Home | Articles | Links | Projects | Comix

LD04a.jpg (18096 bytes)
  Two Sheet Skiff

Mike Goodwin, artist, musician, and boatbuilder, put his designers cap on and came up with this great skiff which can be built with just two sheets of plywood.  He was kind enough to send the following letter and pictures. Contact Mike at: panmanii@pinn.net



Here are some thoughts and ideas behind the "USA Skiff" ( that is what the kids named it , so that is the design name).

It all started when I was fixing the chains for Tim & Ross on their bikes. They wanted to know why I wasn't around for a few days , when I told them I was working on building a boat for someone , they said " boy, I wish I had a boat " .  With fond memories of building boats as a lad I decided to design a kid's boat . So I fired up Plyboats and decided to make a 2 Sheet Skiff .

LD02a.jpg (17336 bytes)

LD04b.jpg (24986 bytes)

It had to meet these criteria;

1) easy to build

2) cheap to build from 2 sheets of ply plus scraps & a few 1x4's

3) stable

4) carry 500 lbs.

5) car-topable

The boat was built for under $100 in materials , it could cost more if you wanted to use exspensive ply,a hardwood transom ,varnished seats, etc.

Since this was a prototype it was to be built of luan ply, a scrap piece of MDO ply for a transom and some 1x4's of cedar and fir that I had laying about. I used about 38 feet of fiberglass tape for the seams and remains of some epoxy.

LD02b.jpg (20640 bytes)
LD05b.jpg (19090 bytes) Regardless of you choice of materials ( I just happen to have access to proven waterproof luan ) the construction is the same for cheap luan or pricey okumme .

To build the boat;

1- ripped 2 planks ,18" wide from a sheet of ply and stacked them.

2-layed out side panels and cut them out while stacked and clamped.

3- made stem stock ,by rabbeting 2 sides of a 2x2 piece of fir to receive sides

Stem,sides&frame.jpg (14684 bytes)

4-epoxy & screw sides into stem , careful to keep them aligned top to bottom

5- while stem is setting up make main frame & seatsupport

6-install frame at proper station to establish max beam using thiskened epoxy and a couple of screws ( I use stainless drywall screws )

7- make a spanish windlass and draw sides inward at stern and fit transom , epoxy and screw in place

8- when epoxy has set up flip hull upside down and trim stem bottom and transom frames flush with side planks

9- install half frames where needed

stem&sides.jpg (6723 bytes)

10-with hull upside down , lay a sheet of ply on boat ,align for best ecconomy of cutting , scribe and cut bottom .

11- I put a screw in the bottom at the stem , frame and transom to hold in place.

12- now sand bottom ,or plane bottom flush with sides and slightly round over chine so glass tape will lay smoothly.

taping inside bow.jpg (11165 bytes)

13-paint chines with epoxy and roll out tape into wet epoxy ,add a second coat of epoxy to tape.

14- flip boat after epoxy is cured and tape inside chine .

15- build forward bulkhead for mini-cuddy ( at some point paint everything with epoxy as a sealer , 3 coats maximum )


16- spring a batten across transom top to create an attractive curve and trim to line. shaping transom 2.jpg (12010 bytes)
working rails.jpg (14815 bytes)

17-trim frame tops and install rubrail with epoxy and lots of clamps

18-install foredeck ,seats and flotation foam under seats

19-install keel and skeg

20-I laminated a sheer clamp in place after breaking 2 pieces of fir when trying to pull into shape .

21- make up blocking for oarlocks and epoxy in place

skeg and keel.jpg (16335 bytes)

22- sand everthing , prime it and paint it

23- Give it to a couple of 9 yearold boys dying for a boat of their own.

There can be more steps and details if you like or some can be eliminated . I am preparing to build about 6 more and will make more detailed and documented instructions as these progress to completion . I plan to offer a CD-rom for a fee that will have plans, photos and even movies of details of construction.

The boat will have a sailing rig.


LD07b.jpg (20233 bytes)

line.gif (878 bytes)


Home | Articles | Links | Projects | Comix