Boat Profiles - Small Boats Magazine
The Thames waterman's stroke, the traditional form of rowing a skiff of this type, is described in the Sept/Oct issue of WoodenBoat.

ROSINA MAY

A Thames River Skiff

Within the pages of Eric McKee’s book on British working boats there are drawings of a 24’ Thames skiff attributed to W.A.B. Hobbs at Henley-on-Thames in the very early part of the 20th century. Thames skiffs were an evolution of the wherries used to transport cargoes and passengers up, down and across the Thames for many years before bridges and other forms of transport put them out of business. Although the vast majority of skiffs have been used for leisure purposes many of them have earned a living by being hired out.

The garboards are built up of three planks joined with flush dory bevels and rivets. The seams between them are visible here with one running out at the transom and the other at the garboard's upper edge. To the far left is one of the butt blocks on the broad strake.

The Mower Dory

Sailing again after a century in hiding

One day in the early 1990s, a local contractor visited my boatbuilding shop in Marblehead, Massachusetts, telling me he’d been hired to convert an old boatshop into a playhouse. “The museums and antique dealers have been through it,” he said, “Take anything you want or it’s going to the dump.” The building was mostly empty but in the long back room there was a planking bench with odd parts scattered around. Above the bench, tucked under the eave, the blackened end of a tight roll of paper caught my eye. I took the roll down, dusted it off, and put it in the truck. That evening, I unrolled my find.

BUNDUKI, built to John Georgalas’s Deep V 16’ design, is a descendant of WYNN-MILL II, a legendary raceboat that gave rise to the speedboat company Donzi Marine.

BUNDUKI

In the spirit of a classic Donzi

BUNDUKI is a sport boat built to Australian John Georgalas’s Deep V 16’ design. That boat was raced with great success, including a victory in the six-hour Paris Race. Wynn subsequently collaborated with Walt Walters and Don Aronow on a production version, the Ski Sporter, which was later dubbed, and became much better known as, the Sweet 16. That was the first boat built by Aronow’s company, Donzi Marine, after it was formed in 1964. BUNDUKI, the latest incarnation of the Deep V, is powered by a two-stroke, 130-hp engine harvested from a Kawasaki Jet Ski.

Bevin's Skiff

Bevin’s Skiff

A study in simplicity

Joe Youcha wants you to build a boat. He and his shop crew had built 100 different boats with members of the community, but none that he considered perfect for introducing the public to the joy of building, and the math that goes along with it. He wanted a boat that could be built anywhere by anyone. He decided on the most unassuming of American traditional small craft forms, the humble flat-bottomed skiff. When he found a design he liked he wanted to name the boat UBIQUITOUS, but the shop crew insisted it be named after the Shop Supervisor: Joe's dog, Bevin.

The Golant Ketch

A daydream turned real

The Golant Ketch is a 20′ hard-chined camp-cruiser designed by Roger Dongray. Dongray is perhaps best known for his Cornish Shrimper, which he designed in 1976 with the intention of building only one in plywood, for himself. But after various friends showed an interest, 10 more plywood boats were built, and in 1979 Cornish Crabbers started building them in fiberglass and have now delivered 1,132 of them. At first glance the Ketch and the Shrimper seem to have similar hull shapes, but this is perhaps only because the eye is distracted by their wide-plank clinker-effect construction.

The Penobscot Wherry

A nicely mannered rowboat

The Penobscot Wherry from Cottrell Boatbuilding of Searsport, Maine, is based on the Lincolnville salmon wherry, a beamy high-volume boat used to remove salmon from weirs in the days when there was a commercial salmon run on Maine’s Penobscot River. “Wherry” is a nebulous term generally used to describe a relatively light rowboat. This particular wherry has a narrow, flat bottom with lapstrake sides, making it a specialized type of round-bottomed dory.

The Outrigger Junior is a modern adaptation of a Pacific canoe

Outrigger Junior

A modern form of an old idea

Long before Europeans ventured to the new world, sailing dugout canoes fitted with outriggers sailed the waters in Southeast Asia and were used for migration throughout the Pacific region. The obvious seaworthiness of these boats was demonstrated by their ability to undertake remarkable voyages. Their twin-hulled form gave them stability, and the slender hulls gave them speed and seakeeping qualities that the western world could only dream of. Today, the recreational market offers many two- and three-hulled vessels for voyaging or daysailing. The Outrigger Junior is a modern adaptation of these early outriggers designed for beach sailing and fast spins around the bay.

Sam Crocker’s Small Outboard Skiff

Sam Crocker’s Small Outboard Skiff

A 1950s design still relevant today

Here’s a boat type one doesn’t see too often these days. It’s a modest-sized outboard designed not as a center-console but instead with a small cabin that will accommodate the adventurous camp-cruiser. For the less ambitious, it’s a boat that offers a place to have a nap, use the head in privacy, or take friends and family to a favorite beach, island, or fishing spot. Given its varnished cabin sides and shapely hull, it’s just the sort of craft that stops dock strollers in their tracks as they say: “Now what is that!”