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Thread: Tolman (or other) open skiffs

  1. #1

    Default Tolman (or other) open skiffs

    Hey guys, I've been checking a few sites and looking at pics of different Tolman skiffs; has anyone built one of the "open" type skiffs; 18-20'?
    I like the ones with hardtops, but they're a little bigger than what I would like; I'm trying to satisfy the whole family (brother likes cruising Skilak, some wakeboarding, I like to fish) and figure an open Tolman or similar homemade skiff would fit the bill without busting the bank. I'd like to hear from someone who's built one and get your opinions on power, size, etc. I like to fish Seward/Deep Creek; not looking to go to Montague or anything, just looking for an economical rig to chase salmon/halibut, easy to trailer, doesn't require big horsepower.
    PS---with the wise trend of the Hewes and others of putting an extended transom on some of their models, has anybody seen something similar on a Tolman? Not sure if it makes sense, since I'm sure that kind of modification would require some type of design change for the boat?
    Thanks,
    Jim

  2. #2
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default In 2004.

    My boat was finished. The guy started to build it in November of 2003. Right around 6 or so weeks of working on it. We finished it. The aluminum for all high grade marine included .100 diamond plate for the decks. Was around $5500 back then, maybe cheaper, that is what he charged me and needed to order it. It is 22'. Powered with twin Yamaha T-50's. One would do fine or slightly larger motor. I take it every where. It does good. Too many details to list. So I was charged $12,300 for the bare hull with bow rails and walk through windshield. After we finished it and I decked it out with rods, pots and all the other goodies I have around $40,000 into it. She is my baby. Would love to go bigger. Really consider what you want it for and size. Once you have one you will wish you done something different or gone bigger. Just think things through really well if you are going to go this route.

  3. #3

    Thumbs up

    Check Craigslist. There was one posted about 3-4 weeks ago in Homer at a really good price. I think it was like $9K with a Honda 50.

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    Member Snagger's Avatar
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    Default

    There is one in Whitehorse at a used car dealer, looked really new and had a yamaha 115 4 stroke on the transom.

  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    I've been meaning to post about Tolmans as several folks have asked about my Avatar, and yes I've been building one for the last several years, a widebody stretched to 22 1/2' with a cuddy cabin and full pilothouse. I'll add I've been building more off than on. You can easily bang out an open skiff over the winter, though you do need a heated building space. I started my boat around Thanksgiving and had the hull turned by the following March, and this was working evenings and Saturdays.



    The place to learn about Tolmans of all shapes and sizes that are built by folks all over the world is here http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tolmanskiff/

    I'd started by planning to build an open std skiff with the goal of reasonably priced solid skiff for just the uses you mentioned. Then I figured the kids would need a place to hide from the weather, and when I found out the widebody could be built for about the same price and effort as the std skiff I opted for a slightly bigger skiff. Then I got to thinking a pilothouse would extend my boating season and keep mama happy, and if mama is happy, I get alot more use out of the boat. All good and fine, but adding the cuddy cabin and pilothouse triples the time it takes to build the boat, and doubles the cost with added power, electronics et al you end up stuffing in one.

    Anyhow, it is a very easy to build boat. Renn wrote the book after he'd built 100 of them commercially, so you not only get the design of the boat, but most importantly the skills he learned to build the boat quickly. If you try to outthink him and change the design, it'll simply add time. Some additions are good, others you wished you'd followed his advice. I can't think of any other boat designs out there with so much thought into the actual construction of the boat, ie just because someone has plans for the boat doesn't mean the contstruction is fully explained. Also the support of other Tolmanites is great as any problem you come to, several other folks have had and will gladly how to fix it. You'll also pick up lots of good ideas for addtions.

    For epoxy, Neal at Skiffkits carries System III in Anchorage, very good prices and super service. He's temporarily not offering the kits as he's too busy with other business. http://www.skiffkits.com/

    Here's the construction pics of my boat

    http://www.fishyfish.com/paulhail/paul.html
    Last edited by Paul H; 03-29-2007 at 14:29. Reason: Add picture

  6. #6
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I forgot to answer the question about a transom extension. Since Tolmans are already light skiffs, and hence you can't put too much weight ont the transom w/o messing up the trim, I'd advise against an extension on an open Tolman.

    For a full pilothouse boat, you have more weight forward and hence some options with transom extensions. That said, there is no mention of them in Renn's book, and you'd be on your own engineering one.

    Another option is the route I took, which is to use a narrow transom cutout, which allows you to fish all the way to the transom on the sides of the deck.


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    Smile Tolman Skiffs in Fairbanks!!

    My dad actually builds and sells Tolman skiffs out of his shop here in Fairbanks. He has built and sold a few now and has one finished for himself that he takes to homer and runs often. Beautiful boats!! I think he even has one almost finished that is still for sale. P/M for info if interested.

  8. #8
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Your dad's widebody is one of my favorites, the colors and proportions are perfect! Here's some pictures for everyone to enjoy.






  9. #9
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    Smile Thanks!!

    Thanks for posting those pics Paul H. Beautiful boat as you can see, no corners cut in any way, we are all verry proud of the boats he builds!

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