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  #1  
Old 01-26-2006, 05:18 PM
TimClark TimClark is offline
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Any skiff designers?

Anybody design and built their own skiffs here. I am probably going to start designing and building a skiff this spring.

Tim
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2006, 05:30 PM
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I designed and built a 19 foot flat bottom dory type work skiff from 1/2 marine ply-on-frame . I use a 40 HP 4-stroke to motor it around.
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  #3  
Old 01-26-2006, 08:23 PM
TimClark TimClark is offline
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What I meant was a high-performance skiff, like a Swift Solo, I 14, 29er, etc. These would also be sailing boats. BTW I would love to see a picture of it, wooden boats always seem so graceful to me.

Tim
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  #4  
Old 01-26-2006, 11:40 PM
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If you want it to be a single hander - look at the International Moth Website.

You can add the hydrofoils later - but the standard non-foil version punches way above its weight and won't cost you a fortune in sails and rigging. Single 8sq metre sail saves heaps of cost. And you will still give the skiffs a scare.

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  #5  
Old 01-27-2006, 03:52 AM
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How does one distinguish between the terms sailing dinghy and sailing skiff?
Is it performance?
I've seen the term associated with boats that are planning up wind.
I've also seen people distinguish the two between one design and development, where one design boats are dinghies! Therefore a 29er or 49er can not be skiffs.
Is it some kind of ratio?

What do you think?

And why do they tend to be so much more popular in the land down under?
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2006, 06:36 AM
CT 249 CT 249 is offline
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It's a very controversial question.

I don't know who invented the idea that planing upwind is what makes a skiff a skiff; one of the big shifts of Australian skiff development in the '90s was the move towards what the designers called a "displacement" hull, in that it was designed more for low wetted surface and wavemaking drag than the older boats, which were designed with flatter hulls with more beam waterline and were more planing - oriented. Problem was, they had higher drag so could plane but go slower than a more modern boat that wasnj't planing in the same way (which is exactly what an old scow Moth does compared to a non-foil modern Moth; the skinny modern Moth may not plane but like a cat it goes fast, faster than the scow Moth which does plane).

The Bethwaites claim a certain definition, but it's their own and many skiff designers with an equal (or better) winning record have other ideas.

Historically there are certain markers - open design (with more rules than skiffies like to admit, though), lots of SA, lots of righting moment from the crew, sail signs instead of numbers, and being part of the skiff movement (where clubs often provide cash and sponsors) rather than the normal dinghy or yacht clubs.

They are NOT in fact all that popular in Australia. The skiffs here are very largely concentrated in the state of New South Wales, which has warm and fairly flat open water, moderately strong winds, and tax, liquour and gambling laws that allow skiff clubs to have many non-sailing members who buy booze and lose money on poker machines. This money then goes to pay sailors ($100 just to start and finish a race- not much, but with free/cheap boat storage and other subsidies, a good attraction) and sometimes buy the boats.

In most other areas, where the winds are stronger and the water is rougher and colder, skiffs are rare; in fact apart from Int 14s, skiffs are basically extinct apart from the two warmest states. The most popular fast dinghies are the 505 and the Lightweight Sharpie, which is 505 speed but very different from a skiff in design (skinny lightweight OD version of a 1920s German 19 footer with a small rig, 3 crew but just one trap and no wings).

The idea that everyone here sails skiffs is just the product of PR and journalists who don't do research.
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Old 01-27-2006, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT 249
It's a very controversial question.
....... The skiffs here are very largely concentrated in the state of New South Wales, which has warm and fairly flat open water, moderately strong winds, ....... In most other areas, where the winds are stronger and the water is rougher and colder, skiffs are rare.......
An excellent point for the guy interested in designing one! How is the water and wind in the area where you will sail?
If something as wild as an I14 interests you there quite a few older ones, which are all shorted out, you can find in a low price, use all their equipment and modify the design to your liking and start from there.
The lighter they are and more potent rig they carry the more sensitive they become to small changes. It all gets much easier when you design a single skiff for a known skipper with or without crew (also known) and the exact waters you sail in. Most designs accomodate a range of crew weight and ability, and a wide range of conditions.
You can also start from the reverse of the design sequence since there are no rules to abide to. Start with the sails and rig, then design the hull and deck to exploit its potential.
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2006, 06:33 PM
TimClark TimClark is offline
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Yeah, I know a couple people in NSW that sail some skiffs, but they have always said that they are only boats like the 18, 16, etc. But, I have disagreed in that a skiff is a boat that planes upwind and has a certain shape for planing, yet is still a displacement hull.

Tim
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2006, 06:53 PM
CT249 CT249 is offline
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So a 505 or Tasar or old Scow Moth or International Canoe or Flying Dutchman (which all plane upwind) are skiffs too?

How often do you have to "plane upwind" to be a skiff? Each week? Every beat? Does that mean a Farr 3.7 in Wellington NZ, where it blows like stink and most 3.7s would plane upwind most races, is a skiff - but an 18' Skiff from a light-air region in Switzerland (where it may not blow very often at times) isn't a skiff because it may not plane upwind most days? Do you count it all year round?

The back of the fleet 16' Skiffs are often a bit slow upwind - does that mean they are not skiffs (despite the fact that it's officially been the 16 foot Skiff class for decades) but their sisterships at the front of the fleet are skiffs because they are planing?

And a 12' Skiff, which is probably often in "forced mode" (fast non-planing) and is often sailed on the river where winds are fluky, isn't a skiff because it's often not planing upwind?

If it's all about planing upwind at times, the scow Moths of the '80s (about as fast as a Contender) must be skiffs, despite the fact that they are scows. .

And a skiff Moth (named "skiff" eons ago because of its pointy bow, not for any belief it was like a 12.16 or 18) which is much faster than a scow Moth, isn't in fact a "skiff" Moth, because it carves rather than planes........

So a skiff Moth isn't a skiff (although it is a Moth and it's called a skiff Moth), and a scow Moth IS actually a skiff (although it never used to be), but of course it's a Moth and a skiff but it is of course not a skiff Moth because it's a scow.......

It's all very strange - I've had three scow Moths and a skiff Moth, and I never realised my scow Moths were skiffs and my skiff Moth wasn't a skiff Moth.

While die-hard skiffies often say that skiffs can't be one designs, the 18s and 16s now have one-design hulls. So the definition must be changing. But no "skiffy" I've ever heard of has said that planing upwind is the dividing line.

Some say that skiffs tack downwind, but it's on record that 505s have been doing that since the '50s and they aren't skiffs.

There is also not much of a particular skiff "shape for planing"; they vary from the hard-chine Vee of Bethwaite boats, to the round-bilge flat bottom of Woof 12s and the hard-chine flat bottom of I-14s, and may be vee into soft bilge into hard chine of 16s. Old skiffs of course had very deep Vees; much deeper than a 505 or FD of the time. And there's the inverted chine of Vallings' 12s, and the concave of the old Bradmill and Entrad.....The drift has actually been AWAY from a "shape for planing" where all is sacrificed for more dynamic lift, to a shape better at low-drag "displacement" sailing. Or that's what the skiff designers say......gee strange that they are so wrong.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2006, 07:53 PM
TimClark TimClark is offline
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I think you mis-understood what I meant. Btw, if there is a Skiff 18 in Siwtzerland, the boat itself still has the ability to plane, it just doesn't have enough wind to pop it up on a plane. Not many boats will plane in a knot of wind, but the same boat is still ABLE to plane in heavier air. In my opinion, a Skiff is something that carries the general shape of a Skiff 18, Swift Solo, Voodoo 17, etc. In my opinion, a Moth isn't a skiff, but that is just my opinion. I think it is a high-performance dinghy.

Tim
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2006, 09:39 PM
TimClark TimClark is offline
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If you really wanna look into the subject about the defenition of a skiff, check this out.

http://www.sailinganarchy.com/forums...howtopic=28046
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2006, 03:36 AM
CT 249 CT 249 is offline
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Know the thread well.

I agree the skiff Moth isn't a "true skiff", the point is that the scow Moth planes upwind and definitely isn't a skiff and therefore planing upwind cannot be the mark of a real skiff. The skiff Moth is now almost adopted by many die-hard Aussie skiffies as a skiff, but it doesn't plane upwind.

The point is that scow Moths, 505s, Tasars, Contenders, FDs, Canoes and other boats plane upwind and are definitely not skiffs, so the whole idea that a skiff is a boat that can or will plane upwind is obviously incorrect.

By the way, it's "18 foot skiff", not "skiff 18".....which is itself quite different in shape to 12s and 16s which are the other classes that are definitely "true" skiffs. Since one of the hallmarks of most of the original skiffs is that they can have radically different shapes (from the scows of the old Kiwi 18s, to the pram-bow boats of the '30s, to the radically narrow "pencil" 18s of the '80s) the idea that there is a generic skiff shape seems strange from the start.
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  #13  
Old 01-28-2006, 04:00 AM
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On this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skiff there is the following definition:

The term skiff is applied to various river craft, but a skiff is typically a small flat-bottomed open boat with a pointed bow and square stern. Although originally used mainly by fishermen, they are today primarily leisure craft. They usually hold either one person or, more commonly, three (two scullers and a cox).

Many modern skiffs do carry a small outboard motor and have a center-console hull design, with a blunt bow, a flat bottom and a square stern. They are relatively inexpensive compared to skiboats or bass boats, and are common "working" boats, filling such jobs as ferrying passengers from the shore to a larger vessel, or employed by crab trappers.

The word has a complicated etymology: it comes from the Middle English skif, which derives from the Old French esquif, which in turn derives from the Old Italian schifo, which is itself of Germanic origin. The word is related to ship.

Skiffs were once very common on the River Thames in England and featured in the famous book about a journey up the Thames in a skiff, Three Men in a Boat.


So words are useless until defined/operationalized as more specific meanings. Until then you can call your dinghy a skiff and your skiff a dinghy!
If its underwater hull shape looks like a splinter, one man can pick up the hull but it takes three to rig it up, there is no ballast, and can go like heck, then to me it is a skiff.
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  #14  
Old 01-28-2006, 05:26 AM
CT 249 CT 249 is offline
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"So words are useless until defined/operationalized as more specific meanings."

But the whole point is that the word "skiff", as applied in the last 70 years to a small racing sailing boat, HAS been defined as having a more specific meaning.

This specific meaning is examplified in the 12, 16, 18 and perhaps 14 foot Skiffs.


"Until then you can call your dinghy a skiff and your skiff a dinghy!"

And I'll call my Subaru wagon a Formula 1 car, and I'll call my 28'er a maxi yacht, and I'll call my windsurfer an ocean liner, and we'll all become totally confused and words will become become meaningless. :-)

"If its underwater hull shape looks like a splinter"

Errr, does a Woof 12' Skiff look like a splinter? Maybe it does, but it's not as dart-shaped as a B18 but it's definitely a skiff.

"one man can pick up the hull"

Hmmm, so that means an 18' Skiff is not a skiff - unless you have very long arms.

"but it takes three to rig it up"

But a 12' Skiff doesn't need three men to rig it up; nor does a 14. In fact even an 18' skiff can be rigged by two men (although you've got no chance of carrying it).

"then to me it is a skiff."

But while we don;t want to be too pedantic, surely we can't just make up our own definitions of things - in that case a Macgregor 26X owner could define his boat as a 12 metre, a Laser owner could just say "to me it is a skiff", and all our language is destroyed.

"Skiff", as applied to small racing sailboats, has been a very specific term (almost everywhere, especially in Australia) from about 1920 to about 1995. It meant one of several classes (maybe 6s, 8s, 10s, and 14s, certainly 12s, 16s, and 18s).

The mere fact that it has now become a trendy label doesn't make it right to stick it to anything that looks cool.
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  #15  
Old 01-28-2006, 08:18 AM
Doug Lord
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Skiff-why?

If you're interested in sailing performance in a boat under 20' you simply can't get much better than a foiler Moth-especially when you consider bang for the buck.In conditions suitable to both boats it has beaten A class cats, 49er's, I14's and matched speed with a spinnaker equipped Tornado off the wind.And because it's such a new technology it's getting a little faster all the time. For an inspirational description of what foiling is like go to the Dinghy section of Sailing Anarchy under "Building a Moth" and read what Phil Stevenson says.
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