The right sized boat for an 8 year old to grow up with

F/V First Team

Admiral
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Jan 10, 2012
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Narnia
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www.otisenterprisesmarine.com
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Northern Bay 36 - Modified
I am considering building my niece a boat for when she turns 8 (just over two years from now) so she can begin to fish her own lobster traps on a student license. When I started out I had an 18' flat bottom skiff center console rig, and that is very easy to construct, but then again it was rather wet at times and a flared bow would shed some water quite nicely. The 18' rig we built a few years ago for a local fisherman would be more along those lines, but it's narrow. I am considering modifying the latter into a 21' open skiff with a side mounted hauler run by a tiller arm outboard. Any thoughts?
 

Eastporter

Vice Admiral
Joined
Sep 1, 2011
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MA
Boat Make
Sold- 20' Eastporter (Rebuilt 2011) 22' Pearson Ensign
Are you thinking about soft chines or hard chines?
 

traditions

Rear Admiral
Joined
Oct 9, 2011
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Location
mid coast maine, muscle ridge channel
Boat Make
38 Holland
One thing to think about ,with a round bildge design,unless you put a platform in its hard for a kid to stand on the rounded chine to break traps aboard.My kids had a 14 Holland and I had to build a little flat landing on the stb side to stand on.Another ting to consider is a long shaft motor so you dont have a low cut out in the stern.A rounded design would be nicer for buzzind around in,but a big ,stable flat bottom would be better for working from.Have you ever seen a flat bottom ,lapstrake Friendship skiff? There used to be alot of them around when I was a kid.they had a little shape to them and were designed to haul traps by hand.Dynamite has a 18 foot model that his son has fished for years here.
 

unclefish

Commander
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Posts
294
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34
Location
old saybrook, ct
Boat Make
32 Mitchell Cove
talk to elmar he builds some plywood skiffs over at madison highschool thy look nice good stability. and if it were me putting my niece in boat in cold water i would find somithing with plenty of floation and very stable before i thought about a little spray that keeps us weathered so nicely. i am sure he might have a plan to share with you. i did see one of the ladybug plywood skiffs working pulling traps and i couldn't beleive how stable with 2 guys on the boat plus hauling gear.
 

F/V First Team

Admiral
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Narnia
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www.otisenterprisesmarine.com
Boat Make
Northern Bay 36 - Modified
One thing to think about ,with a round bildge design,unless you put a platform in its hard for a kid to stand on the rounded chine to break traps aboard.My kids had a 14 Holland and I had to build a little flat landing on the stb side to stand on.Another ting to consider is a long shaft motor so you dont have a low cut out in the stern.A rounded design would be nicer for buzzind around in,but a big ,stable flat bottom would be better for working from.Have you ever seen a flat bottom ,lapstrake Friendship skiff? There used to be alot of them around when I was a kid.they had a little shape to them and were designed to haul traps by hand.Dynamite has a 18 foot model that his son has fished for years here.
There is enough tumble home on the rounded version to help facilitate hauling gear, and absolutely a work platform has to be in there. Not only to move around on but it also stiffens the whole rig while it's out in the questionable seas that only a child seems to find.
As far as a Friendship skiff, it is hard to say, I've been there many a time however I was looking at the larger boats gathered about. If you have a photo of one it might jive with the mental image dancing around in the memory bank. I had a Dynamite 18 when I started out, we modified it some here and there but it was a very stable boat. Going full tilt boogie and turning the wheel hard it would stay on track for about half the turn then it would let loose on the forward edge and skid across the surface of the water sideways until it hooked up and dug back into the waves. Part of the concern from that stable platform comes from that characteristic, and we did have a keel installed on that boat, the second area of concern comes from the time I had it out in Winter Harbor and I inadvertently took it over the wake of a 36 footer with 1,350 hp and upon finding the water on the other side of that rooster tail I thought we'd never stop submarining. The sight of being below the surface of the water in nothing more than some glassed over plywood with nearly vertical sides to that water column, which were just waiting to explode back to their original shape and fill cockpit with their fury, was quite alarming there in the middle of the bay. Luckily buoyancy took over and launched us back up towards the surface before we added to the lobster bait below the waves, even so there was quite a bit of water around our feet. So much for dry shoes.
 

unclefish

Commander
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Posts
294
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Location
old saybrook, ct
Boat Make
32 Mitchell Cove
go to web page watch the little video they have .i have never been on one but if i didn't want to spend a lot money i think i would check out. then you can teach here how to take care of a wood boat and why must of us pay the money for fiberglass

Lady Bug Boats
 

Nighthawk

Lieutenant Commander
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Posts
121
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19
Location
Portsmouth, RI
Boat Make
Carolina Classic
I am building that 18' Brockway design as we speak but beefed up alot with wide gunwale caps and a large foredeck. The boat above is made by Lady Bug Boats. They are very stable obviously and can carry lot's of weight for their size. Can't answer your following sea question yet but suffice to say I won't be sending my young nephews out in big water with it. Lots of these boats were used as quahog skiffs and some for crabbing and lobstering but clearly they are not for open ocean work. Aside from the fun part of building one, I chose this boat because it's cheap, takes small HP to push and let's face it no matter what boat you buy or build a young person today, they either outgrow it in a few years or figure out boats are not for them. Some more info and video here: Lady Bug Boats Old Wharf Dory builds a similar plan and also a 20 footer. They also have built one out of aluminum that looks really nice and would surely take a beating. http://www.oldwharf.com/ow_scrapbook.html
 
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unclefish

Commander
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
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Location
old saybrook, ct
Boat Make
32 Mitchell Cove
nice i lived 6 houses down from where earl brockway built these 10 years ago. supposable the commercial guys to recreational guys ran these up and down the ct river and long sound, there is ladybug and that other guy in back of national fisherman or commercial fisherman that builds simalar boat . any reason why you choose the brockway over the other 2
 

Nighthawk

Lieutenant Commander
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Feb 11, 2012
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19
Location
Portsmouth, RI
Boat Make
Carolina Classic
I am pretty sure that both Lady Bug and Old Wharf are both building Brockway designs albeit with some minor changes between builders. Growing up around here all of the commercial quahoggers had various skiff designs made of wood and to me the Brockway and a small builder named Chase Skiffs were the nicest designs and were drier riding than the rest in a chop due to the upswept bow. You can buy the plans for about $50 and build a basic 18' for under 2K. Old Wharf can do them do any level you want and he has a 16' hull for sale right now Old Wharf Dory Fishing Work Pleasure Skiffs and Boats -- bottom of the page. At some point these plywood boats will be a bonfire but with proper bedding of joints with 5200 and lots of WEST epoxy they can last a pretty long time for the money. There is a neat picture of one here that was put into commercial service in 1993 http://www.oldwharf.com/ow_scrapbook.html
 
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F/V First Team

Admiral
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Jan 10, 2012
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Narnia
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www.otisenterprisesmarine.com
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Northern Bay 36 - Modified
I figure that in the five years it will take for her to be able to operate the boat by herself she will learn much about how to handle and maintain the boat. And if its not for her, then perhaps her younger sister.
 

El Mar

Admiral
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Westbrook, CT (The Asshole State)
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Bryan
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43 Tiara Open DDEC, GradyWhite 268 Islander, 18 Donzi Classic, 15 Boston Whaler Sport ETec 60
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traditions

Rear Admiral
Joined
Oct 9, 2011
Posts
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Location
mid coast maine, muscle ridge channel
Boat Make
38 Holland
The Friendship skiffs are a spin off of a dory.They are wider on the bottom and squared off at the stern.There used to be hunderds of them around the midcoast,Musgongus and Penobscot bays, not Brunswick.
 

Stinkpot

Commander
Joined
Dec 2, 2011
Posts
256
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146
Location
Cape Cod Canal
Boat Make
36' Calvin Beal
I built a Lumber Yard Skiff with plans from Old Wharf Dory a couple years ago. Fun to build, stable and fast; would be ideal. Another design I'm considering for my next build is Spira International's Albion 19'. Better yet, check out Spira's Anacapa 19' - with it's higher sides she could have a self-bailing cockpit. You can download free study plans from Spira's website. Good luck.

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