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I have recently been exploring new possibilities for my next project and have came across a few variations of the flatiron skiff. It seems that there is not much information pertaining to these unique little craft.
Has anyone on this forum ever had any experience with flatirons?
There are a couple nice .hul (Carlson's Hull Design) files of flatirons on this site: http://home.clara.net/gmatkin/drawings.htm
I will post some lines and/or pics as I find them.
[ 03-03-2006, 02:43 PM: Message edited by: Chub ]
03-03-2006, 01:34 PM
Actually, there's a fair bit of info out there on flat-iron skiffs. Howard Chapelle's "American Small Sailing Craft" (ASSC) has lines for such boats; Reuel Parker's "The Sharpie Book" has drawings and scantlings for a "14-foot Cape Cod Oystering Sharpie" that one could build from; and Jim Michalak sells detailed plans for an 18-foot version called the HC Skiff (after Chapelle). The Parker and Michalak designs are both based on drawings from ASSC. John Gardner might have something in one of his books that fits the description.
Here's a link to Michalak's design:
[ 03-03-2006, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: Steve Paskey ]
03-03-2006, 01:53 PM
John Gardner does have a chapter on the flat-iron, with construction details. I've got the book at home, but check out Building Classic Small Craft. I think the boat is in the 14-15' range.
03-03-2006, 02:35 PM
Bob Baker drew up the plans for several Westport (MA)Sharpies or flattie skiffs. See them at Baker Boat works' web site http://www.by-the-sea.com/bakerboatworks/index.html
Also, Karl Stambugh's book "Good Skiffs" discusses the history and construction (both traditional and modern) of flat bottomed skiffs and has reviews of several rowing, sailing and motor skiff designs.
How do they handle?
I would tend to think they would sail pretty fast for their lenght.
Frank E. Price
03-04-2006, 02:22 PM
Except in light airs. Too much wetted surface.
By the way, although I know this is a silly question for this forum, what about the differences between flatirons, sharpie skiffs and flatties? As I undestand Chapelle from quite a few years perusing his stuff, the sharpie skiff and flatiron are the same thing (flatiron being the term used before sharpies were "invented"); while a flattie is a bit beamier for its length, often with some deadrise (but not much) in the stern. All are old workboat types, and modern lightweight versions wouldn't have much in common with the heavier boats, including handling, cost or ease of construction, I wouldn't think.
A boat built like the old workboats would have fairly steep buttocks to keep the transom out of the water when the boat is carrying a load. That feature reduces ultimate speed, and drawings I've seen of pleasure boat versions all have much lower transoms, hence a flatter run and presumably more speed potential.
P.S. My 18' sharpie skiff (Chapelle's drawing from ASSC ) still rows like a truck, but am about to put a new (used sail) rig in it. The old "winter" rig was only about half the size of Chapelle's sail plan. Am looking forward to the increase in power.
[ 03-04-2006, 02:25 PM: Message edited by: Frank E. Price ]
03-04-2006, 03:19 PM
I had an 18' Chappell skiff. The plate calls it a sharpie skiff and the text calls it a flatiron skiff. Sharpies evolved from flatiron skiffs, and in its dimensions the 18 footer is about halfway between the types.
The boat sailed very well. I had a jib on mine, which frequently hung up on the sprit boom when I tacked, but on the whole, it sailed great. The only time I didn't like sailing it was in light air when there were a lot of powerboat wakes that made it pound. It was cross-planked, which I think contributed to skin friction. I think that's part of why rowing got old after a few miles.
The image at the top of this thread is not a flatiron skiff. Flatirons have flat bottoms. That's a very nice V-bottomed skiff.
Frank E. Price
03-11-2006, 01:18 PM
Another bit: I have presumed that "flatiron" is defined as much by construction as by shape and proportion, as is "sharpie." Yet John Gardner (and others?) drew boats he called flatirons that have longitudinally planked bottoms over bottom frames (bateau/dory construction), like the 14-footer in his dory book. Is that a liberty in nomenclature, or a reflection of original workboat practice? Anybody know for sure?
03-11-2006, 01:29 PM
None of these terms are dead-on specific across writers (possibly same writers over time), but in general, I've also assumed that "flatiron" mean cross-planked bottom boats, sharpie more of an overall hull design.
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