One Sheet Skiff


One Sheet Skiff


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(click pictures to enlarge)

Phase 1 of my OSS project is nearly complete, and I've decided to name my boat "UNO" (i.e., my first boat). I'm really pleased with how UNO has turned out, and I hope to take her on a test-run in the next week or so. My office is about a half mile from the Chattahoochee River on the north side of Atlanta, and I think I'll throw the boat in the back of the truck and take her down to the water someday soon after work.

Construction and finishing time (and financing!) were all kept at a minimum so that my dear wife didn't mind the project too much. In fact, I've been doing the boat project pretty much "on the side" while I've been building 24 maple frame & raised panel doors for the kitchen. That progress, too, has certainly helped keep the wife happy!

Phase 1 of the OSS project served two purposes. First, I just wanted to build a boat. Second, I used the excuse of needing to build a prototype so that I could repeat the project with my two nephews, ages 9 and 11. They've just moved back to the South after five years in the Boston area, and my wife thought it would be fun for Uncle Bill to do some kind of project with them. It didn't take me long to decide what type of project we should do! In order to make the project with the nephews go a little more smoothly, I've pre-cut some of the trickier pieces, such as the beveled chine logs and the rabbetted gunwales. I've left some things for them to cut with the jigsaw, such as the frame gussets. I figure they're not quite ready for the table saw.

The only places I've knowingly deviated from the plans are: (1) absence of rowlocks (oarlocks), which I may add later, and (2) increasing freeboard by 2" since I already had some wider full lengths of 1/4" lauan plywood leftover from another project. For starters, without rowlocks I'll probably just face forward and use a canoe paddle or a kayak-type double paddle. Also, it appears that increasing the height of the sides by 2" and keeping the bow & stern angles the same only decreased the length of the bottom by about 1.5". The top edges, of course, remained 8' long. Since I wasn't limited to using a single sheet of ply (not a true OSS, then), I thought the increased freeboard would feel a little safer for us.

Phase 2 of the OSS project begins tonight. My younger nephew will be coming over to spend the night and build his boat. I hope to be finished with construction sometime tomorrow afternoon, after which he will take the boat home for sanding & painting. Phase 3 will be doing the same with the other nephew, and it's scheduled for 2 weeks from now. Phase 4 will be the mass launching, probably at Lake Allatoona. Stay tuned!

Bill Eason