Off she goes, Iain Oughtred's slightly foreshortened Penny Fee, at 15ft. Sails by Jeckells, spars by the wonderful Jeremy Freeland at Collars. The rest by Messrs Burke and Morgan (that's Jonny by the way...)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

As I was Saying...

...before the Summer intervened, it's been a quiet year for new boats but interesting one for new projects.Whereas the wherewithal to commission a new boat seems to have taken a dive, seems like a lot of folk are upgrading, or tweaking. There is, for example, that Mik Storer-designed Goat Island Skiff in the workshop (or rather outside it) at the moment, into which I have grafted a new mizzen step while moving the main mast step forward to balance. The owner wants more speed, (and I told him) more complexity. But, hey-ho, what's a boat for except to tweak.

I had never come across a GIS before, and at first glance was a little sniffy. Plywood, naturally, flat of bottom and slab of sides, and yet the more I looked, the more I began to see the elegance in her design. That chine, which looks so abrupt, turns into a V when the boat heels, and like all skiffs, adds to tracking ability.

This one was exceptionally built, if rather pernickety. The builder clearly loved making little gadgets out of aluminium, including a clever (and to my mind unnecessary) remote bailer control. A nice bit of engineering though, and an example of a number of little touches in a really well built boat.

One thing I was asked to do was make the tiller folding, and this was my solution. The owner also wanted a forward rowing thwart and I am making him some new oars with Gaco plastic spoon blades to a really clever design that takes a length of 2 x 4, parallelograms it, and then rips it from top edge to bottom to make two perfectly matched trapezoid looms.

More projects to come. Meanwhile here is how to make a pair of really nice oars...


  1. I love this kind of boat .. so classic looking . thanks for sharing this picture. RogueJet Aluminum Jet Boat Builder

  2. Beautiful! What kind of seas could these handle? What about a 9 or 10 m boat along these lines. View Website

  3. seems like a lot of folk are upgrading, or tweaking.
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