View Full Version : Sea Skiff by William Jackson

okey dokey
01-03-2008, 10:32 PM
Has anyone built this 13'6" skiff. Are the plans from Vintage Projects anygood. This is Craft Project No. 64.


Okey Dokey
White Bear Lake, Minnesota

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-04-2008, 12:33 AM
William D. Jackson's plans are OK. He was the "naval architect of the working class". His plans were published in "Science and Mechanics magazine for several decades. Since the magazine had wide distribution hundreds of every design have, probably, been built but, beyond that I don't think he had a big time reputation. Everything he did was ply on a stick frame. That was par for the course back in the '50's and '60's
I looked at the design on this web site

okey dokey
01-04-2008, 08:04 PM
Thank you for your message. I am looking forward to building my first boat. I find that Sea Skiff to have a nice vintage look. I can motor, row, or sail to that favorite beach or fishing hole. I have been sailing manufactured fiberglass sailboats for many years, and now I am at a point in my life in want to get into "realism."

Okey Dokey,

St. Paul, Minnesota USA

okey dokey
01-19-2009, 11:23 PM
Time to start building this spring. Where can i get the best set of plans ?

01-20-2009, 01:56 AM
Welcome to the Forum!

Unfortunately, building from old plans can pass rapidly from realism to fantasy -- materials, fasteners, glues, paints, and overall boating have changed a LOT in the past 60-80 years. This can result in expensive re-working of the plans or materials, or possibly spending a lot more money for less boat.

Let us know what waters you'll be boating in, what sort of powerplant you want to use, sail and oar or just outboard power, will oars be primary or secondary propulsion, how many crew, trailered/cartopped/or in the water 7/24, your budget, storage & building space, etc etc etc.

We can then make some serious recommendations for either traditional or modern designs, built from various materials, to meet your exact needs.

That said, it is entirely possible to build something like this as a "period piece", and even fun to consider building from older plans with solid wood rather than ply. David Mede of this Forum built this Atkin designed skiff last year from solid wood and produced a beautiful boat that should turn heads wherever it goes...


01-20-2009, 10:40 AM
Time to start building this spring. Where can i get the best set of plans ?

I have also contemplated builidng this boat but have not yet taken the plunge. As far as I know there are at least three sources for the plans for this boat:

http://www.svensons.com/boat/ (http://www.svensons.com/boat/) (as noted above) download for free

Ebay - copies of the plans are available all the time there

D. N. Goodchild (http://dngoodchild.com/5523.htm) plan #5523 $7.95

The plans from the svensons web site and Ebay are going to be photocopies or scans of the original article as it appeared in the magazine. The plans from D.N. Goodchild are high quality reproductions in a nice package...but the plans themselves are (likely) the exact same thing as the ones you can download from svensons. (My experience with purchasing lots of plans from D.N. Goodchild is that it's worth spending the 6 - 8 bucks for the Goddchild versions because of the the packaging and somewhat better legibilty of the reproductions over what I've found elsewhere (i.e. photocopies or scans of the original articles) for the same boats. Plus, what he's doing is pretty cool (republishing old out of print boating books, articles and plans) so I feel good suporting his work. But I digress...)

(the following is my totally non-professional, inexpert opinion and as such, it is to be viewd with a proper amount of skepticism)

As to this particluar plan, almost all the information you need to build the boat is contained in the downlaods you can get from svenson.. I say almost all because the instructuions assume a certian amount of skill with tools and they're not the most detailed step by step instructions out there. If you've read a book or two on plywood boat building and/or read through the instructions that John Gardner has in his books, you'll be fine...except for making the stem. This is the least explained and most complicated part of the project. As such you will definately need other books and/or the help of someone who has done it before. The rest of it - setting up the building jig, cutting the frame moulds and planking, etc. - should be pretty easy.

Thorne's point about the difficulty of adapting old plans to modern materials and methods are worth heeding, but from what I can see, there is nothing unusual about either the methods or materials for this particular boat. The hull is made of 3/8" plywood, the "ribs" are solid wood - probably oak. The plans call for "weldwood" glue, but you can substitute epoxy without difficulty. Also ignore the reference to "Kuhl's Aviation glue" and the cloth strips - they're not necessary when using epoxy. The way the building jig is set up is a bit odd...but I don't see why it wouldn't work or would present any particular difficulty. Perhaps the biggest variation from contemporary techniques is that a boat like this would probably be built stitch and glue today and would therefore be lighter and perhaps a bit quicker to build. But there's nothing inherently wrong with the plywood on frame building method.

Read a couple of older boat building books dealing with the plywood on frame method such as Glen L. Witt's and Ken Hankinson's Boatbuilding with Plywood and/or the chapters from John Gardner's books in which he presents detailed instructions for boats built this way. Also see http://www.glen-l.com/ under the "Boatbuidling Methods" link for a pictorial overview.

BTW - This boat appears to me to be a simplified, plywood version of John Gardner's "Fat Boat" dory (from "Building Classic Small Craft") - same LOA, beam, sail area, rig and profile.

02-20-2013, 12:51 PM
I was wondering what became of this project? I am working on Sea Skiff myself and was wondering how the project went for others, would love any advice or tips.

02-21-2013, 12:15 AM
Look at Chessy power boat. It is really nice. The bottom and side are thick boards rather than plywood. Interesting method of building.