I started building my Melonseed Skiff in 2017 and finished it in 2021. Because I do not have a garage or large shed, I did work outdoors from May to November (living in Sherbrooke, Québec). Cold Season was dedicated to make smallest pieces in my basement workshop (blocks, cleats, oars, tiller or rudder, etc). The boat name COLOMBE (French translation of DOVE) refers to my mother's first name.

About the construction itself, there are quite a lot of modifications of the designer’s suggested components or specifications. Among them, the hull is made of white eastern cedar 3/8 inches planks, clinker lapstrake (with copper clinch nails). Other wood stocks used for my boat: spruce, ash, black cherry, white oak, Spanish cedar. In addition, I provided the boat with a set of oars; the centreboard is British style lifting one (no lead ballast); the stem is not laminated but made from a hackmatack stump; shrouds and stay are not steel ones but synthetic hemp rope; and wooden deadeyes replace modern turnbuckles…

Finally, by Spring of 2022 I found a place for my boat at the Club de voile Memphrémagog (Memphrémagog Sailing Club). Since June 2022, my pretty boat navigates on the magnificent Lake Memphrémagog.

My best guide in the success of this chalenge of building this boat was undoubtedly Greg Rössel’s book Building Small Boat, with his clear explanations and technics, and also his sens of humour...

Design Specs

Designer Name: 
Marc Barto
Melonseed Skiff / row and sail (gaff rig)
Builder Name: 
Daniel St-Onge
Home Port: 
Magog (Québec)
Launching Date: 
June 21, 2022