Preview: A Good Boat, Up Close – The Chesapeake Crab Skiff

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A beautiful spot deserves an equally beautiful boat — a Chesapeake Crab Skiff designed by Off Center Guide Doug Hylan finds a home on a lake in the famed North Woods of Maine.

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16 Responses So Far to “A Good Boat, Up Close – The Chesapeake Crab Skiff

  • Avatar

    John Pazereskis says:

    A pretty little boat which would be useless on Lake Michigan where I’ve sailed for more than sixty- five years. Except in harbors, it’s all open water. But still, as I said, a pretty little boat, and good for its purposes. I’m suddenly struck by the fact that OCH doesn’t seem to have any videos on one of the original Wooden Boat supplied plans, the Marisol Skiff.

    By the way, I’ve watched several short videos which featured Doug Hylan. He has a very pleasant voice and manner.

  • Avatar

    Burton Blais says:

    I built one a few years back and can attest to their excellent sailing characteristics. She sits on a trailer in my backyard, always at the ready to take me out for a quick jaunt after haul out of the bigger cruiser, and just before the ice makes up on our lakes and rivers. I absolutely guarantee you will not regret building one for yourself!

  • Avatar

    George Kaler says:

    I really like this boat, at least from what I can see from the video. I’m seriously considering building one, and I downloaded the study plans. There doesn’t seem to be a kit available for this boat, like a number of other boats I have looked at. How much information is there in the plans about materials needed? What thickness plywood? How much epoxy would be needed? What sort of wood for gunwhales, Chinese logs, thwarts and thwart supports, etc.? Also, are the spars solid, or birds mouth? Thanks for any advice or suggestions.

    • Avatar

      George Kaler says:

      Gerri! My dumb “smart” tablet corrected my previous post, so “chine logs” appear as “Chinese logs.”

    • Avatar

      Ben Mendlowitz says:

      Hi George, D.N. Hylan may be able to help with a kit if you contact Ellery Brown on their site, linked above.

    • Avatar

      Earland Briggs says:

      I have recently completed the 14 ft skiff from plans I got from OCH. I would like to add a main and a jib sail to it . Is there any info to help out this project? Earl

      • Steve Stone

        Steve Stone says:

        Congrats Earl. We’d love to see photos. We are pondering a sailing rig and centerboard but are just trying to enjoy her as is for awhile first.

      • Avatar

        mick burling says:

        I’m thinking of adding a jib to my 15 ft skiff so if any information out there would like to hear it cheer Mick

    • Doug Hylan

      Doug Hylan says:

      Hi George, I designed this boat many years ago when kits were a rarity and builders even expected to have to loft lines! Therefore the plans are very basic, as is reflected in their price. I’ve found that making kits for most of my older designs is difficult — the design needs to be based on the idea of a kit from the git-go so that you can minimize the difficult-to-ship parts. My newer designs are done on more powerful software, which also make kitifying easier.

      I find the necessary CAD work involved in making a kit to be boring compared to designing a boat, and since my amusement is a major part of the remuneration for this work, I don’t do it unless I can convince myself that I’ll live long enough to see a payback. I’m skeptical that this design would do that. I’m getting old enough to be fussy about the work I take on.

      So, if you want to build this boat, you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way. Read a good boatbuilding book, scratch your head to come up with a list of materials, and get some knee pads for lofting. This boat is about as simple as they get, so none of it will be too hard.

      And don’t let those Chinese logs intimidate you — they are a lot easier to build than a stitch & glue chine, and better looking when you’re done!

  • Avatar

    Roy Cantler says:

    Beautiful boat and video. I learned to sail in a very similar boat. A lot to say for simplicity and proper design. I am 71 years young, and I think I could handle her. Keep up the good quality of the videos

  • Avatar

    Terry Lent says:

    The video was only surpassed by the quality of the craft! Nice job on both counts!!!

  • Avatar

    Howard Sharp says:

    These videos are getting better and better. Well done, and a beautiful boat.

  • David Tew

    David Tew says:

    Lovely boat (again!) Doug.

    What is the bronze bar for across the floor cross-beam (?) under the aft seat?

  • Avatar

    Biff Holt says:

    Great video! I’m in the process of building Doug’s smaller version of the Crab Skiff, the Little Crab. Makes me want to get it out on the water sooner.


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