A Julie skiff powered by small outboard motor


Geoff Jones has got in touch to report on how his Julie skiff performs with a small outboard motor. (Click on the images above to see much larger photos.)

The Julie skiff is one of my designs, and the free plans can be found here.

This is what Geoff has to say:

‘The short version is: Pretty well, with no surprises.

‘The motor is a 1953 Sea King 3hp, which is a lightweight single with a built-in fuel tank.

‘It moves the boat along with good speed and generally good manners. I have an idea that more horsepower wouldn’t be very useful (except with a heavy load and a headwind). Perching a much heavier motor on the transom would be a bad idea, regardless of how strongly it was built.

‘The trim is about right with an adult in the forward seat, except that it pounds in heavy waves. It is better with more weight amidships. With only a single person in the stern, it is completely unacceptable, so a tiller extension or forward ballast is really a necessity.

‘Handling is very good, except that the skeg drags in turning sharply (no surprise), and trying to turn sharply with too much throttle sets up a cavitation. The skeg also prevents the motor from being reversed (it has no reverse gear), although a small amount trimmed from the heel of the skeg might solve this.

‘The photos show her making good speed up the Mississippi against a stiff wind and a strong current at about 2/3 throttle. Note the lack of wake. Speed increases appreciably up to full throttle, and a modest wake develops. I have not made any attempt to measure actual speeds.


Thanks Geoff – you, your crew and the boat look good, and I’m most grateful for your detailed and perceptive report.

With that outboard, your photos have a timeless quality – they could have been taken yesterday or decades ago.

One thought on “A Julie skiff powered by small outboard motor”

  1. Give yourself some credit, Gav. The motor is only period corect on a boat designed with classic enough lines to fit the period.

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