Ella, a 12ft stitch-and-glue skiff

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12-ft-skiff-sheerline 12-ft-skiff-waterline


Preliminary drawings for the Ella skiff

I’ve decided to develop plans for a little 12ft stitch and glue skiff using Greg Carlson’s excellent Chine Hull Developer plywood hull development tool (scroll to near the bottom of this page).

This small project will take a little while to complete, and follows my 15ft 6in stitch and glue Julie skiff, which has attracted a lot of interest. However, boats like the the Julie can easily be a bit too much of a project for many people: they’re too long to be built easily in the average garage (in the UK at least), and they’re marginal when it comes to car-topping.

So these preliminary drawings show the very beginnings of the 12ft small skiff, which I’ve chosen to name after my daughter Ella. It will bear some similarities and of course quite a few differences compared with the larger boat, not least because the lines of a short boat like this must be rather fuller than those of the larger model and can’t benefit from the same hull form features aimed at reducing drag due to the formation of eddies.

However, like the Julie skiff, it has been conceived with rowing, not outboarding or sailing primarily in mind. For those who take an interest in figures, ratios and the rest, the wetted area here is 31sqft, maximum beam at the gunwales is 4ft, the design displacement is 400lbs, the righting moment is 254ft-lbs at 15 degrees of heel, and the prismatic coefficient is about .57.

Anyway, I’d be delighted to hear from people interested in the project – you can reach me at gmatkin@gmail.com.

PS I made a train journey this pm and took the opportunity to make a bit more progress. I’ve made up a lines drawing, and sketched some internal joinery, including what will be a removable centre thwart to allow the rower to row from a forward position when there’s something or someone heavy in the stern.


8 thoughts on “Ella, a 12ft stitch-and-glue skiff”

  1. Hello,

    Before I go to the trouble of laying out all the dimensions, I want to confirm that the Ella is a 12' skiff. The skiff zip pdf drawing states that it is a 15 footer. Can you clarify?


    Warren Valente

  2. My son and I are making this in our garage right now out of 1/4" plywood. All pieces are cut and now it's onto the stitching and gluing/ epoxy. Does the boat need to be covered w/fiberglass or will a good paint coating suffice? Will send you some pics soon!

    1. I'd cover the outside with glass and epoxy as an alternative to taping the joints on the outside. Folks who keep their boats under a roof might get away with just paint however. Can't wait to hear how it all goes and see the photos! Gavin

  3. Ok, im making this in my woodshop in school. i have no previous boatbuilding experience. do you need fiberglass or not for the joints. and if i were to do that, how much would i need. do i cover the whole thing?

    1. The long joints are best made using marine ply, epoxy and glassfibre tape made for the purpose. However, if your ply is exterior rather than marine you might consider using polyurethane glue intended for masonry or pond sealing purposes instead of epoxy. A boat built this way needs to be well painted and kept on the dry between uses. Also, all plywood boats need to have drain plugs and hatches so they can be well ventilated between uses.

      I’d very much like to hear how you get on and to see photos please! JIg you have questions or need advice, email me at gmatkin@gmail.com . Gavin

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