Full Size Printed Plan & Building Notes
No material plans only
Here is an excellent beginning project or the modeler who is ready to make his
first attempt at scratch-building. It is simple to construct, goes together in
only a week or two of spare time, and costs very little for materials.
Midwest Flatiron Skiff
Full Size Printed Plan 28 lb Bond
Five pages of building notes and photos
Length 12 3/4"
by Don Stauffer
I like to work in as large a scale as possible in order to include plenty of detail. skiff, there is no problem of where to display the model when it's finished, so I went ahead and built it to a 1: 12 scale. Since the prototype was a little over twelve feet in length, this gives a nice sized model.
I have long considered making a model of such a skiff. Coming across an article in the March/April 1980 issue of Small Boat journal, I was fascinated to learn of the short cuts builders used to construct them. They were built on jigs, in a manner similar to dorys and other small boats. For use on sheltered waters, where seaworthiness was not a prime need, skiffs were often built on a jig with only a single transverse frame. Although I was skeptical, I thought I would give the idea a try. The results amazed me. I ended up with an excellent model with very little effort.
When I was a child growing up in southern Michigan the word "rowboat" always brought to mind a well-defined type of craft. Before the days of stamped aluminum or molded fiberglass, a rowboat was built from wood. Its form on Midwest lakes and rivers was most often the flatiron skiff. Although Chapelle in his American Small Sailing Craft predates the flatiron beach skiff before its larger cousin, the river yawl or skiff, the popularity of the latter as a service boat for steamboats undoubtedly did much to account for its later ubiquity on Midwestern inland rivers and lakes. The flatiron skiff was smaller, by twelve to fourteen feet, than its hard working cousin. The river skiffs ran upwards of eighteen feet, but had a very similar profile. Although the flatiron skiff was used on the Atlantic
ocean, the sheltered waters of the Midwest altered its lines significantly. Much less rocker was needed, and the resulting craft, when stored upside down, looked even more like a clothes iron than its East coast brother.
Thank you for looking Jim & Gin