I'm looking for my next boat building project, and reading some of the recent threads have become interested in the idea of building something like a scow moth.
I love the idea of a light car toppable quick to rig boat that will give some real fun on my local estuary. CT 249, your scow having 18Kg hull weigt must be a fun boat, nice and low to the water, it must give a great feeling of speed! Location: Australia I've thought of doing the same for a while but I'm also interested in a new dinghy design I saw in the latest edition of Wooden Boat.
Originally Posted by CT 249 The Australian Moth association may still have Snubby plans; I think the webmaster (John McAteer?) found a set a while ago IIRC. When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals.
Location: Milwaukee, WI Another area to find that type of vessel is NE Brazil. Location: New Zealand 40' x 16' scow Forty foot box with ends courtesy of Alma. Location: New Zealand Freeship Tillicum Had a good run with the 'puter today, and got a developable set of lines done.
Location: New Zealand Stringers Got these done today, will get onto the chine logs tomorrow.
Location: USA Scows, in general The Wooden Boat Magazine has an on-line store that has building plans for a scow schooner in the 45 foot length. What I ended up with was a 20 x 7 ft gaff sloop that is essentially half decked with an aft house for the cabin.
Attached are the sketches and, if possible, the essay on how the rocker is drawn and how the boat is proportioned and why. Location: New Zealand Scow project Got the sides done this afternoon, and sat the shear log in there too.
Will have to sort the bow and stern out too, before I get too carried away decking it over. The computer is starting to groan and creak now when I bring up all the layers at the same time. To enable you to build a copy of the scow - eventually I intend to set up a complete set of plans and instructions. To show how the scow was constructed, parts of which might be of use to you in your own home-build project.
To be safe enough in use that I would be happy to see my niece and nephew use it on their own. To be suited to the place where it will be used - this meant it would be sailed mostly in shallow water, so it should be designed to be 'bottom-bumped'. The end result doesn't look a lot like other dinghies - I wasn't too concerned with its looks, just how it worked.


All dimensions given on this web site are in millimetre, with some conversions into inches. On the sizing of individual parts, particularly for solid wood, I have tried to use a convention of giving the actual (ie, finished, after planing) dimensions of the stock in millimetre, with the nominal (ie, before planing) dimensions in inches. The scow is a simple shape with a flat (transversely) bottom and vertical sides throughout its length. The scow has three seats which double up as buoyancy tanks that give a flooded buoyancy of about 400kg (850lbs) - enough for four adults. As the scow was designed to be 'bottom-bumped', it was given three rubbing strakes under its bottom, capped by metal strips.
It suits an unstayed mast, which I wanted to use in order to make the whole rig easy to remove.
I got the sail made to my design by a local sailmaker - it cost GBP 175 (about USD 250) in 1999 which was about half the total cost of the scow, bearing in mind I got the spars for free. There were obviously several benefits to working in a boatbuilding company and making the spars for the scow from various bits of scrap lying around was a big one. I designed the scow using TurboCAD v5 and it has not been too easy to convert these into a format which can be viewed over the Internet.
These drawings show the dimensions and assembly instructions for each part of the scow and are used to cut and make the parts before starting assembly of the hull. This page describes the assembly process and a drawing shows the building jig I used to assemble the scow. Looks like quite a simple boat to build, has a range of interesting rig options and should perform a little better than the old Mk II Moth.
Parker has some interesting plans for a 44' (if I remember correctly) sailing scow in his book. They will capsize in the right conditions and do not have the ability to recover from much more than a 90 degree knockdown. I changed the proportions a bit by making the Beam smaller in relation to the Length and by keeping the Rocker in proportion to the Length.
Flotation chambers would be built along the sides and there would be a raised deck in the bow (for storage of bicycles). I could imagine living aboard such a craft and just knocking about the Gulf Coast (lots of sand there, I understand.) The boat would be narrow enough for legal trailering and could be taken to other suitable cruising grounds. The 'Puddle Duck Racer' class has been in existence since 2003 and a lot of experimentation has been done with these boats. That means the model has been turned into a nest of spiky lines stretching to infinity again". However I do acknowledge that one design heavily influenced this scow - it is a Chesapeake Bay scow, 'Tubby', from a book entitled 'How To Build 20 Boats', published by Mechanix Illustrated in the US in the 1950s (my late father worked there for a year and must have brought it back with him).
The higher estimate would be appropriate for a scow with all solid wood in mahogany, the lower estimate for a scow with the minimum of solid wood (eg, without bottom rubbing strips) in softwood.


The vertical sides are required where the leeboards pivot, so it seemed sensible to keep them vertical elsewhere - it also meant that the panel dimensions could be worked out without a panel-expansion program. Not being sure if this was really strong enough, it was decided to sleeve it over about the bottom 800mm (31") by a 70mm (2.75") diameter tube. Believe it or not, the GIF files are made by copying the contents of the TurboCAD drawings into a Visio file, saving that as a TIFF and then using MS Photo Editor to convert the TIFF into a GIF. The second page shows the 'nesting diagrams' - how to lay the parts into standard sheets of plywood with minimum waste. I have not tried the plan but punts are relatively simple boats and meant to be used in quiet waters so it would certainly produce a usable boat.
I have found some information on the International Moth sites but no up to date detailed plans for a scow, only the skiff style hull. This thread is really interesting in that I think many people, myself included, have entained building a sailing scow, or scow houseboat at one time or another.
A trio of them recently participated in the 'Texas 200' and sailed up the Texas gulf coast. I upped the processor priority for the Freeship programme before I started, so I hope that is helping. The one-page description is extremely large (387K), but might be useful for downloading for viewing off-line.
The later scows like Wardie's Effineffable etc had narrower sterns which allow you to sink the stern and lift the bow up, greatly reducing the nosediving problem. However as a liveaboard and to sail in the aforementioned protected waters, they are a reasonable choice. So far, all input to the thread appears to be quite positive and helpful to those interested. They did surprisingly well despite being arguably over loaded and way out of their element. Not as fast as a Magnum type fat skiff until about 12-18 knots but much easier to handle, and better than a Magnum sailed by the average sailor. I am in the process of designing a boat for myself which has many of the characteristcs of a scow but has ballasted bilge keels to provide stability in a knockdown.
My design owes quite a lot to the English Thames Barges and there is a modern interpretation of these being built in steel in Norfolk, England by Charley Ward.
Many of his designs have internal concrete ballast, how about a boat with a reinforced concrete bottom to just above the waterline, and composite wood topsides and deck??




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