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Family Skiff Plans

Family Skiff Plans


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Description Particulars

The Family Skiff is large enough to swallow up three men or maybe a family with two kids. She has two benches that are 7' long and there should be plenty of room for all. I would say her fully loaded maximum weight might be 900 pounds and her empty weight about 350 pounds, leaving about 550 pounds for captain and crew and gear.

At the same time the Family Skiff can easily be handled solo, although with just the weight of the skipper she will not be a stable as when heavily loaded. The boat also has two large chambers for buoyancy/storage and I can see her used as a solo beach cruiser because the benches and the floor space are large enough for a sleep spot. This shape of hull has proven to be both fast and able in rough water, a lot better than a similar flattie. I've made her deep, too, with lots of freeboard.

family skiff

The balanced lug rig sets on short spars and sails very well reefed, in fact can be set up with jiffy reefing. The spars are all short and easily made and stowed, the mast being but 14.5' long and setting 97 square feet of sail. In addition there are oar ports for those with lots of time and little money and a motor well for those with lots of money and little time. Two horsepower is all that a boat like this can absorb without going crazy. The motor well is actually an open self draining well that uses the full width and depth of the stern. It will come in handy for storing the wet and muddy things you don't want inside the boat, like anchors and boots. I've suggested in the plans that the rudder can be offset to one side a bit to give more room for the motor. both Petesboat and Frolic2 have used an offset rudder with no harm other than perhaps needing a curved tiller to make it more comfortable. In the case of Petesboat the 60hp motor was on centerline and the rudder way over yonder to one side with linkage to a centerline tiller. Pete said the large rudder offset had no effect on steering.

Paul Ellifrit built the prototype in Missouri in a matter of a few weeks as I recall, including this model first:

Then construction went quickly in spite of cold epoxy weather:

... and his own polytarp sail. He brought it to the Rend Lake Messabout:

We agreed there that I should have drawn the mast taller but she was otherwise right on. We had no strong wind that weekend so we don't know yet how she would handle that but this shape hull is about the best I can draw for rough water. She is big and roomy inside...

An ideal family boat in a way. The offset motor/rudder all seemed to work well. We were all happy with the outcome.

Family Skiff is a tape seam hull requiring two sheets of 1/2" plywood, five sheets of 3/8" plywood and two sheets of 1/4" plywood.