My friends over at Fishyfish are building wooden boats. They are primarily interested in the Tolman Skiff, but they build all sorts of boats. It’s a great Boat Building Forum.

Once upon a time I got very distracted by fishing, boating, and everything salt water related. I went out on the ocean off the coast of California with my friends in search of Salmon, Rock Fish, Ling Cod, Dungeness Crabs, Coon Striped Shrimp, Cabezon, and the Albacore Tuna.

We fished out of and in Bodega Bay, San Francisco Bay Area, Half Moon Bay, Vallejo, San Pablo Bay, The Moth Ball Fleet and a few other places here and there.

Dick and I fished out of his 19′ Bayliner, mostly out of Bodega Bay. We traveled North to Ross Point, and we traveled South to Elephant Rock. We caught a lot of fish on that boat that was more suited for lakes and water skiing. Later Dick bought a 22′ Seaswirl Striper and we increased our fishing trips further out, and to the Farallon Islands, and 50 miles off shore to the Albacore Tuna Fishing Grounds.

I learned a lot from these fishing trips, and I soon became obsessed with building my own boat. Looked around for Free Boat Building Plans, but never did find any to my liking.

Then one day I was looking for books on boat building and came across Renn Tolman’s A Skiff For All Seasons, and I was immediately hooked.

A Skiff for All Seasons

Fast forward, I built that boat from Renn’s Book, and though it took me 3 1/2 years, it was one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done in this life. You can see my boat building project, along with many other boat building projects. Contemplating building a boat or a Tolman Skiff? You should join the Boat Building Forum at Fishyfish.com. Learn from other’s experiences in building boats from plywood, epoxy and fiberglass, also known as the Stitch and glue boat building method, or the tack and tape method of boat building.

Links for Boat and Skiff Building Forums
Boat Forum
Skiff Building Forum
Stitch and Glue Boat Building
Free Boat Building Plans

Links for Fishyfish
How to build a skiff
Boat Building Plans
Boat Building Book
Boat Plans
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Wooden Boat and Skiff Plans
DIY Skiff Building
DIY Boat Building
stitch-and-glue
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stitch-and-glue plywood boats

Links for Renn Tolman
How to build a skiff
Boat Building Plans
Boat Building Book
Boat Plans
Wood Boat Building
Wood Skiff Plans
Wooden Boat and Skiff Plans
DIY Skiff Building
DIY Boat Building
stitch-and-glue
composite construction
stitch-and-glue plywood boats

wiring the auto bilge pump

I ordered a whole mess of boat building books back around the year 2000 after deciding that I wanted to build a boat to suit my tastes. I picked up a book on building aluminum boats, several on the subject of the stitch and glue method (tack and tape) of building and a few other general tomes on the subject. Hands down the one book that captivated my interest was the “boat building plans, in book form”:Renn Tolman’s, A Skiff For All Seasons.

After reading and re-reading the book over a period of a few weeks, I ordered Renn’s Wide Body Addendum and a while later the Jumbo Addendum. I now had three versions of the boat to contemplate building. I’ve bugged Renn and several other Tolman Skiff Builders for details and pictures of their home built Tolman Skiff masterpieces and now through their generosity you too can study these very interesting and aesthetically pleasing vessels to your hearts content.

A Tolman Skiff is a Stitch and Glue wooden boat. It is built using marine grade plywood, and is encapsulated with epoxy and fiberglass. It’s a tough boat that is a boat of Dory Heritage with a modified V type hull with a very pronounced flare. The hull has substantial reserve buoyancy and is very light for its size. It rides up and over rough seas and is a stable fishing platform and performs extremely well in big following seas that would cause much lesser boats to broach or swap ends. Commercial fishermen have used their Tolman Skiffs to treacherous Alaskan Waters and lived to fish another day. Even when severely damaged from hitting a buoy in open waters, as experienced recently in Homer, Alaska, a Tolman Skiff didn’t sink. Though two fishermen were thrown in the water, they were able to climb back on board and make it back to safety with a giant hole in the bow. They simply tied on a tarp to keep water from flooding in.

So you want to build a boat? Looked for free boat plans and didn’t find anything that floated your boat? Or perhaps you’ve purchased boat building plans that didn’t quite make sense, or perhaps no one had actually built one of these, including the designer. Well, you’d be wise to contact Renn Tolman and check out one of his books on the subject. Not only does he give you plans for three models of Tolman Skiffs, he also tells you how to use epoxy, and fiberglass, and lists all the materials and tools you’ll need to build a beautiful and extremely sea worthy skiff, at home in both the ocean, lakes and rivers.

http://www.tolmanskiffs.com

A huge number of Tolman Skiff Standard, Tolman Skiff Widebody and Tolman Skiff Jumbo projects can be found at http://www.fishyfish.com.