At last – construction drawings for the Barton skiff, previously known as the Low power skiff

Barton skiff construction drawings

I’m shattered, but it’s been worth it because I’m now ready to share the key construction details of my simple stitch and glue outboard skiff designed for use with a low-powered outboard of 5hp or so – and certainly not much more, not least because the prop won’t fit!!!

I should add that my usual caveats apply here. I have no qualifications to design boats and make no claims for the performance or safety of this craft. I accept no responsibility for any accident or loss that may be incurred during building or use of this boat. What I have drawn must be regarded as experimental.

If you’re still interested, here are my key construction drawings: Barton-skiff-plans-package (updated to v1.1 3rd Feb 2011) Expect them to add up to around a meg, as I’ve included dxf files for those who like that kind of thing. I guess they will also be useful for anyone who wants to check a particular dimension. If anyone finds an error, please let me know!

The notes are sketchy to say the least, but I have it in mind that the bottom and frames should be of 1/2in ply, while the sides can be of 3/8ths. I’d advocate using marine ply, covering it well with glass and epoxy, and using gapped inwales of 2in by 1in, with 1in blocks.

This boat is designed to be built using the stitch and glue technique – if you haven’t done this before you might be interested in my book Ultrasimple Boat Building: 17 Plywood Boats Anyone Can Build or one of the other books on this topic available from Amazon.

See some earlier posts relating to the Barton/Low power skiff project:

Low power skiff – the nested panels
Poole canoes – the motorised flat-bottomed skiffs of Poole Harbour
A model of the Low-power skiff
New low-power skiff sketches and model drawings

16 thoughts on “At last – construction drawings for the Barton skiff, previously known as the Low power skiff”

  1. Down loaded the Barton plans set, looks really promising. If you used Hulls in the development could you send me the .hul file, I would like to run it thru delftship-to-michlet.

    By the way I have your book and really appreciate your efforts/works.

    PS could you give a little hint on your next project, and when are you going to do a nesting design.

    Thanks and take care … jon duke

    1. Glad you like the Barton skiff. I'll buzz you the .hul file.

      I hadn't thought about a nesting design, and I'm sorry to say I have no plans in that direction at present.


  2. I never build a boat. I intend to build this one your Barton skiff hope I can do that. May I have your construction drawing in metric (meter) dimensions? How to download it?Do you thing the design and detail drawing established here is complete and could be understand and implemented by the novice like me? Thank you for your fast assistance.

    Yoni, Jakarta, Indonesia.

    1. Yoni – I'm sorry to say that I do not have time to rework this boat for metric measurements. I should add that metric plywood is usually in different sizes to Imperial measurement plywood, and that the plans as they currently are may well cause quite a few problems that I am unable to solve.

      You may be able to work round them with the help of an Imperial tape measure and ruler, but I'm sorry to say that I am unable to help at the present time.


  3. Ref my email I very happy if you do a favour to follow up via my email address. Thank you very much.

    Yoni, Jakarta, Indonesia.

  4. Interesting design.. I have your book and like free design in it. I want to build one of them, but I couldn't get marine plywood neither exterior plywood here in my country, Indonesia. But I can get divinycell (H60 and H80) and resin (epoxy and polyester).

    Can I build your one of your simple design with divinycell and how to do it? I really have no figure..

    @Yoni : please contact my email

    1. That's an interesting question, but I don't know enough about Divinycell to be able to comment. If it's reasonably close to plywood in its mechanical properties, you can learn from other people who have used the material and you can cover it with glass, I would think there was a strong chance it could be made to work. Gav

    1. Not yet – it hasn't been built by anyone up to now, though I know of one p-roject where the guy has bought his ply, and another chap who is seriously considering building the boat.

      I'd advise building a model first, in any case.


  5. @Yoni – it's not so hard to do it for yourself.

    From another site, I recall reading that the trick is to check on the sizes of available ply – true 8ft x 4ft will be 2440 x 1220 mm – if your local ply is 2400 x 1200 mm this can stuff you up big-time.

    So… what was suggested was to convert feet to mm at

    1ft =300mm

    Thus 1 inch = 25 mm, and so on.

    This way you end up with a boat that is nearly 2% shorter (who cares?) but which _does_ fit local plywood.

    Neat idea – but not mine, wish I could remember where it was.

    We had to change over to metric at school in the 1950s. First to CGS (cm, gm sec), then MKS (metre, Kilogram, sec), then SI (some idiocy), yadda yadda yadda…

    Millimeters are useless little things for boats; models, maybe. No good for navigation either!

    Good luck! Ben

    PS Nice design, Mr Atkin

  6. Love your site, I am up for the challenge but was wondering if yourself or anyone out there knows the finished weight of the sensational looking Barton Skiff using 1/2 ply for the floor and 3/8 elsewhere, thanks.

    1. 1/2 might be too difficult to bend sufficiently, and could pull the stitched boat out of shape.

      In 1/4in it might be no of sheets of ply times 28-30lbs (working from memory), proportionately more for thicker material. Many folks will build heavier, however, and a few lighter.

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