Skiff Identification Help

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Joined: 13 Dec 2018, 00:12

Skiff Identification Help

Postby Duncan » 26 Feb 2019, 13:41

Hi All,

I am a new member and this is my first post. I have recently saved an old plywood skiff from my father's estate after his passing. The boat has sat buried in the back yard since around 1970 and I intend on restoring it to it's original state.

From what I can tell the boat is tiny, being registered as 11'4" in length and 4'8" breadth. It is complete and powered by a fiat engine, which appears to be a 1200cc motor from between 1959 and 1962, however it could be the 1100cc, which was made from 1937 to 1959. Hull and deck are approximately 4mm thick plywood. The boat spent most of its life around Botany Bay in Sydney. The boat was last painted with a white hull and polished deck however it appears as though the hull may have been silver at some stage. Last rego was RG 2N in NSW.

There are no ID plates that I have been able to locate. I have also been unable to find any history on this boat and has not seen anything else like it on the internet, so I am assuming that it is homebuilt vessel.

Any input from community members on this boat would be greatly appreciated.

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Posts: 741
Joined: 04 Mar 2009, 22:24

Re: Skiff Identification Help

Postby Alan » 26 Feb 2019, 13:54

Welcome Duncan, I think most of your assumptions are correct, especially the home build one. Can't wait to see the progress on this one, hope we can get some more history.

Posts: 245
Joined: 18 Jul 2009, 07:28

Re: Skiff Identification Help

Postby Doc » 26 Feb 2019, 15:09

Hi Duncan,
She looks like she started off as a outboard racer , her past may be in that area of that boat racing. Is there any bearers in the boat ? not that i can see. Most inboards have them, Fiat motor typical high revving unit of the day used for racing but where its located may be too far forward. Great pickup , try outboard boat site .
Cheers Doc.

Posts: 82
Joined: 21 Nov 2015, 14:04

Re: Skiff Identification Help

Postby Will » 26 Feb 2019, 15:55

It does look like a converted outboard to me as well
Possibly an extended version of a Glen L Squirt ... ducts/360/
The std Squirt design is 10ft but there are notes on the site where 11ft8 version has been built with a Jet Ski engine unit so 11ft 4 would be possible
Maybe this design is too recent as I have no idea of the time line
Cheers Will

Posts: 3
Joined: 13 Dec 2018, 00:12

Re: Skiff Identification Help

Postby Duncan » 28 Feb 2019, 02:17

Thanks for the replies gents.

The boat is covered and in storage after having been relocated interstate and I can't get into it to check for bearers at the moment. I know that the bottom of the hull is fitted with many close spaced stringers, about 2" x 1" in size from memory, quite different to the design of the Squirt that Will shared the link to. I agree, the hull does look more like an outboard style than inboard but I have a suspicion that it has always had an inboard fitted. A couple of reasons behind this thinking is that the transom is very light weight being only thin plywood (about 1/8" thick) for the most part and I don't know if it would support the loads from an outboard. It also does not have any signs of dings, scuffing etc that I would suspect would be made during the install and removal of an outboard motor. The drain plugs are also centrally located and would be difficult to access with an outboard fitted.

Looking at the frame gussets from the L/H to R/H side of the boat, the R/H side has larger gussets that are holed in the middle so that the exhaust pipe can pass through. Also, the engine cover is made from the exact same plywood and frame material as the rest of the deck, although if someone had been careful enough with a thin cut line they might have been able to remove the deck section for re-use on the cover. Of course all of these changes could have been made at the same time if the boat has had a refit at some stage with a new deck fitted, but it would have to have been some time in the 1960's as the boat has definitely not been touched since mum and dad net in 1970.

I will post some photos of the boat structure once I get it home into my workshop.
IMG_5569.JPG (2.87 MiB) Viewed 2118 times

Posts: 3
Joined: 13 Dec 2018, 00:12

Re: Skiff Identification Help

Postby Duncan » 28 Feb 2019, 02:21

The boat is also fitted with a short centre mounted skin pole and still has the old ski rope laying in the back, I am curious as to how well this would have worked considering the small size and mass of the boat. I would think that a skier would pull the boat around a lot when cutting from side to side!

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