CUSTOM GOAT ISLAND SKIFF
Small Craft Advisor|March - April 2020
It turns out that I enjoy building and learning about boats even more than I enjoy owning them.
Paul Swanson

My first build was a Farrier F-22 which was featured as a Reader Boat in SCA #100. It’s a wonderful multihull sailboat that requires a significant time commitment for full enjoyment. So for my second boat project I wanted a design that is much simpler, with the possibility of using some of the advanced materials and techniques I learned to use while building the Farrier. I wanted a boat I could row or sail from a trailer after work: simple to set up, light in weight and having decent performance. I looked no farther than the pages of Small CraftAdvisor and decided to build Michael Storer’s Goat Island Skiff.

The Goat Island Skiff is classic—minimalist and modern all at the same time. It’s a nice-looking boat with an up-to-date design that lends itself to some experimentation with high-tech materials. I spoke with Clint Chase, who sells CNC GIS kits, at the Maine Boat Builders show. Clint suggested that a Goat could benefit from carbon spars for less weight aloft. The plans for the mast call for “Spar Oregon,” which should be Douglas fir. The closest thing I could find locally was spar-grade Sitka Spruce which sells for $10 a board foot at the boat-lumber store. (At the time, I was not aware of the option of searching through spruce 2x10’s at my local lumberyard for clear and tight-grained wood.) I was accustomed to paying 60 cents for native lumber at the local Mom and Pop sawmill. A factor of 16 or 17 times higher on materials got me thinking about a carbon fiber mast as Clint Chase suggested.

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