Skin on Frame (SOF or skinboat) boats have thousands of years
of history proving their ability (they have crossed oceans and
rounded Cape Horn!), and are constructed of a wooden
skeleton, covered with a skin of fabric. The fabric is waterproofed,
and tough, and the frame is made of lightweight wood, resulting in a
responsive, quick and easy to build boat that typically weighs half or less than what a similar wooden, fiberglass or plastic boat
weighs. Not only that, it's easily the least expensive and fastest way
to build a all but the crudest of hull shapes.
Won't it puncture and sink?
SOF boats can be very tough indeed, and are basically impervious
to rips and tears under normal use. It is possible to puncture the
skin, but it typically takes a very sharp object and a lot of force.
Even then, the tear would not spread or likely be disastrous.
Check out this shorter video if you're still not convinced:
Non-traditional SOF construction was developed well over 100 years ago,
and in the 1950's it was popularized by prolific author Percy Blandford,
and then came back into favor again in the latter part of the century under the
influence of designers George Dyson and, later, Tom Yost.
All of my designs available for the home builder feature non-traditional construction. The difference? Traditional skinboats are made
with many steam bent ribs, each cut to size, then pegged into mortises carved in the gunwales. But, non-traditional construction uses
just a few marine plywood frames instead of the numerous ribs. This results in a boat that is vastly simpler and quicker to build, but which
performs virtually the same as historic examples.
Learn more about the building process Here
And, here's a short, time-lapse, video of the building process:
What's in it for me?
Free beer! Well, maybe not. But, if you are interested in building a boat, non-traditional skin boats are the easiest, quickest and least
expensive way to create a superb handling, uniquely beautiful craft - whether you want a kayak, canoe, rowboat or something more!