Aflac: The One Sheet Skiff


Aflac: The One Sheet Skiff

Well, truth be told it isn't really one sheet but it is a functional shelf that is both stylish (in a home-made boat sort of way) and functional.

Boat building is so wonderfully and horribly addicting that you find yourself thinking strange and dangerous thoughts. I have two married sons, with three little girls between them. And as I look back on our family life I can only wish that I had learned to build boats years ago so that I could have had time out on the water when my kids were little. The dangerous thoughts come when you look at your kid's situation and realize that the years will go shooting by for them and they might not have or take the money or the time to tend to things that really matter in life (MAIB being one of them).

My second son lives only two hours away, so as I looked at his cozy garage and cozy yard I knew that he would never have room to have a big boat and trailer.... he had quite a pile of out door gear in one corner of his garage. Nor would he be likely to be able to have the time needed to build a boat or even a shelf (5 - count'em vacation days/year - Yikes!). So after a late night web session where I had seen several One Sheet Skiff's built, and the suggestion that these could indeed be stored indoors, I determined that I would build him a 'shelf' for his birthday.

I wasn't able to build the shelf/boat out of one sheet. Andy and I are both about 240 lbs, and I knew that I would want more than 9-1/2" of height on the side of the boat, so I borrowed a 13-1/2" x 8' strip from another boat that I am working on, and sort of enlarged as I went along. That extra strip allowed higher sides and a 28" wide bottom.

In the end it worked out pretty well. Andy has a shelf that holds quite a bit of his lighter weight camping gear, as well as the oars, and his garage is more spacious despite also storing a boat as the camping gear is stored on the shelf and out of the way. The boat ended up weighing about 45 pounds, and he cartopps it on his Mazda with only a blanket for padding. It rows easily, and in time may aquire a sail rig (another dangerous and desperate idea....)

Dave Hahn