Baby Lou
A 10' Flat-Bottom Sailing Skiff
By William Atkin
A Useful and Handy Skiff Which May Be Rowed, Sailed, or Driven by an Outboard Motor
It is not easy to design a really good skiff. Baby Lou comes from a long line of skiffs that for the last fifteen years have spread out over my drawing table, been built, and tried out. My heart has always had a soft place for flat-bottomed skiffs. Perhaps this is because I learned to sail in a small boat of this character. And while that was so long ago I am beginning to forget some details, nevertheless, I still have vistas through the mists of yesterdays of the excellent craft built by rule-o'-thumb by the clammers and fishermen of Lower New York Bay. Say along about 1895 or so. They were named Wild Cat, Blue Bird, (painted green), Nonsuch, Heart's Desire, Bivalve, etc. Handy little boats, inexpensive and altogether good.
The troublesome thing at present is to arrange the skiff type hull to row easily, sail well under canvas, and serve also as an outboard motor boat. Because you see every feature of any kind of boat is a compromise of one kind or another. If a boat is required exclusively for rowing, that is one thing; but if several uses are expected then some of the better features of the rowing boat must be sacrificed for others that are necessary for sailing or outboard motoring as the case may be.
Here, then is a 10-foot skiff for many purposes. She is 3 feet 8 inches in breadth, and draws only 3 1/2 inches of water with no one aboard. The freeboard at the bow is 1 foot 4 inches and at the stern, 1 foot.
A flat-bottomed skiff is about the easiest kind of boat to build; but because of this simplicity do not get the notion that any old curve can be given her bottom, any flare her sides, or any height her freeboard. And remember always that there is a correct proportion for every dimension in a boat; size or type has nothing to do with it. Therefore this Baby Lou must be built exactly like the plans; otherwise she cannot be expected to come up to my hopes, nor to your needs.
Plans for Baby Lou are $100




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