The Port Townsend Skiff is a boat with a mission: Deliver stellar fuel economy in a good-looking, well-performing package. Russell Brown, the energy behind this boat, observes that our society has “gone to a totally absurd place” in powerboat design. “We came from having incredibly good-looking, sea-kindly motoryachts,” he says, and we’ve drifted into a place of having overweight, overpowered behemoths. The Port Townsend Skiff, in part, is a “relearning of what’s already been learned.”The design was conceived in answer to a challenge sponsored by this magazine’s mother publication, WoodenBoat, and its sister, Professional BoatBuilder. In that challenge, we sought a boat of trailerable size and weight that would burn no more than two gallons of fuel per hour while maintaining a 10-knot cruising speed and carrying a family of four—or about 800 lbs. With the design parameters in mind, Russell Brown engaged the talented Seattle, Washington–based design firm of Bieker Boats to develop a boat that could be sold in kit form for amateur construction. And thus the Port Townsend Skiff—and the company that sells it, Port Townsend Watercraft—was born.

Port Townsend SkiffMatthew P. Murphy

The fuel-efficient PT Skiff handles well under a range of conditions and speeds, can carry a load, and moves well with just a 20-hp outboard.

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