"You Can Build A Better Boat Than You Can Buy"  
  HOME :: September 18, 2017


  • LENGTH - 18'
  • BEAM - 6'8"
  • EMPTY WEIGHT - 600 lbs
  • DRAFT - 6"
  • DAY CRUISE - Up to 6 Adults or 1800 lbs
  • DESIGNER - Jerry Estes
  • POWER - Up to a 90 HP Outboard
  • BUILDING TECHNIQUE - Stitch and Glue
  • MATERIAL - 27 Sheets 1/4" Plywood, Framing Lumber, Epoxy, Fiberglass Tape
  • WHAT YOU RECEIVE (PDF) - Plans and Manual sent by E-Mail. Take to a printer and have them printed out.
  • PRICE PDF- $130.00




The Columbia-Willamette watershed has been the birthplace of several unique types of boat. In the late 1800s, Astoria anglers developed the sail and oar-powered Columbia River gill-netter; in the 1950s, a group of Portland yachtsmen built a small fleet of fiberglass centerboard cruisers called Chinooks. Now, there is a new design to add to this exclusive club.  The Portland Skiff.

It is an 18' X 6FT 6" plywood craft intended for amateur construction.

The new model was conceived with the following list of features:

  • Extreme shallow draft with a stiff bottom.
  • Plane easily with a small outboard motor
  • Unsinkable with a self-bailing cockpit
  • Easily built and good-looking
  • Stable enough for fishing and family use
  • Light enough to trailer and beach

The resulting design has a draft of just 6"; a bottom laminated from two sheets of 1/2" plywood, and is built using a simple self-aligning method using three bulkheads and a skin stitched together with copper wire.

With a hull weight of 600 lbs, it can be pulled by a small car, and Jerry says the maximum capacity is 1800 lb. (up to nine people). From the first builder, he has learned that the boat performs nicely with a 25 HP outboard motor.


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