A very common fishing skiff here in Alaska

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by yofish, Mar 6, 2015.

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  1. yofish

    yofish Previous Member

    To respond the the persnickety moderator here 'bouts, here is the start of a very common fishing skiff in Alaska, a so called set net skiff. The fishing in AK is highly regulated and one of the largest user groups for the catching of salmon are those that fish 'set nets' that are attached to the shore and extend a fixed length into the water to intercept the migrating salmon. Those nets are worked by specialized craft the design dictates of which are peculiar to the diverse areas where such fishing occurs. This particular skiff is for Bristol Bay, the largest salmon run in Alaska.

    I'm not the builder, just the designer. My early welding career was spent mostly building these very skiffs along with other craft related to the fishing industry. I'm sliding into retirement and only want to do a couple builds per annum. by chance, I got wrangled into designing this skiff for a marvelous young woman that wanted it built in our home town by a couple of young men who had taken over their fathers welding business because of his untimely death. They are accomplished craftsmen but have never built a boat from scratch.

    Anyway, It's been a great deal of fun to be around young people who are properly respectful of age but not fawning. They are all sooo intelligent and eager to question ANYTHING which, gives my old brain a good and needed stretch.

    Here are some pics of the start, she is 25' loa, 10' beam and 8' at the chines:

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  2. Boat Design Net Moderator
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    Boat Design Net Moderator Moderator

    Thanks for posting this.
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Can you post some lines, so we can see what she is?
  4. yofish

    yofish Previous Member

    Picture of general layout.

    On either side of the work deck is mounted a 3' long hydraulic power roller that is 10" high and mounts on the gunwales. The center walkway is open all the way so nets can be stored on the work deck and set down the walkway to the port stern, where there is a chute. Other times nets are stored aft. And occasionally, nets are set over the bow while backing down. These types of skiffs are not pretty: the low bow is necessary in order to make it easier to bring the net over the bow and into the rollers. Bristol bay set-netters have to contend with a river current and the tide. At certain times it's quite a chore to get a net over the bow, especially if it's laden and the tide is running hard.

    As one can see this has 'sort off' some V to it, about 5 degrees at the stern and as much as I could crank into her at the bow given the necessary beam forward. Sometimes long runs have to be made to deliver product in a chop and sometimes the V helps if the skiff can be trimmed.

    There are parts of this construction that will be a surprise for me: steering console, net chute, fuel, transom layout and hydraulics are all up to the owner and builders to hash out. This is a first for me to do the lines and someone else builds. Frankly, if I could do that and actually make a living, with alacrity I would never weld another inch of aluminum.

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  5. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    What tonnage will it be carrying ?
  6. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    It's surprising how designers create almost the same solutions when the circumstances are the same. The hull form is very similar in shape to the Tolman Standard. When the Tolman Jumbo was designed, it too was originally 25' long, however Renn Tolman added 4" chine flats to improve performance.

    Nevertheless, this Yofish hull is a real beaut & would make an excellent pilot house cruiser.

  7. yofish

    yofish Previous Member

    Mr Efficiency, unknown yet. I just check in every once and awhile on the build. The youngsters are doing a 'class' job. There is discussion between the client and builders about bin height which has to do with what is known as 'brail bags', insulated/mesh bags that hold salmon and ice that have loops on their four corners so as to be plucked from the bins by a tender that dumps them into a refrigerated sea water hold. All this dictates capacity. There is a great push these days in Bristol Bay to improve the quality of the product thus the use of flake ice which, though diminishing capacity, makes for a better product with a higher ex-vessel price.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
  8. yofish

    yofish Previous Member

    Pericles, thank you for the kind comments. Renn was a good friend with who I had many lively debates about prams and such. As a matter of fact, I was working on his last project before he paddled over the bar. It was an inboard 'trawler', as he called it, that was to arrive in parts to the west coast of Africa and be assembled by the locals. Came to naught.

    The very first Tolman V (Renn started by building flat bottoms) was about as wet a thing as you could ever ride in even on the calmest of seas. He went to divers shaped appurtenances (strakes), then, finally, gave into the chine flat but did so kicking and screaming. The reason was because of plywood being rather stiff and his entry being rather sharp, there was little 'knuckle' at the forward chines and so up went water in sheets.

    I miss the guy. He was full of crap about some skiff things, but so am I. The real story of Renn is how this curmudgeon with the passion of Zeus became world famous. He lived and breathed his craft. As I type this I can hear him; "Goddammit___what the ____are you saying!", shaking his fist at me.
  9. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Thank you Yofish, for sharing your experiences with Renn Tolman. His book was the first I purchased ten years ago. Since then I have purchased plans for the DE 25 & LB 26 from Bateau.com, as well as numerous other books on the subject of S & G. I covet them like gold.

    Each house move over the years has taken me further inland, although in England the furtherest point from the sea is only 70 miles. Now I'm close to the non-tidal Thames & have settled for renting holiday boats & taking day cruises. It's not so bad!

  10. yofish

    yofish Previous Member

    Well, the kids are making progress. They were struck by illness so things slowed down but they are at speed again.

    Here we see the general layout developing. The forward three bins are wet holds and the aft two, port and starboard, are dry. Quite a discussion today on how to frame the floor of the aft area. Not being party as to what all is going on there, I had to make clear some essentials before they turn her over to do the bottom. Good lads that have sense of how materials behave and approach problems with caution. I can be of no welding settings help at all as they use synergistic machines that I have never used and know nothing about.

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  11. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member


    Can you give us the scantlings used in this boat? Perry's thought is a good one and would you reduce the scantlings for a cruiser in waters less populated with flotsam and hauling huge loads.
  12. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Looks like a very nice and functional design, Yofish. Plenty of buoyancy in that double hull.
    I am noticing that the transom is currently just a tiny sheet of aluminum. Looks like the cutout for the O/B motor will have a pretty low freeboard, but I don't see much space left for the outboard motor well. How do you intend to proceed with it?
  13. yofish

    yofish Previous Member

    Tom, honestly it would be useless to give you that because of how un-uniformly the interior space is used in this craft. In other words, I would have designed it differently and according to the duty. Another thing is that the longitudinal stiffening aft of the work deck is on the outside as 'strakes' rather than in the inside as framing, something I wouldn't do otherwise this instance.

  14. yofish

    yofish Previous Member

    Hello daiquiri, my grandfather immigrated from Split in 1912. Someday, I hope to visit.

    They have already fabricated the 'splashbox' that attaches forward of the cutout, soon you will see it. It's convenient to get in and out so that is usually left open as long as possible and it is as high as the gunwales. As low as it looks, the cutout is for a 25" extra long shaft 150HP Yamaha. To port of it there is a net setting chute under which is the fuel and to the starboard there is a hydraulic power unit.

  15. eddie1681
    Joined: Apr 2015
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    eddie1681 New Member

    Hi Yofish,

    Your build is really nice, do you sell plans or have other boats with a narrower beam for ease of towing?

    I think this boat is perfect for Pacific Northwest fishing

    Please email me - eddie_1681@yahoo.com


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