Traditional steel Dutch dinghy and Forest & Stream skiff compared

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Dutch dinghy and steel-built Forest & Stream skiff

Over in Holland, Hans-Christian Rieck has taken these photos of a traditional steel-built Dutch dinghy of a type often used as tenders to steel-built barges and other craft. They’re strikingly curvaceous little boats, given that they’re made from plates of sheet steel, particularly when compared with the steel-built Forest & Stream skiff seen in the background.

The F&S skiff is being smoothed with filler prior to being painted and having its woodwork fitted. I will be fascinated to hear how this boat works – and I trust it does work well in steel, as it will presumably have a theoretical life time of 80 years or more. I’m pretty sure it will be fine, by the way – it’s clearly greatly scaled up from the 12ft ply dink I drew some ten years ago no, and that will no doubt compensate for the extra weight of the hull. I’d like to take a trip to see it once she’s in the water if that’s ok please Hans-Christian!

Hans-Christian’s workshop trains youngsters in the metalworking skills, and the steel dinghy belongs to the Graf Ship Association – it is destined to be cleaned and refinished.

Here are some earlier images of the F&S skiff, and of a ship, the Jantje ready to be transported to Nordhorn after being sandblasted and sprayed.

skiff starboard2 Skiff total forward buoyancy2


The steel-built Forest & Stream skiff makes further progress

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Skiff turned over

Total with 5 m motor punt behind Fore Bulkhead for buoyancy aft bulkhead 2

Over in Germany, Hans-Christian Rieck has written  with news and photos of the steel-built Forest & Stream skiff he’s making with some unemployed kids.

I should explain that steel-built dinghies are common on the German and Dutch coasts, and that many sea-going and coastal barges are equipped with them.

Here’s what he says:

‘Hello Gavin,

‘As you can see in the pictures, the boat is now in her normal upright position and we are starting the interior work. You can see the bulkheads for the bouyancy are in place and are awaiting welding. The frames are still with their metal profiles which keep them at the right distance, but the welding will soon be over and they will then be removed.

‘I think within the next two weeks the metalworks wil be over an then the painting an the woodwork will start.



The boat behind the skiff is a 5m motor punt project completed some time ago.

Thanks for the photos Hans-Christian!

For more on the Forest & Stream skiff and for the free plans Hans-Christian is working with, click here.

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Forest & Stream skiff built in steel

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Hans-Christian Rieck has written from Germany with the news that he and some unemployed kids are building a Forest & Stream skiff in steel.

It’ll be very interesting to see how this boat works when it is launched – naturally, I have mentioned the weight issue and that the boat will need bouyancy tanks to make it safe. One should remember that steel-built barges from Germany and Holland frequently have steel-built tenders – so what may seem surprising to some of us will be quite normal for many of our neighbours.

Here’s what he says:

‘Always short of funding, I came upon your site because of the free plans. As most of our juveniles prefer steel to wood, I try to build the Forest & Stream skiff from 3 mm steel. I“ll take some photos to send you from time to time to inforn you on the progress we make.

‘Yours, Hans-Christian Rieck’

I’m always delighted to hear that my plans are being put to good use! For more on the Forest & Stream skiff and for the plans, click here.

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