Models of the Ella 12ft skiff

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Dave Coulter’s table-top boatyard photo of his Ella skiff model. As usual, click on
the photos and thumbnails for larger images

I’m delighted to report that kind Dave Coulter has been the first to report that he has made a model of the Ella skiff, and has agreed to let me share his photo with readers.

Thank you Dave! If anyone else builds one, please let me know and send photos at!

Dave’s photo rather got me going and in a stolen moment between getting the house ready for a dinner party and our guests arriving, I managed to make one up also: I’ve posted thumbnails of mine below. Hopefully readers will be encouraged to make their own, and perhaps to comment. I’d guess that making up a model like this would be a nice activity to do with kids too, by the way.

For plans drawings for use in making models of the Ella skiff, click here and for more on my Ella skiff design project click here. However, if you’re looking for something longer and with a bit more performance, try this.

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Here’s another one – this time a very neat and complete job sent by a chap who signs himself Cecil. Thanks fella!


Stirling and Son develops a new 9ft dinghy

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The new 9ft dinghy from Stirling and Son – the lower
photos show the materials and moulds

The Stirling and Son boatyard down at Morwelham near Tavistock must be one of the most picturesque anywhere – I enjoy the photos Will Stirling sends us for their setting almost as much as the boats.

Here’s what Will has to say about the dinghy in the photo.

‘Dear Gavin,

‘The dinghy is to go to Northumberland – but I can build another with a lead time of approximately six weeks.

‘She is 9ft long of mahogany planking with an oak sheer strake. All other timber in the boat is oak with copper fastenings.

‘The shape is a very stable one, as I’ve had had some near-capsizes getting into dinghies in the past. She has a mid-19th century shape with the bold forefoot and relatively full bow, while she is finer aft with a shapely transom.

‘After building this dinghy I have set down the shape in a full five-page A2 draught with A4 offsets, scantlings and materials list. I am to build the next dinghy from this draught and then make full size mould templates with the planking lined out and a little colour booklet with photos taken along the way. I will let you know when that is all prepared, probably in a couple of months.

‘Best wishes

‘Will Stirling’

I think that booklet might interest quite a few budding home boatbuilders, and when it’s ready I’d like to put up a post about it here Will!

See the Stirling and Son Wooden Shipbuilding and Repairs website at or contact the company at 01822 614 259.

PS – If like me you’ve been admiring Will’s trestles, see some handy trestle plans here. Ok, they aren’t Will’s plans but they look quite similar.

Pictures from an exhibition – part 2

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Slipper launch Wishbone, a Baby Greyhound model built by Andrews
in 1931 and restored in 2004 by Stewart Marine of Hart’s Boatyard.
For more on this boat see our earlier post

Today we have some more photos from the Sail, Power & Watersports Show at Earl’s Court – I gather the weather’s going to be foul this weekend, so I’d guess many people will be taking the opportunity to shirk gardening duties in favour of a few hours under Earl’s Court’s roof.

A striking mahogany runabout from Marine Classics

Whisp, built by the Slipway Coop folks

Adrian Noyes’ 10ft skiff – contact Adrian at
Sadly, I didn’t manage to get to speak to anyone one the Wooden Boatbuilding  Trade
Association Stand, so have noto brought back any news

North Quay 19 from North Quay of Conyer, at

This Bay Raider from Swalllow Boats has splendid dining and
chart table arrangements

And, as a bonus – a plaque In commemoration of the grand opening of
Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show at Earl’s Court in 1887. It hasn’t got
much to do with boats, but it always makes me smile!