Tolman skiffs (re-loaded)
Well, it is now my annual "think about building a boat" thread! I'm looking for a hobby and have thought about building a skiff type boat now for 15 years or so, and am now closer than ever to actually doing it (I think). I'm looking for anyone who has build the Tolman-type skiffs and their thoughts on how much time it took, anticipated vs. real costs, difficulty, etc. I've gotten some great feedback along these lines in the past from forum members, but I am now interested in the Tolman standard 18-20 open skiff; does anyone out there have one and what's your experience with them (performance included)? I've seen a few other flat-bottom skiffs; the Lumber Yard Skiff from Old Wharf Dory really caught my attention (in the latest Wooden Boat small boats issue), with most of the materials being available from the local lumberyard, but the flat bottom has me concerned in less than ideal conditions (here on Kauai). If I actually build a Tolman and the project goes well, I may consider building one for Alaska as we do not have an ocean boat.
I built a 24' Tolman with a pilothouse. It took me 2 1/2 years to complete it. I got on the water at the end of July last summer. I can't wait for it to warm up. I went out of Whittier, Seward 3 times, and Homer once. I am very happy with the performance of the skiff.
If you are serious about building I recommend talking with Neal at Skiffkits to see if he has kits for the standard. I believe that he does for widebody and jumbo. If it was me and I wanted an open skiff I would go with the widebody. That was Renn's recommendation when I was thinking standard. The only difference is 3" chines that gives you and extra 6" in beam. A little more stable at rest. More load carrying ability. You could make a heck of a center console fishing machine with a self bailing deck.
I enjoyed the building process and enjoy using it. I powered with a 115 Suzi that I got from Anchorage Yamaha and Suzuki. They were good to work with. I get about 29 MPH top end and about 4.5 MPG at 24 MPH. It was big enough to boat a 144 Halibut last summer.
PM me if you have specific questions.
Last edited by Tolman24; 01-07-2008 at 21:33.