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Readers interested in the sailing version of the Ella skiff may be entertained by this glimpse of how I’ve nesting all the various panels for the half-decked sailing version onto six sheets of ply. Have you got news for us?If what you're doing is like the things you read about here - please write and tell us what you're up to. Classic Sailor is a new magazine about traditional and classic boats from ex-Classic Boat editor Dan Houston and colleagues that promises rather more coverage of the traditional craft around our coast. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Follow me on TwitterLooking for something?This is a busy weblog, and what you're looking for is probably still here - just a little way down the list now. Our Faversham-based friend Alan Thorne can help with boatbuilding projects - constructing to plans in very tidy stitch-and-glue or more traditional techniques. Norman Fuller took his rowing skiff Ella to this year’s Home Built Boat Rally event at Barton Turf Activity Centre, which gave us an opportunity to meet him and to try out his new boat built to my Ella design. Like the design itself, the Ella is named after my daughter Ella, and turned out to be a cute and simple little skiff, just as the drawings in the free boatbuilding plans package promised – download the plans here.
When it was my turn to try the little skiff I was pleased to find she was easy and light under oars – not exactly effortless, but something that even a sedentary desk-jockey like me could expect to be able to row all day. One thing about the event made me a little nervous, however – rowing enthusiast Chris Partridge was on hand. In the event, he climbed in, sat down and casually made the little boat fly for a while while we all watched in anticipation.
I’ve got some video of Chris rowing the Ella to put up when I get a chance to edit it. Builder Norman recently managed to pick up a 12lb-thrust electric outboard for ?30 at a sale, and so later in the afternoon we had some fun with that.
Another exciting development is that the first boat built to the sailing version plans is currently in build in the USA – and Ella and I are very keen to see photos of that one! This boat is designed to be built using the stitch and glue technique – if you haven’t done this before you might be interested in my book Ultrasimple Boat Building: 17 Plywood Boats Anyone Can Build or one of the other books on this topic available from Amazon. Before you commit to a set of plans I would also advocate looking at the displacement figures and other dimensions and considering your needs.

In plotting coordinates, I always begin by squaring off the material in 12in squares, which helps with the plotting itself. All that remains is my little essay describing all the files, and commenting on issues like shaping or notching the tops of the frames to accept the gapped inwales, oar placement and so on. I would also warn that I am not a professional boat designer and accept no responsibility for any damage or loss that may result during building this boat or in its use on the water or on land.
I still plan to work up a second set of plans for more traditional-style boatbuilding, and to work up a sailing rig.
I'm very half-and-half about limber holes like this in plywood boats, as it seems to me that bouyancy tanks and dry storage are both very useful if not life-saving, and that small pools of water at several frames are perhaps no worse than a single large one somewhere. One great benefit of having the limber holes central in the frames is that builders who decide to build lightly out of, say, 4mm ply can stiffen their bottoms with a central keelson running along the bottom of the boat. So I tend to favour either drain plugs in pairs to promote air flow or large rotating hatches, and keeping home-built ply boats out of the rain where possible. I think that on the water there’s a lot to be said for keeping any water contained between bulkheads. But one should always give priority to on the water considerations and there would be absolutely no point in compromising buoyancy for the sake of easy drainage on the land. If affordability and simplicity were the only criteria, I think a second- (or third- or fifth-) hand plastic cruiser would be the way. The reasons for building a boat are likely because you want to, or because you can’t get what you want any other way!
In case you’re wondering, I do still intend to draw a couple of traditionally-inspired sailing rigs, a more traditional chine-log version, and also a 17ft version for two rowers. Try scrolling down, clicking on the 'older posts' button at the bottom of this page - or try the search gadget!
You can’t say that of many 12ft flatties including those based on old-fashioned small American skiffs as this one is, but this boat was drawn with a narrowish beam of 4ft to ensure it would be as good a rower as it could be. Like most of the journalist tribe Chris is usually pretty clear in his opinions, and is known to be generally unenthusiastic about flatties, so naturally I was a little nervous – what might the author of Rowing for Pleasure have to say to readers and other HBBRers about the Ella design? Mistakes do happen and I’ll fix any you find as quickly as I can, and as soon as my paid work allows me to be at home long enough to deal with them.

Individual amateurs are permitted to build one or two boats for their own use from these drawings for themselves but commercial boatbuilders and those intending to build more than two or three boats are required to contact me for permission to build. I would ask that boat users take special care and always take sensible precautions when using this boat on the water including using lifejackets. After all my hard work, though, I hope I can be forgiven for having a few days off from designing and drawing! One thing I might do, were I fortunate enough to build any boat that took my fancy, would be to cut the drainage arches in the bulkheads at the sides rather than in the centre.
The less it sloshes about the better and the more it accumulates in one or two spots the easier it is to bail. Both Ben Crawshaw (thanks Ben!) and the designer have had a go, and in any case it’s always good to build a model before building a boat like this.
Before building, however, I would counsel building a model as described in an earlier post (see below). Boats never seem to be on a flat enough surface for all the water to run through a central hole. I'm not wildly keen on extreme light weight myself, but there are people out there who are very keen. But storage on land is a different matter and water stagnating up against a frame will eventually find its way through a crack in the paint. In addition the usual ups and downs of work, music making and family life, they’re more than enough to keep a chap busy, I can tell you! The other advantage is that you can achieve an uninterrupted taped seam along the length sole and side panel join. I am a kayak fisherman here in south central Florida, fishing inland rivers and the intracoastal water way. Very minor points but drainage has been on my mind recently and this one of the things I think I should have done with OB.

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Comments to «Free stitch and glue skiff plans 00»

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