Boatbuilder Adam Way, who lives by the Crinan canal in Argyll, was asked to build two boats with the high-school kids at Lochgilphead. Within two weeks. Given this severe limitation, along with the inexperience of the prospective builders, and not knowing how good a teacher Adam would turn out to be, I thought this could be a disaster. Especially as, while frantically trying to prepare a (with very moderate success) for the Glen Raid, I had not time to prepare proper construction plans.

However, having a strong belief in the educational value of building boats, I really hoped it would work. I thought it was a good opportunity to try out my theory that, with a limited amount of time, a more shapely, attractive, and able boat could be built than the boxy flat-bottomed skiffs that are popular in the boat show boatbuilding weekends.

He did great! They did fine. The two 17 footer boats were ready for launching in 10 days. Rough, sure. But they looked good (from a moderate distance), performed very well, and, above all, the kids loved it! They worked long and late, with an enthusiasm for learning that I suspect their teachers had never seen before. One guy, the woodwork teacher told me, still didn’t know which end of chisel was which after two years. But now, “he knows how to shape up a stem!”

  • Length

    17′ 4″ – 5.28m

  • Beam

    4′ 8″ – 1.43m

  • Draft

  • Weight (kg)


  • Sail Area

    67 sq ft – 6.22 sq m

  • Time to build (estimate)

    150-200 hours