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Chesapeak Bay Rowing Skiffs

April 29, 2021
Early this year, I got it into my head that I wanted to build some simple models for the Deltaville Maritime Museum..The idea was that I would donate the models to them and whatever they sell them for will go entirely to benefit the museum. The sailing skiff diorama I built last month was meant for that purpose. But the more I got into it, the more I liked it and in the end, I just couldn't give it to them. It is, however, on loan to the museum and is on display when you walk in the door. In any case, I felt I needed a simple, quick-to-build model without all of my usual added details. The skiffs shown below are the result. I had no plans for them, so they were built "by rack of eye" as the old watermen did and still do today. Each is about 13-1/2" long and built at 1:12.

The first skiff took about a week to build but a lot of that time was spent just figuring out what it should look like and how to build it, making the build board, etc. I took notes along the way so I could duplicate it more easily. I'm calling that one a Gentleman's Rowing Skiff because of its pristine finish.

Baseboard
Skiff 1
Framing
Skiff 1

The second skiff is weathered to show some wear and tear, so I'm calling it a Waterman's Skiff. I made a few changes in the construction but the two are very similar. I built the second skiff in just three days.

Windows
Skiff 2
Door
Skiff 2

Both skiffs are mounted on oyster shells taken from the creek by the dock at the museum (with their permission!) These were fun and easy to build. Whether or not they will sell remains to be seen. I'm taking them down in the morning.

If you would like to build one of these for yourself, I have written a 3-part tutorial. It's an easy project for someone with a little bit of modeling experience. Contact me if you'd like to have a copy (use the Contact the Web Master link below)..