Is anyone building the stitch-and-glue skiff?

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The post offering free plans for the Julie skiff has been the most popular individual element of this weblog for some time. It’s been viewed by thousands of people and, naturally, we’re delighted at all the attention it has been receiving.

But although we’ve heard that various people have planned to build it, we’re not aware of anyone starting a Julie skiff project, let along finishing one. Is there anyone out there building this boat? If you are building this spring, please let us know at – We’d be especially grateful for reports of how the building goes, and for photos of both the building and the completed boat that we can post here at

I’d also be very pleased to receive any photos of models anyone may have built. Both Ben Crawshaw (thanks Ben!) and the designer have had a go, and in any case it’s always good to build a model before building a boat like this.

In case you’re wondering, I do still intend to draw a couple of traditionally-inspired sailing rigs, a more traditional chine-log version, and also a 17ft version for two rowers. It’s just that I’ve been very busy organising both a small folk festival and a wedding. In addition the usual ups and downs of work, music making and family life, they’re more than enough to keep a chap busy, I can tell you!

Don’t miss out on something good – subscribe to for a weekly newsletter skiff – drawings and coordinates for stitch and glue

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Drawings for plotting coordinates and building the boat
– use earlier printouts for model-making

In case you’ve been wondering, in addition to working on boats and digging the garden, I have found just a little time to work on the Julie skiff. Actually what I’m sharing with you today took about four hours!

The panels are now plotted onto 8 by 4ft rectangles representing plywood sheets, I’ve used letters to label each of the key plotting points to create the shapes, and I’ve made up tables specifying their positions. It’s dull but necessary work, and we’ve now reached the point where building can begin, particularly for people who know the stitch and glue process well.

In plotting coordinates, I always begin by squaring off the material in 12in squares, which helps with the plotting itself. Don’t be surprised if the material is a little longer than 96 inches – for some reason, in my experience ply is always 48in wide, but a little more than 96in long.

Download the drawings and coordinates in the form of a zip file, together with almost everything else needed to build the boat: julie-skiff-zip-package (To avoid confusion, this is now the complete package, by the way.)

All that remains is my little essay describing all the files, and commenting on issues like shaping or notching the tops of the frames to accept the gapped inwales, oar placement and so on. If you’ve built a boat this way before, you won’t need to wait for my text file on this subject to begin work, and you may not need it at all. Before building, however, I would counsel building a model as described in an earlier post (see below). Phew – after all this work I do hope someone will build it, as I think she’s a handsome, practical boat for rivers, lakes and sheltered waters generally.

If on marking out you find any errors or anything that looks wrong, please let me know – if there’s any doubt, please don’t make a cut but contact me immediately at Mistakes do happen and I’ll fix any you find as quickly as I can, and as soon as my paid work allows me to be at home long enough to deal with them.

These drawings are my work and my property. Individual amateurs are permitted to build one or two boats for their own use from these drawings for themselves but commercial boatbuilders and those intending to build more than two or three boats are required to contact me for permission to build.

I would also warn that I am not a professional boat designer and accept no responsibility for any damage or loss that may result during building this boat or in its use on the water or on land. I would ask that boat users take special care and always take sensible precautions when using this boat on the water including using lifejackets.

I still plan to work up a second set of plans for more traditional-style boatbuilding, and to work up a sailing rig. After all my hard work, though, I hope I can be forgiven for having a few days off from designing and drawing!

If you build this boat – even if it’s a model – PLEASE let me know by getting in touch via

See the complete series of posts on this project:

Complete free plans package for the flat-bottomed 15ft 7in 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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