November / December 2021

Building a Tolman Wide-Body Skiff: Part 4

A rugged, handsome, and easy-to-build boat
Tolamn Skiff

To sheathe the large cockpit sole area, I arranged the fiberglass cloth to have as few overlapping seams as possible.

In this final part of our series describing the construction of the Wide-Body Alaskan Skiff from Renn Tolman’s book Tolman Alaskan Skiffs, we begin with the cockpit’s fitout. (The following photographs are numbered to pick up where Part 3 left off.)

Photo 75. The cockpit sole is level athwartships across the stringers and straight from the transom to the forward bulkhead. Tolman’s book, on page 180, explains how to add extra fore-and-aft stringers to support the sole, but without connecting them together athwartships. I chose to depart from that method in favor of a more conventional framing grid connecting the stringers and topsides with transverse bulkhead-style floor timbers on 2' centers.

I also installed 1" × 11⁄2" perimeter strips glued to the topsides on each side, on the transom, and on the forward bulkhead, with their top edges beveled to be level with the stringers. The perimeter strips taper to nothing where they contact the chine shelves, and forward of that point the cockpit sole is glued directly to the bottom planking panels, just as in the construction of the forward flotation chamber.

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