New Cabrillo Skiff Design for Kids

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Chris Ostlind, Oct 10, 2008.

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  1. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    It's no secret that I think that the O'penBic kids sailing skiff is one heck of a cool little boat. I think the little Bic is one of the most interesting new boats on the market that could truly get young boys and girls out on the water to enjoy the whole wonderful thing about sailing. By energizing the youth, we'll have a much better chance of having energized teens and adults

    So, I decided to draw-up a small skiff for kids of my own. One that a kid could build with his Dad in the garage at home. A boat that is economical to build, has the potential to return many hundreds of hours of enjoyment and most of all... will serve as a really great sail training craft where a child can learn all about the techniques of sailing.

    The Cabrillo Skiff is very much patterned after the O'penBic with very similar dimensions. The sail area is just slightly bigger at 56 sq. ft. The sail is a very simple, battened, luff socked item that can be either Mylar, or in less finnicky Dacron.

    The boat can be shoved in the back of any full sized pickup and with the tailgate down, will not stick out past the end of the gate. The mast is two piece, can be either filament wound glass (essentially, an economy windsurf stick) or, in much less expensive 6061T6 aluminum. The transom is wide open, so no bailing necessary. Once graphically painted and the sail decorated with vinyl transfers to match, this will be a real eye-catching hotrod for small dudes and dudesses.

    This is a simple, stitch and glue boat with a watertight mast pocket and an interlocked internal grid for stiffness and deck support. The boat is built in 4mm marine ply with epoxy/glass laminates. Design displacement of the boat is 250 lbs. and I estimate the boat will weigh 75-80 lbs. all up. So, "kids" up to something around 150 lbs. will be able to use the boat. An example has not yet been built, but that will change in the next couple of months. I'm building the first one in my shop this winter. Should go quickly as there isn't much to it.

    I'm going to be offering plans for $30 on Duckworks and they will be an instant download via a collection of .pdf files. Plans like this typically go for more, but I'm more interested in seeing lots of kids out on the water getting into sailing on their own boat, than I am in milking a few bucks out of the process.

    Simple to build, very easy to sail and easily righted by a kid of ten years old. One string and one stick and the kid is off to join all his buddies on the water.

    Chris Ostlind
    Lunada Design

    Attached Files:

  2. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Way cool, Chris.

    How big a kid can the little thing carry?
  3. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Hey Matt,

    Thanks for the compliment.

    I corrected the original post to reflect the design weights. Short answer without going back to read is 150 lbs. and less for crew. So, two little guys, or gals, could go out together (if they can stay out of each others way) and sail the boat.

    Obviously, the heavier the kid the less spunky will be the performance, so there is a practical limit before the bell rings and sends the little guy to the next boat up the ladder.

  4. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    i like that VERY much, andI like the girder structure
    I bought myki ds a 8 foot P, which in NZ was the thing we and many world champions learnt in, they did not use it once,
    sailing for children is a wonderful activity
    could I suggest you put a chine timber in, that way the boat could be built (the proper way) over your floors and girder?and a stem down to the bottom
  5. wind_apparent
    Joined: Apr 2008
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    wind_apparent wind driven speed addict

    Do you have any pictures of it showing the whole rig?
  6. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Very nice.

    I don't want to be too pedantic, but for 99% of the racing world for many decades, a skiff has been a fairly distinctive sort of craft, nothing like an O'pen Bic or this tasty little boat.

    This message was brought to you by the DLF - Dinghy Liberation Front. Our mission, should you choose to accept it, is to stop the word "skiff" being attached to dinghies, because modern racing skiffs are different boats and it sort of downgrades the long, proud and wonderful world of racing dinghies to use "skiff" as a bit of a marketing term.
  7. wind_apparent
    Joined: Apr 2008
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    wind_apparent wind driven speed addict

    whats the definition of a skiff? a "flatish" bottomed boat with a wide stern and a pointy bow? this seems to fit the bill. :)
  8. bistros

    bistros Previous Member

    Ouch, good thing the Baron Von Roort from S/A is at sea right now. Suffice it to say that although the technical term skiff (from the French esquife I believe) means exactly as you say, to people from Australia and New Zealand the meaning is very different.

    To folks from Oz, a skiff is an 18', 16' or 12' high performance boat patterned after the traditional 18' skiff fleet on Sydney harbour. Skiffs are extreme, ultra light, overcanvassed monsters that stay upright only due to multiple Bison-sized crew hanging on trapeze(s) and they plane on all points of sail. An 18' skiff will race a complete multi-lap triangular racecourse at HIGHER than windspeed average.

    Chris' spectacular design shown here is a great dinghy, and I'm interested in buying a set of plans, but technically to the skiff sailing fraternity it doesn't qualify. Chris should not be insulted by this - I've read arguments from skiff sailors that doubt anything from the Northern Hemisphere is really a skiff. Australians have trouble calling Paul Beiker a skiff designer, although he has dominated I-14 race results for a few years.

    The Baron (a vocal Sydney Flying Squadron member) mentioned above gave the opinion a SwiftSolo and Musto Performance Skiff were not skiffs in his opinion. My single hander is 120 pounds ready to sail, with 12 square meters upwind sail and I add another 15 square meters of asymmetrical downwind. To me it is a skiff, as is the I-14 fleet I sail with.

  9. wind_apparent
    Joined: Apr 2008
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    wind_apparent wind driven speed addict

    I know, your right........but don't tell my daughter its not a skiff, it makes her feel like if we build a "kids skiff" it puts her in a performance division with all the guys on the posters. (that, and in a couple years when we put an 8sm sail on it with a trap and a rack it will be a skiff :D)
  10. bistros

    bistros Previous Member

    So .... when are they going tto be posted?


    Went to Duckworks to see the Cabrillo and nothing yet. PM me here, on S/A or by email to let me know about availability.

  11. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    For all the kind folks who wrote me off list about the availability of plans for this cool little boat... The project is in the CAD queue and will probably be on the screen in 1 week. There's not much to the boat as far as individual parts, so it will be a very short period to get them wrapped-up.

    I knocked-out a few more renderings of the Cabrillo Skiff/Dinghy/what the heck is it? See below where the sail plan example shows the rig to be square topped.

    The Dinghy/Skiff point of discussion is interesting, but looks to be one of those in which there will be lots of takes and no concensus on the final definition. I see the points made by the DLF-istas and I also see the points being made by the rather vaguely written formalized definitions.

    Attached Files:

  12. BWD
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    BWD Senior Member

    Come on, skiffies, at least let it be a skiff for children. Or other small people.

    Australian skiffs of many kinds are cool, no doubt, but I think the copyright on "skiff" expired some years back.
    They're all skiffs(1), and a harley is a bike, if you know what I'm getting at. IMHO:)

    Whatever you call it, I would love to have had something like that when I was small...

    (1) See related post, Theorem of Skiffs
  13. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Well, I'm not a skiffy, although my dad was.

    Sure, you can't be too pedantic. Sure, those guys who claim that Skiff is a term that only applies to 12s, 16s and 18s are one-eyed.

    But once you start calling every boat a skiff, just because it sounds cool and fits some general dictionary definition, the whole term - which in modern sailing means a fairly specific type and which has a very involved history in this context since 1904* - becomes complete and utter useless ********.

    Why in the world should we just destroy a useful term just to pander for marketing ********?

    Hey, why not call it a mini ORMA 60? Why not call it a mini kite boat? Why not call it a foiler Moth? It's probably closer to a foiler Moth in design than it is to anything that was called a skiff in performance sailing terms, from about 1900 to about 1998.

    I agree with a lot of the things Chris says, but he's very happy to call BS on others so he must therefore take it.

    Anyway, I'd better get back from my supercomputer (actually an ibook G4, but supercomputer sounds cooler) and ensure that the staff (actually the kids, but staff sounds cooler) to ensure that my F1 car (actually a 1994 station wagon, but F1 sounds cooler) is ready.

    When we let the ******** flow freely, where does it stop? We'll end up like those people who claim to have built foilers that worked but have no proof.

    * if anyone wants to start debating the heritage of dinghy and skiff design, read Dixon Kemp's annuals adn books of the 1880s-1890s, read Sydney Mail of the 1800s, read the SFS bulletins, read the old copies of Outing magazine, read just about copy of Sailing and Yachting and Y&Y and Rudder and Oz Sailing for decades and Uffa Fox and Elvstrom and Steavenson and Mander and Marchaj and Curry and Rosenow in the maritime museum etc, learn about Aberdare etc, then spend another few months researching, and then you may have some idea of the complexity.

    Dr CT 249, PhD, Naval Architect, Nobel Prizewinner, America's Cup victor, 8 time Olympic medallist.

    No, I have none of those qualifications, but they sound cool.......
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  14. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Good morning, Chris.

    As has been hinted on these, as well as other pages, the buttoned-down definition of the term "skiff" does not truly exist. From my research (and admittedly, this has been not much more than a couple of hours worth of pawing through reference books, nautical literature and looking at hundreds of photos) the application of the term is all over the map.

    I see the term Skiff being applied to all sorts of power boats, various sizes and shapes of small sailing craft with all sorts of different rigs being used.

    What I have not seen so far, is someone actually define the term with any degree of specificity so that it may be correctly applied with purposeful confidence.

    If, as you say, it's BS... then perhaps an accurate definition which stands up to the examination of all interested will be forthcoming. If, after applying a concensus definition to the form that has been presented here, it is found that this little Cabrillo kid's boat does not measure up, I'll be happy to re-label the identification and be on my way. I'm not stuck on anything, don't have a mysterious woodie for the term as applied and see no problem with changing the terminology.

    Below, I have arranged a collection of images which illustrate the use of the term "skiff". Enjoy the browsing and contemplation.

    Attached Files:

  15. Sean Herron
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    Sean Herron Senior Member

    You Are All Wrong


    A skiff is a boat - eh...

    If yous' got yerself a goodun' skiff she can getcha back with a barrel of kerosene - four flats of beer - and a bucket of

    A skiff is a boat - geezus...

    About all you can do here is prefix the word 'skiff' with a country of origin and enjoy the variety...

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