Peter Spratt :United Kingdom "Jimmy Skiff "
Built Using U K Epoxy Resins
Our Family boat and holiday home is a 40' converted MFV, in which we make six week sojourns to the Netherlands every year. With the kids off our hands I decided to build a small boat that would sit on the coachwork. This had to be smaller than the old Mirror that was the kids pride and joy, but still big enough to seat four people (and their shopping) for exploring the myriad of small waterways on the Dutch canals. It also had to be a sailing boat with reasonable performance for our club-racing program. It also had to be relatively cheap to build. After much deliberation, we settled on the Jimmy Skiff a 14' flat bottom skiff of stitch and glue construction.
Two halves Now the discerning among you will have twigged that this is longer than a Mirror dingy but I had a cunning plan, the Jimmy skiff would be fitted with an additional bulkhead by the middle thwart and then built two in halves that (A), would bolt together and (B) would stack one inside the other and so fit on the coachwork in front of the wheelhouse. I was more than a little unsure about stitch and glue having had to replace all of the tape on the seams of our old Mirror dingy, however a long chat with Rob Hewitt of UK Epoxy Resins convinced me that the latest Epoxies are far more long lasting and much easier to use than of old.
Construction was much as expected, and the majority of the work was completed in about two weeks of evenings and weekends.
UK's resins are easy to use and cleaning of hands is just a matter of using Manista hand cleansa from Comma oils.
My Jimmy Skiff is protected by a resin and cloth covering with an addition of a white pigment in the final coat for a tough good looking finish.
Care must be taken to wash down the hull with soap and water and rinse off with fresh water between coats to achieve the best results
The boat has now been completed (more or less) and had its first outing. Rigged with a borrowed mirror rig as an experiment it has proved to be a delight to sail and very quick and responsive. Under oars it is easy to row and surprisingly light to carry.
All in all I am very pleased with the boat and look forward to sailing it this year in Holland and in our club series. Total cost of the hull and fittings has been about 250 quid and I am now looking for a set of second-hand Mirror sails, Now the only problem is that building this dingy has given me a taste for it, I wonder what happened to those catamaran plans.
Peter Spratt