I am a beginner to the field of boatbuilding; having grown up on the Canadian Prairies, I have no idea where the fascination comes from, but there it is. I am working my way through back issues of WoodenBoat and a book or two that I have dug up, but I'm finding that I have gaps in my knowledge that cause difficulty in understanding some ideas. Also, if anyone can steer me towards a particularly good source of terminology and diagrams, that would be very much appreciated. Like many other traditional things, boats don't have any hard and fast definitions -- you can come close in some cases but not to exact definitions. The fascination with boats, I think, is associated with the appreciation of line and proportion, which is associated with sex. Thorne, I did a search for recommended books, and was swamped with the result (no pun intended). But there are lots of other things called skiffs - from insane Australian racing sailboats, to round-sided dory skiffs, to powerboats descended from the New Jersey surfboats. FWIW a lot of boats called dory skiffs aren't double-ended on the bottom like traditional rowing dories; many are much wider aft for better sailing or powered performance.


In the various Nordic languages, a word for small boat was Yole, Jol, Jolle, or Jolla, etc., from which we get both Yawl and Jolly Boat, which were both terms for a small ship's boat.
So the essence seems to be that if I built a small (between 8 and 30 feet), flat or round bottomed, single or double ended, sail or row boat, and called it a skiff, no one would jump on me for it ?
Easy to read, not as dry as Chappelle, lots of good illustrations of most all the small craft types of North America complete with exploded diagrams of the various parts. Purchase and Download Study Plans for the POWER SKIFF 16 for $5.00 in PDF format (zipped file). Purchase Construction Plans for the POWER SKIFF 16 for $65.00 for delivery by US Postal Service. Purchase Full Size Frame Lofting for the POWER SKIFF 16 for $65.00 for delivery by US Postal Service.
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These gaps are probably going to be ridiculously simple concepts to most, but I'm hoping that someone will take pity on me and help me out. Is a sharpie simply a skiff design that is modified for sailing with a centre-board, sail rig, and rudder?
I believe WoodenBoat did some sort of poster a few years back, but I don't think they sell it any more. I think what finally got me was a photo of a Boston Whitehall on Windfall Woodworks website. The swoop of the sheer (I think) as it moved from the transom to the stem was like flight made solid. To make matters worse, a lot of old timers use skiff to describe any smallish, simply built utility boat and don't care how it's made.



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