This short story is about a young man I met via the Internet.
Ren emailed me about 2 years ago having read my blog and asked for my advice on how to go about affording a good flats poling skiff today. He asked why they cost so much being way out of his pocket range.
I wrote an email explaining skiffs had materials build costs that can be reasonable but the high costs were a factor of many things like recouping start up investment costs and my standard line of because the market will bear the high prices.
What's a young guy to do? I said why don't you design and build your own skiff. Have any questions just ask.
Before I could say maybe you should do a bit of research Ren was off full speed ahead with his design.
Many emails back and forth later Ren launched his first self designed and built all core flats skiff.
His methods were for sure rough and fast. I was wishing I was close by but I was in the Caribbean sailing then.
Rens skiff worked! It did what he needed and he ran his guide business out of it successfully right off the bat not losing any speed.
The next thing I know Ren has started another skiff design and build refining hull #1. During the build he sells his first hull and in the off season he finishes hull #2. This one now being followed on a Facebook site called Trick My Skiff by hundreds, thousands? of fans.
So many people loved seeing and watch Ren build his skiff.
A few weeks ago Ren drove down to Islamorada to talk skiffs and to show off his design to me. He stayed with Rachel and I on our boat.
It was great to meet Ren in person. His skiff really works well, great, it just does what he needs, and it does it quite well.
We ran the skiff out with me steering his tiller Yahmaha 70 out the cut. She hit 37 mph without a fuss. Turned as asked. Trimmed up and down perfectly.
Next thing was to pole her. I said lets go over to this corner. I never see guides poling here. Let's see what's up. I poled and Ren was on the bow with his flyrod. The skiff poled right along and is plenty stable. In fact more so than lots of the top end skiffs of the same size. Draft was no problem. Looked like 5-6". Was a pleasure to pole. We came across about 18-20 Bonefish in 3 schools. Ren cast oh so nicely to them but they just exploded like it was a 12oz. Jig hitting the water. To nervous I guess.
Ren and his skiff alonside the Hogfish in 26" of water.
Ren holding the ruler at what I was explaining this to be his base line. We spent the evening going over how I design my skiffs and how I get my measurements.
What I found with Rens design is that I am not a fan of such a long bow overhang myself. Ren designed the skiff around the bow entry. What I found happens is the stern Is higher up than the middle of the boat when poling so she lets the water flow along and out the stern very smoothly.
Ren has agreed with my goings on about how the freeboard of skiffs need to be redesigned to carry the loads of today. He's sitting very level here. This skiff is fully loaded here with a cooler full of ice and water bottles, fly rods and all needed. Pretty dam near perfect.
Ren asked me lots of questions. I just told him that I felt I should only answer his questions on the math of yacht design but I was very reluctant to give him design advice, opinions as I felt I might taint or obstruct his fresh mind and way of thinking.
Ren should be very proud of this skiff.
Waiting to see what #3 is going to do.
Well done Ren.
Find Ren at;
Serenity Fly Guide Service, LLC
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