Camp Skiff

Hi Chuck,

Some time ago I wrote a letter about my interest in Howard Chappelle's design for what he prosaically named "Camp Skiff". I purchased the one sheet drawing from the Smithsonian 12 or 15 years ago and at one time actually lofted it with an addition of a few inches each station to bring it from 17' 6" to 19" plus or minus. I was distracted at the time by Mr. Bolgers Hawkeye and eventually that is what I built. I remained intrigued by "Camp Skiff" and that is what is under construction at the moment.

Click to enlarge
(click to enlarge)

What pushed things off center was the arrival of a scan of Mr Chappelle's design for "Waterman" from David Romasco of Kent Islans Boat Works. "Waterman" is very similar to "Camp Skiff" but a modified V bottom rather than crossplanked, flat bottomed Chesapeake style skiff. The article really filled out some of the lack of detail of the Smithsonian drawing and with Mr Chappelle's book on Boat Construction I felt it was time. "Camp Skiff" is now under construction. My work habits are leisurely in that a problem will result in immediate cessation of work and an extended session (no pun intended) in the moaning chair while I try to reason out the problem. Actually the main problem is a result of epoxy construction. Scheduling. If I am in epoxy
mode I want to do it so it causes the least disruption to the schedule. Also I have a psychological problem with epoxy. Mostly involving getting started. Paxil helps.

At present the molds are established. The chine logs are in place as are temporary sheer clamps. The topside panels are cut, trimmed, epoxied and being sanded. The phillipine mohagany transom is fabricated and stained. The motor transom is fabricated and glassed.

As you may be aware, "Camp Skiff" is the inspiration for the "Red Wing" series of skiffs from Chesapeake Designs. Baseing construction on the drawings and specifications of "Waterman" I am substituting plywood construction for the typical plank on frame construction specified though plywood was an alternative. I am using lighter scantlings than the similar sized "Redwing". 1/2" fir bottom, 3/8" Occume topsides and 1/4" Occume decking. I believe "Redwing" is stitch and glue construction or some variation whereas I am building "Camp Skiff" more or less conventional epoxy construction. I will be using the framing system as drawn by Mr. Chappelle. I have a 5 horse 4 cycle Nissan which will do for a while but if I can find a buyer for my inflatable with the 5 horse Nissan perhaps I'll consider up to 10 hp.

For those any where near Lansing Mi the plywood came from Johnson's Workbench in Charlotte. I made the trip to Charlotte from Suttons Bay because of the additional attraction of a local mostly MG afficionado in Potterville, MI. I am also interested in acquiring an MGA driver so visited this site of, probably, 80 or 90 misc british cars in various states of dishabille.

I am including a scan of the drawing as reproduced in "Woodenboat" some time ago. Unfortunately I didn't copy the previous page and I no longer have my collection of "Woodenboat". Except for the plywood panels I am making only minimum changes mostly related to the dearth of detail on the drawing.

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

My goal for this summer is to complete installing all the panels and to turn the hull over. If I'm lucky I'll get to the cabin and motor cover. For now I would like the rain to stop so I can finish sanding the expoxied panels outdoors

I'll keep you posted as things progress.

Bob Chamberland