A Flat-Bottomed, Outboard-Motored Skiff

A flat-bottom skiff can be an excellent type of boat and this observation is true whether the boat is to be used under oars, sail, outboard motor, or inboard motor; whether the boat is be used for cruising, day sailing, or working.

Looking through the bound volumes of MoToR BoatinG I rediscovered many designs of simple, useful, able, skiffs -- flat-bottom skiffs, fashioned for many purposes. In the rowing and outboard models I have neglected a biggish sort of boat in the 14-foot to 15-foot size. And, because many readers feel that a 12-foot skiff is too small, and that a 16-foot skiff is too large the gap is herewith filled with Sprite, a 14-foot 10-inch packet of more than ordinary interest. The gap-filler's waterline length is 14 feet, its breadth 4 feet 10 inches, and its draft, 5 inches. At the stem the freeboard of the new design measures 1 foot 10 3/4 inches, the least freeboard is 1 foot 3 inches, and the height of the sheer at the stern is 1 foot 6 1/4 inches; making, I think you will agree, a burdensome craft of many uses. I would; say it is a safe boat for carrying a load of three grown persons, an outboard motor of not over 6 h.p. and the usual load of life preservers, food baskets, water jug, oars, anchor, and other miscellaneous gear and equipment needed for the spending of a joyous and comfortable day on the water.

In the world of boats there is no hull form more easily built than an athwartship-planked flat-bottom skiff. And, for its size, there is nothing which compares with this type in the matter of material costs. Furthermore, there is little waste of precious lumber because of the simple form and construction of this type.

Now let's look at the deck plan. This shows full lines at the gunwales, rather sharp lines at the edges of the bottom. The result: sections having an unusual degree of flare, and flare spells reserve stability and dryness when the boat finds itself in a rough sea and windy weather. There are two thwarts and the old-fashioned stern sheets; all three are set well down in the hull, putting the live load where it properly belongs. There are no foot boards. Without these it is easy to scoop out rain water or spray. It is also easy to wash out fish scales, mud, sand and other foot scrapings.

The cut-out notch in the-top of the transom will be made to fit the clamps of whatever outboard motor is selected for power. Six h.p. will be ample for speeds up to about 12 m.p.h. Power greater than this will be too much for the underwater lines of this particular boat.