By Brian Donaldson
Over the past three winters, the boatbuilding crew of the Saginaw Bay Community Sailing Association (SBCSA) strip-built a Jericho Bay lobster skiff. They used the plans from WoodenBoat magazine, which master boatbuilder Tom Hill measured from a Joel White-designed boat. More than twenty people have worked on the skiff.
The hull was planked with western red cedar ½” x ¾” bead-and-cove strips covered in a 12 oz. layer of fiberglass on the interior. Two layers of 12 oz. fiberglass and WEST SYSTEM Epoxy covered the exterior. The transom is laid up of okoume marine plywood with a mahogany veneer. The stem is laminated Douglas fir and the gunnels are ash with Cypress knees and breasthook. The seats are western red cedar and the steering console is painted okoume plywood with clear-finished black locust corners and a Cypress dash. Everything was coated with epoxy before painting and varnishing. Much of the boat is finished bright.
It has a 2018 Mercury fuel-injected, 4-stroke, 20hp motor controlled by a remote start, shift and throttle, along with wheel-steering from the console. During sea trials with a prospective buyer, the boat ran 21 knots with 500 lbs on board. The bow doesn’t rise up when getting on plane: the entire boat rises level to plane for a very comfortable ride.
With so many people working on the boat at different skill levels, it’s difficult to keep the level of finish where one would like it. Joe Parker, a retired Gougeon Brothers Employee, and boat repair expert, took the boat home in late August and completed the touch-ups to a high level.
The group will be selling the boat to help fund SBCSA operations. SBCSA operates as a 501(c)3 in Bay City, Michigan. The mission of SBCSA is to provide affordable sailing lessons and access to sailing for the youth and adults of the mid-Michigan area, to promote interest in sailing as a life-long sport, and to develop teamwork, sportsmanship, and self-confidence in students through experiential learning.
In addition to offering sailing lessons for youth and adults in nine Optimist Prams, five RS Feva’s and four Cape Cod daysailer 17s, they keep two keelboats at a local marina that are set up for sailing on the Saginaw Bay at no additional charge to members.