Little Gem

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Project by Andy posted 09-20-2007 02:02 PM 9763 views 15 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My son and I built this rowing skiff a few years ago. It is a design by Ken Swan, but we made a few changes to dress it up. It is very straight forward to construct if you follow his plans. The changes we made added time to the project, but was well worth it. We added a grate style seat up front, a C-shaped seat in the stern, and a lot of other little details. The bright work is Mahogany ,the framing is also Mahogany and some White Oak. The sides and bottom are Marine Grade Douglas Fir. It is 13’6” nose to stern. and 4’4” wide. It rows quite easily, but will take a 5hp motor as well.
The last photo shows my sons changing drivers… mid stream.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

25 comments so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4445 posts in 3803 days

#1 posted 09-20-2007 02:05 PM

Really looks great and a lot of fun.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 3823 days

#2 posted 09-20-2007 02:14 PM

That looks great, Do you have any pictures of the building process? Building a boat is on my top 10 projects list.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4001 days

#3 posted 09-20-2007 02:23 PM

how wonderful .. a father/ son project to build and then to enjoy.
It looks wonderful. Many, many happy hours in this boat, I’m sure!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View CharlieM1958's profile


16272 posts in 4059 days

#4 posted 09-20-2007 02:43 PM

Beautiful little boat!

As a very young kid, I helped my uncle build an 18’ sailboat. I was too young to do much but put screws in the holes for him to come back and finish driving them. (This was back in the sixties…no such thing as power drivers.) Some of my fondest childhood memories are of helping him and of llearning to sail in that boat when we were finished.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 3877 days

#5 posted 09-20-2007 03:34 PM

My dad and brother build boats. I’ve never participated. It looks like fun. That’s a great boat!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View IowaWoodcrafter's profile


280 posts in 3917 days

#6 posted 09-20-2007 04:51 PM

That looks great! I hope to build a couple kayaks in the future. The wife really enjoys kayaking. I think it would be fun to paddle around in a home built. Below is a site where I plan on purchasing plans from.

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

View BlueStingrayBoots's profile


836 posts in 3842 days

#7 posted 09-20-2007 07:10 PM

Space, the final frontier. I think we all have a ship to built, its part of our natural instinct and we need a good muskie/pike rod too.

View Iffy's profile


26 posts in 3766 days

#8 posted 09-20-2007 10:26 PM

I’m currently reading Wooden Boats Michael Ruhlman. It’s not a how to or anything on how to build wooden boats but is a non-fictional narrative of a couple of wooden boat builders on Martha’s Vineyard. For when you don’t want to read any more how-to’s, but still want to stay in the Woodworking genre.

View David's profile


1970 posts in 3979 days

#9 posted 09-20-2007 10:56 PM

What a beautiful boat! Nice clean lines and bright work.


View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4017 days

#10 posted 09-21-2007 12:46 AM

Sweet lines; nicely done.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Andy's profile


1684 posts in 3749 days

#11 posted 09-21-2007 12:51 AM

Thanks everyone!
@ Snowdog-I dont believe I have any helpful photos of the construction, but will contact you if I locate some.Ken Swans plans are very good if you decide to build this model, but feel free to contact me for pointers.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2008 posts in 4246 days

#12 posted 09-21-2007 01:06 AM

what a great looking project, and fun story to read. A good inspiration for all of us fathers and sons, and for the ladies also.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 3926 days

#13 posted 09-21-2007 04:43 AM

Beautiful boat. One of the things I’d love to do someday.

Iowa, I’ve been looking at the guillemot kayaks as well. I’d love to build the guillemot but with a more open cockpit and incorporate a hobie mirage drive as well. In fact I’d like to have all the features of the hobie adventure island if possible.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View Karson's profile


35093 posts in 4241 days

#14 posted 09-21-2007 05:36 AM

Since I don’t live on water, It would be nice to have a nice little lightweight boat to just go out and paddle around in.

My wife and I used to canoe the white waters of Missouri in some of their wild streams. A lot of fun.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Steffen's profile


326 posts in 3876 days

#15 posted 11-16-2007 06:28 PM

Love the boat…that’s a project I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve added you as a buddy for two reasons; one, you have great work and two, I was born and raised in Oregon…we need to stick together.


-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

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