A Small Skiff

In The Book of Boats, I wrote that Mabel is a famous little vessel. Her plans have been published the world over. They were first shown in MotorBoat magazine -- affectionately known by many as "the old green sheet" when Billy Atkin was doing a series of designs for that publication some 60 years ago! Later the design was presented in the well-loved magazine Fore An' Aft in an article by the late Weston Farmer. Still later, Mabel showed up in a 1937 book entitled Motor Boats, which was written by my father. He designed this little dinghy at Huntington, New York, in 1924.

Fairly recently, I revised the design of Mabel, after having built one of these boats in my Dinghy Shed. Based on my observations, I increased her freeboard and renamed her Flipper: The increased freeboard made a considerably more burdensome boat. Her principal dimensions are: 10 feet 1/2 inch overall by 3 feet 11 inches beam and 3 1/2 inches draft.

There is an alternate arrangement for Flipper showing a jibheaded cat rig and daggerboard. She makes a fine training boat for youngsters stable and dependable, with no need for a hiking strap or similar paraphernalia. It is time for a return to simplicity, and Flipper provides the opportunity.