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Digger 17

Profile & Deck
Digger 17

She’s built over frames or as a taped seam. 11 sheets of 1/2″plywood is all it takes and a 1″ thick bottom makes her feel like a rock underway, not to mention less worry of puncture. There’s a sheer strake option that is a pretty addition (as shown) for little extra effort or she can be slab sided as most work boats are. She’s hefty, but not heavy and this makes for a secure feeling aboard.

Paul (PAR) Riccelli
Year of Design:
Beam Length:
Draft Length:
Not much with the engine up
1,193 as drawn - hull weight is less then 500 lbs.
outboard 10 to 30 HP
Skill Level to Build:
$20 study plans (hard copy plans are shipped free in the continental USA), $15 for download, $80 full set, $65 for download (USD)
Contact Information:
34539 Marshall Road
Eustis, FL, USA 32736
Phone: 352/357-1248



Submitted by belwood on

PAR: I like the look of your Digger 17. What would be the approx. time in hours and degree of difficulty of this build? I do have some experience with stitch-and-glue construction. Currently finishing (painting) a Bateau GF16.
If you were to compare it to the Old Wharf Lumberyard skiff what would be the main differences in handling? Sorry for all the questions.

Submitted by PARyachts on

The regular version of Digger is lighter than an Old Warf Lumberyard Skiff, though the heavy duty version will be about the same. Both are a bit stiffer longitudinally than the OWLS and have a finer entry, somewhat mitigating slamming loads at speed. I’ve built several of these personally, though all but one the regular duty version and the thick bottom makes for a stiff, comfortable ride. Time to build is a difficult question, as each has their own skill sets, bit I can slam the raw hull together in a long weekend, ready to receive seats, casting deck, etc. I haven’t found the finer entry a problem with weight forward, like when fishing from the forward chair. Under way, she’s carrying the bow anyway. She “poles” around easily and she can be paddled or rowed, though you wouldn’t want to do either for long. The USCG recommendations say I can hang an ungodly amount of HP on her transom, but honestly, a 30 HP will make her scoot well enough to please anyone, without the dangers of an over powered engine on her butt. Locally a marina uses a heavy duty version, to push boats around from their fuel and service docks and it's using a 9.9 high thrust. She planes off with little difficulty, though only with Steve aboard and caps out in the upper teens in smooth water. She’s had her rub rails replaced a couple of times, as you might imagine and the boat has been smashed between docks and other, much larger craft many times, with little real damage. She’s just a simple, stout clamming skiff, that turns a wee bit better and scoots a touch better than others in her class.