A 7' Flat-Bottom Skiff
By William & John Atkin
Seven Feet of Shipshape Dinghy
Under oars, sail or the urge of an outboard motor, the performance of a dinghy after the manner of this latest number of MoToR BoatinG's family. Precious, is excellent. This little one goes through the water like a boat, looks like a boat, handles like a boat, and is very much of a boat -- this despite her very modest dimensions.
Her overall length is 7' the waterline length, 6' 6"; the breadth on deck, 3' 9" the greatest breadth of the bottom is, 2' 10 1/2"; and the draft 3 1/2". The freeboard at the bow is 1' 6", the least freeboard 9 1/2". the height at the stern, 1' 1 1/8" The deck plan shows proper stern sheets 11" wide; a thwart well forward and spanning these a 7 1/2" wide fore and aft seat. The purpose of the latter is to permit correct distribution of weights when one or two persons are aboard. The seats are low in the boat, thus the live load will be low as well. Nothing gives a boat more character than neatly formed quarter knees and breasthook; incidentally these parts greatly contribute to the strength. The thwart and stern sheets rest on a proper riser extending for most of the length of the topsides, not on short cleats attached to the inside of the planking. Each side has four tapered frames. The bottom is flat and straight across and easy to walk and stand on.
A study of her lines shows she has draft where, from the standpoint of slopping through choppy water, it is most needed; that is, in the forward sections. The sweep of the keel is long and reasonably flat; very unlike the bold sweep-up which is typical of a pram's keel. Precious, then, will move along at good speed without getting much out of level and, for this, will be drier and more comfortable. And then, the load waterline is almost as long as the overall length of the skiff, for this is what the little one is -- a neat flat-bottomed skiff. It will be further noticed from the lines that the topsides have generous flare, especially the forward topside sections. This is where the flare is most effective and, coupled with the lapstrake side planking, will contribute no end to keeping spray from flying and consequently to the dryness of the boat.
Perhaps I should emphasize the fact that this little Precious is in no manner planned for fast travelling afloat. She is a dinghy, or if you wish, a tender. Speed is secondary; safety, comfort, ability, character, and finesse the primary objects of her design.
Plans for Precious are $100




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