In order to build your 8 foot skiff there are a few things you will need. The first thing you need is a 4 foot by 8 foot sheet of ½ inch thick plywood. Then you need a 2 foot by 4 foot ½ inch thick piece of plywood. In addition to this you will need two 2 foot by 8 foot sheets of ¼ inch thick plywood. The final lumber that you will need for the project are four 2 foot long 1-by-4′s, two 3 foot long 1-by-4′s, two 4 foot long 1-by-4′s and an 18 inch long 2-by-4. The next things that you need to finish the project are 1 ½ inch long galvanized screws, three tubes of roofing caulk, a paint brush, a caulk gun, and 5 gallons of latex paint. In addition to this, you need a drill with a screwdriver bit, two 3 ½ foot long by 2 foot wide ½ inch thick plywood pieces, a rope, a chalk line and a saber saw. The final things you will need are two 8 foot long 1-by-4′s and three 4 foot long 1-by-4′s. Once you have the materials together then you can begin construction of the skiff.
The first step of the construction is to build your construction framework to support the boat. This is done by laying the two 8 foot long 1-by-4′s on the ground and then attaching three 4 foot long 1-by-4′s to them to make a box with a middle support between the two sides. Attach these pieces to one another with the 1 ½ inch long galvanized screws. Use the drill with the screwdriver bit to drive these screws into the lumber used. After this you need to make sure that the box is laying flat on the ground.
The next step is to attach the 2 foot long 2-by-4 to one end of the box. First you will need to stand the 2 foot long 2-by-4 vertically. Then drive the 1 ½ inch screws through the 1-by-4 on the box’s end and into the 2-by-4. This attaches the boat’s stem to the construction frame.
The third step is to create two trapezoids that measure 2 feet high by 3 feet wide on the bottom and by 4 feet wide on the top. Then attach these to the middle support and the other end of the construction framework box. This positions the middle and transom frames of the boat.
The fourth step is to attach the two 2 foot by 8 foot long sheets of ¼ inch plywood to the sides of the boat frames and the stem. Use the 1 ½ inch galvanized screws to attach these to the middle and transom frames and the stem. As you attach these pieces to the frames and stem it will be necessary to wrap the rope around them and then use the rope to pull the pieces flush with the boat’s frames. Once these are attached, use the chalk line to draw a straight line along the side between the boat’s middle frame and the stem at the front of the boat. Now you need to use the saber saw to cut along this line between the middle frame and the bow to create a rocker to the bottom of the boat.
The fifth step calls for you to place the ½ inch thick bottom on the boat. To do this you will need to lay the 4 foot by 8 foot ½ inch thick piece of plywood along the 3 foot long sides of the boat frames. Then you need to use the 1 ½ inch galvanized screws to attach this plywood piece to the frames and stem of the boat. With this done use the chalk line to draw a line along each of the boat’s sides where they meet with the 4 foot by 8 foot piece. Now use the saber saw to cut along these lines and remove the excess wood that is not needed on the bottom of the boat. Then use the screws to attach the 2 foot by 4 foot piece of ½ inch thick plywood to the back of the boat’s transom frame. Use the chalk line again to draw lines on the 2 foot by 4 foot piece where the boat’s sides meet this piece. Now you must use the saber saw again to remove the excess wood from the plywood piece that is on the transom. At this point the boat’s hull is finished.
The sixth step is for you to use the roofing caulk and the caulk gun to caulk any seams where the plywood pieces meet. Do this by loading caulk into the caulk gun and shooting the caulk into the cracks between each plywood piece. Now use the paint and paint brush to paint the bottom of the boat. Allow the paint about 24 hours to dry. Now flip the boat over and remove the boat from the construction framework.
The seventh step is to place the seats in the boat. Do this by first removing the 4 foot long piece on the middle frame of the boat and use the saw to cut it down to a 3 ½ foot long piece. Then attach this piece into the middle of the boat’s middle frame. This sets the cross piece needed for the middle seat. Now use the saw to cut four 1 foot long pieces from the 1-by-4′s of the construction framework. Then attach these pieces in the middle and at the transom along the boat’s sides about mid-way down towards the bottom of the boat. Now place the 3 ½ foot long by 2 foot wide ½ inch thick plywood pieces on these 1-by-4 pieces. Then you will need to use the 1 ½ inch screws to attach these seats into place. With this done the seats are placed.
Now the final step of the boat’s construction is to finish the boat’s inside. To do this use the paint and paint brush to paint the inside of the boat. Once this is done, allow the boat about 24 hours for the paint to fully dry. The boat at this point is now completed and can be placed in the water and driven by a paddle or by a small trolling motor.
The complete time for construction on this boat is about 2 days. This kind of a project can be completed in the course of a weekend. Then with the next weekend a fisherman can enjoy fishing from his or her new boat.
William D. Jackson, “Jolly Roger – A construction project for a delightful small boat”, Backwoodsman Magazine
“Summer Breeze Ideas and Build Notes”, Simplicity Boats
Objective To bring engaging, effective, inspiring, well researched, factually and grammatically correct writing to a larger audience Qualifications -Historical and literary writer that excels at writin… View profile