João Pereira builds a model Ella skiff

João Pereira builds a model Ella skiff 2 João Pereira builds a model Ella skiff 1

Please forgive me what might seem a bit of self-puffery – but I just love it when people build my little boats, even when they’re models for kids to play with in the shower.

João Pereira’s model of an Ella skiff certainly charmed me, and the Lego people are just about to scale too!

Here’s what he wrote:

Hello Mr Atkin!

I’ve recently come across the intheboatshed web site looking for boat plans and I was surprised by the amount of information available.

The idea of allowing someone to make a model before the real boat was very good.
I tried to build mine entirely with 4mm ply but it didn’t work. The sides didn’t bend easily so I used card-board from a milk carton for the sides and bottom. The frames, deck and gunwales are 4mm ply.

My kids play with it in the shower often because it is glued with Araldite, painted and varnished. I think it is a good test to check for defects and durability.

Best regards from Portugal,

João Pereira

Thanks João! That’s not a bad way to start kids with boats. I hope you go on to build the real thing. If you do, please keep in close touch so that I can help make sure it’s as successful as the bath toy… skiff – now we can make a model

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Model drawing sheet 1

Model drawing sheet 2

Model drawing sheet 3

Model drawing sheet 4

Model drawing sheet 5

Well, now we come to a moment of truth, and although I’m optimistic that what has worked before will work again, I don’t know for certain how it will go!

Tonight I hope to make a model of the Julie skiff, and I hope some of you readers will also be interested in having a go. So I have made up some drawings that I will print out and stick to cereal box card (I might use model maker’s sheet plastic material, if I was feeling posh).

Then I’ll cut out the components and make the model up using sticky tape.

Making a model is a useful and even important preliminary step before starting boatbuilding, so if you’d like to play this game too, open up the images above by clicking on each of them, and then print them all at exactly the same size. Unless you want to make a large model, A5 would be reasonable in Europe, and some standard size that would be about half-letter would be good in the USA.

If you do make a model, please send us a photo at and we’ll put up a gallery here at It would be great to see some.

See the whole series of posts on this project:

Complete free plans package for the flat-bottomed 15ft 6in 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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