Thursday, October 30, 2014

My GLADES SKIFF style concept.

After I left Hells Bay Boatworks the company designed a skiff that they called the Glades skiff. It's a nice long skinny shallow skiff for getting around the Evergldes and shallow narrow spots. It's supposed to be good to pole by one man and use very low horsepower engines. A nice simple long lean skiff. It is not intended for big open waters, long bay trips and steep chop. With two people on board it will balance out well when poling. 

Today lots of people have followed suit and have been coming up with lots of different variations on the Glades skiff. Now the Geenoe company and many bayou builders have been doing their version for a long time but these new skiffs are supposed to be a bit more seaworthy and maybe look a bit more traditional.

Lately I have met a bunch of guys via emails that are obsessed with designing and building the lightest Glades type skiff to be able to go in really unaccessable areas. Even so much as to drag their skiffs over dykes to get into other areas. Several have sent me pictures of beautiful skiffs they are building.
This whole concept got me thinking lately ,so here is my idea - version for a home built super simple and very light weight Glades type skiff. 

 What I have observed from the skiffs I have seen so far on the internet.

- Lots are very narrow with big engines.
- Most all have spray rail issues , as having been retro fitted. Not wide enough. Not long enough to protect the helmsmen.
- All start with very flat runs and some get into a good vee.
- I can find no good pictures of them running in a good chop with the bow trimmed down so as to show how dry they are in running. 
- Most all look wet in a beam sea. ( most all skiffs are).
- All have their spray rails up very high but these skiffs are intended to fish in very shallow and protected waters so why so high so as to not catch the spray ?
- Most all have very simple interiors. No pretense of carrying everything with you like other flats skiffs.

With these thoughts in mind here is my design.

I will start with the sheer and work down. I feel that in a simple skiff like this you are not going to be carrying a lot  of stuff so only need simple watertight lockers. I like a nice sheer so have broken away from convention here and drawn a slight sweeping sheer. The deck I have lowered to sit on top of the upper spray rail. This deck will be very light over conventional decks . The sheer will be a 11/4" PVC tube instead of a rub rail. This will save lots of weight and is a very strong and resilient rub rail.
 ( see my drawings for this detail).
With the deck lower your center of gravity is lower so you and the boat will feel and be more stable when moving about. Also in the bow it will make a great fly line catcher.

The upper spray rail is a detail that I introduced in the Whipray . This idea came from looking at all the old boats like the Challenger skiffs, Fiber Crafts and others that had spray rails but seemed to always be just not right. In the Whipray it has worked well. Today I would make it wider. So too with the Guide and others. Why not . In the HB glades skiff I would make that one way wider and longer. It looks like little T- REX rails up almost under the sheer.

In the Marquesa design I tried to come up with a new look with out having the spray rails go all the way aft. Hal  Chittum in his skiff has come up with a very aggressive spray rail. I like this bold move .I do not like the deep vee part of it for the extra work it involves , the extra weight and where does the water go when it gets in there? Lots of people have been adapting the Marquesa spray rail look with most notably the East Cape company. I like the way their Glide Skiff looks with this adaption. Hals spray rail is getting used too in Spears skiffs. To me this is all good. They work if done right so why not. Now lots of skiff builders have put them on but seem to have lost their nerve about width so have ended up with too skinny a chine. On this skiff it will have a monster wide curved and sharp edged upper chine spray rail that will flow down to the waterline to catch what ever spray is coming up. It will be very wide all the way aft past the helmsman to protect him.

Now here is where I have gone off the beaten track is in the placement of the engine.

All these skiffs have heavy engines on their sterns. Now add the guide on top of it. Up goes the bow .
But hopefully you are not alone. Hey it's nice to have somebody else pole too. 
I have put the engine forward in a small well to move the guide and motor weight to a more central location. This means he will have a better chance of staying drier by being forward of the spray that always seems to come aft. 
The engine will be on a simple pivot mount so it can be lifted out and forward to sit level in the center of the skiff. Nice balance. When running you will use the usual Handel bar rig with your sport sitting on the cooler in front. This is a nice place to be if running in a beam sea . Very dry here. If going into a big head sea trimmed down and the motion is too much then just sit aft next to the guide.
With the engine in this position the skiff will spin on a dime, will run very level if needed which means it will plane at very slow speeds with little tab needed because of where the weight is. Good for small horse power. The engine well hole will have an ever so slight wedge in the hull to not catch the running water going past and  some other details that will keep it dry.

Ok, now you are on the tower polling . I have drawn in a rounded stern that is crowned in its curve so as to be very quiet with the seas aft. Also very easy to pole around. The bottom of the hull will be straight but this will flow into the curved stern .The tower shown will be on a sliding track so you can move forward up to the engines transom area to get your weight centered when alone . Or move it aft with a sport aboard . Will be a very quiet hull poling backwards.
The bottom details are thus, the centerline keel of the skiff has a slight rocker in it fore and aft. This I do for better poling a long lean skiff. Also to let the bow trim up when needed. The single trim tab is to over come this when running when needed. Trim side to side by human weight and save a trim tabs cost and weight. 
I like my little chine-let detail if done right as I think it gives you a drier ride. What it does is when the water leaves the first bottom chine edge is start to curl upwards but the next slightly down turned chine edge now redirects this spray. Look at skiffs running with this chine area filled in . The spray is blowing out away from the skiff. Now look at the old HB skiffs and see the difference. They have filled this area in now on some of these skiffs which makes the boats a bit faster I guess and in a turn more stable.If you fill it in it will be a stiffer turn and this to me is not so much fun.  I also have drawn in my usual reverse spray chine that I introduced in the Whipray design. Today I would be very aggressive in its use and placement in lots of the skiff designs I see. It really works well so why not use it all the way to the bow area ? I will. 

 This boat can be built in foam core strips like Corecell bead and cove or just in cedar strips. It consists of just the hull, a flat cored deck glassed with one layer of 7 oz. cloth on each side. Two hatches with my new two fastening only hinge system that will never leak. No hinges. And two bulkheads. 
Should weigh way less than 300 lbs all up or less with more exotic cloth and resin. My 12' 3" dinghy weighs 130 lbs in just regular resin. This boat will be great with a 15 hp two stroke Yahmaha that you can still buy over here in the Bahamas for $2,300.00. It weighs 89 lbs. your speed with two people will be 18 mph or so. I get 22 mph in my 12' skiff . 
Now if you want to take the engine off and go in a no motor zone I have a Chinese Yuhlo design to skull with to get across deep water . Very simple.

Or ???

If these drawings are not clear on this blog go to my facebook site , they always seem to come out clearer there.

Having ridden in a 12' 3" dinghy for the past 26 years every day running with babies, wife and all our stuff in it trying to stay dry  I have been looking at , cussing at spray for a long time. Hence the big sray rails . Small boats just cannot go fast enough to get past the spray on a beam sea. What you sea here is an improved 12 ' skiff with a stern added to get the length for moderate planning speeds, less gas, very dry and comfortable and to pole well.

Central weight for modest planning speeds , dryness and comfort. Aft tower slides on a track from above the engine to the stern for conventional use.

Spray rail and sheer detail. This system I have been using on the sheer for 29 years on my skiffs. Very resilient as we are always banging up against docks and stuff. The PVC strip on top makes a very good non scruff rub bumper. Also very light. Not copyrighted go for it.

New hatch hinge system that I have been using on Hogfish Maximus for  12 years. This would eliminate at least 10 fastenings per hatch to drill out, fit and hope to not leak. Also dead simple to get the hatch to fit level. With rubber washers will never leak. Cannot be retro fitted but can be used on all new builds. I have not copyrighted it so go ahead and use it.

My design office in its usual state .

New Design i'am working on for Tom Gorden and his Islamorada Boat Works . He's commissioned me to come up with a new skiff to compete in the HPX, HB Professional, East Cape, Chittum skiff market.
I'am almost done so will post the process in a week or so.

Our family truckster, Minimus



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