« 15 ft Flashboat »

This is an old design but a very successful one. It was developed as a racing skiff in the days when we were young and foolish, but has since proved to be a delightful boat for just messing around in. A look at the hull lines in the catalog will show that it is a very tender boat—not the sort of thing you want if you are going fishing. But for rowing any distance I believe it is close to optimum for a fixed seat boat without outriggers.

Construction is interesting. It is built of four strakes of 1/8 in. plywood laid over a grid of sawn plywood frames and longitudinal stringers. Plywood this thin can be bent (tortured) into a compound curve, and in the bending becomes a very stiff structure. Building hours are very low (180 hours or so), but there is a little more to this than more conventional plywood construction. It has a properly rabetted stem; also some patience is required to work the lower strakes into place.

Planking the Flashboat This building method requires very little temporary work. The frames are sawn from 3/8 in. plywood, left long and set up on the building frame. The backbone assembly notches into them and the transom is fitted. Longitudinal stringers are notched into the frames at the plank lands. Planking is glued and fastened to the backbone and stringers with temporary screws. In order to stiffen the bottom, the floorboards are also let into the frames before planking.

Stem detail 

The Flashboat has a properly rabetted stem into which the forward ends of the longitudinal stringers are notched. This is the lightest of structures, so scantlings are reduced to the absolute minimum.

Here she is planked and right side up, with the frames that served as molds ready to trim.

Right side upThis photo was taken waiting for weather on the coast of Alaska, somewhere between the mouth of the Yukon River and Barrow. We figure the design has been well tested for messing about.

Waiting for weather.