make out the bottom, sides (with their traditional subtle S-curve), sternsheets and major frames, and that you can see the beginnings of a set of boatbuilding plans.

There are some smaller panels to add – breasthooks, knees, odd reinforcements, top for the thwart and so on – but most of the boat’s key components are here. The next job, though, is to create a printed sheet for making a model (I hope to publish that very soon for those who are interested), and after that I’ll be adding coordinates. But now it’s time for bed. Keep on turning, big wide world…

See the whole series of posts on this project:

Complete free plans package for the flat-bottomed 15ft 6in skiff skiff – drawings and coordinates for stitch and glue skiff – photos of our model, and maybe yours too? skiff – now we can make a model skiff progress
Early drawings for a 15ft 5in lightweight flat-bottomed American-style skiff

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4 thoughts on “ skiff – more progress”

  1. Gavin,

    Great to watch a reality web version of the designing process.

    I'd like to know what the freeboad is on the skiff…and what considerations you have when deciding the amount of freeboard to allow in designs…and what would you recommend as necessary for a tender to be used at sea.

    keep up the good work,


  2. Jim –

    It's about 10 inches at the design payload of two biggish blokes. That's fine for a boat like this that has to be rowed and is in any case a largely flat-water boat because of its flat-bottomed form. She'd be fine for rivers and generally sheltered spots (like the Swale!) but that flat bottom with limited rocker (curve fore and aft) would pound mightily on waves.

    Some of the design books – notable John Teale's excellent How to design a boat include graphs that provide suggestions for freeboard, height at ends, beam, displacement, width of stern and so on.

    However, they're very arbitrary and lots of other issues intervene – for example, a small fishing boat's sheerline needs to be near the water so that the crew can work nets and lines, a boat that is to be powered by oars needs to have a low sheerline to make rowing possible, and a designer working to create a boat from, say, two sheets of ply will have restrictions to work with.

    Then there's the point that upswept bouyant ends are generally more important than freeboard amidships. If the wave's underneath you, then your bouyancy should keep you dry even with a small-ish freeboard, but a wave that's coming towards you from bows or particularly stern can easily fill a boat if it fails to rise to meet the hill of water.

    This is less of a problem with bouyant ends, which will rise, and with high ends. High ends also bring stability, by the way – those Vikings knew something.

    I'd suggest, then, that the Auray punt is a good example of how a small boat can be designed with a low freeboard in the middle, and yet be surprisingly seaworthy for its size.


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