South Jersey Beach Skiff

July 01, 2009

I am starting my second boat, the South Jersey Beach Skiff found on page 206 of Chapelle's American Small Craft.

I will introduce the first boat in another entry.

Details about the purpose and the build are below the fold.

About the Skiff


* Solo daysailer, quickly rigged, hopefully able to drop the mast to duck under bridges
* Camp cruiser for one adult and 2 kids
* Daysail as many adults as it will hold - hopefully I will have space for 4 medium-small adults (under 750 lbs of people)
* Sawdust therapy


* The back bays on the South Jersey shore
* Jersey inland lakes like Union Lake and the Cooper River.
* The tidal regions of the Delaware River
* Delaware and Chesapeake Bays
* Limited Atlantic daysailing on calm days only


* Not a great woodworker
* Built in a 2-car garage
* Boat is to be dry-stored and dry-sailed
* Motors don't like me, and break when I get near them
* Materials, tools and books will be purchased only as needed

Specifications (to date):

* Glued plywood lap using the best marine plywood available locally
* Full Coast-guard-approved flotation built into the boat - probably airboxes
* Thinking about a layer of fiberglass armor on the bottom and garboards
* Tanbark Dacron sails
* Exterior of the boat to be painted white
* Interior to be bright if I am neat, but will probably get painted

Rigging and power:

* Spritsail and a jib, because I like the look.
* The auxiliary propulsion will be oars.
* I will consider adding an electric trolling motor to use as a kicker in tidal currents

This will be a slow build, since I have two kids and a busy job. The garage workshop also has to store my rowing boat, the kids' bikes, camping gear, etc. My intended order of events is:

1. Gantt chart and project planning - current stage
2. Lofting
3. Model
4. Spars, and components (rudder, stem, frames, etc - anything that can be built and then put to one side)
5. Sails (sew my own or have sewn for me)
6. Strongback and workspace
7. Assembly and planking
8. Finishing out

This should make the best use of space since the big stuff won't be on the garage floor until the last minute.

I will be leaning on John Brady at the Independence Seaport Museum for some help, especially with the plank sizing, lofting, and building the tricky bits. I hang out with the Delaware River chapter of the TSCA, and will be bugging them as well.

Posted by Red Ted at July 1, 2009 12:55 AM | TrackBack