The Online Magazine For Amateur Boat Builders














Models of the QT Rowing Skiff

by Tim Ferguson

I've been working on models of Jim Michalak's QT Rowing Skiff. Someone with more woodworking experience (or maybe just better eyesight) could work from the plans in "Boatbuilding for Beginners (and Beyond)". I'm glad to have a full sized set.

My model#2 is 1/6 scale and made of pine and fancy cardboard from surgical supply boxes. (click images to enlarge)
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This flatiron skiff strongly appeals to me. The best row boat I used as a kid in the late 50's was a flatiron skiff made of plywood screwed and glued to an interior chime.

Two miles downhill from my house is a long flat stretch of the Connecticut River, upstream of the Wilder (VT) dam. The QT Skiff looks light enough to use anywhere I can walk to the water and it looks like a good project for a first time builder.

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I made model#1 out of cereal boxes and adhesive tape. That's it leaning up against the chimney.

The first model gave me a general idea of the boat's shape, but I had a lot of questions about how to put it together. Duckworks ran a few of articles last year on model making that got me going (David Arnold - Ross Lillistone - Gene Smith) Dynamite Payson speaks highly of modeling in his "Building the Instant Catboat".

When I build the full sized one, I want a sense of familiarity with what I'm doing.
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The beveled pieces came out fine on a small table saw. My wife is a builder and has a good collection of power tools. I fought to get everything together. Nailing the cardboard gunwales onto the forms was awkward. I couldn't see if the form was in the right place and drive a "nail" (a 1/4 inch head end of a brad held by needle nose pliers) at the same time.

Drilling holes and screwing it together worked better. The alignment was rough. How many times does Michalak write to mark all the centerlines prominently? Climb that learning curve!

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This is my 12 year old son, Peter discovering the Yankee drill.
Here it is with all the forms in.
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I'm getting closer. I've started work on model#3 using plywood from a hollow core door. If I like what I make on a 1/5 scale, I'll build the real thing.

Tim Ferguson
Thetford, VT
March 1, 2005