You like to paddle with a friend? You like to scull in a performance design? This is your boat. The Bay Skipper does both. She can can easily handle two paddlers in her large cockpit. You might even be able to bring a kid and a dog. This is great for quite explorations in peaceful waters. With a few minutes and a couple of boats, you can add a full sliding rowing seat and find yourself gliding along in this efficient hull. She’s light enough to manage single handed and using the Devlin stitch and glue method, she’s fast and easy to build. Plus, after using this boat for a year, think about those upper body muscles. Awesome!

The Bay Skipper 18 is available in study and full construction plans.


Bay Skipper Specifications

Length 18 ft. – 1.375 in.
Beam 2 ft. – 11.25 in.
Draft 6-5/16 in.
Power Oars or Kayak Paddles
Displacement 530 lbs.
Hull Dry Weight 76 lbs.


Bay Skipper 18 Design Notes

This is a very interesting design I did originally for Chris Kemp who had the desire for a vessel that could be convertible between being used for one or two paddlers using kayak paddles on the skinny waters of Florida or one that could also be fitted with a removable sliding seat and used for sculling over the same waters. Chris had stated early in our conversations about her concept that he had approached more than a couple of designers with a request for the same and had been turned bluntly away. But I saw the utility of her uses right off the bat as there have been more than a few times when I might have wished for the same type of boat, convertible depending on my mood and the waters to be explored between sculling and paddling. I would love to tell you that we had the design done just a couple of days later but reality has a sting about it that never quite goes away and these small boat designs take almost as much thinking and stewing over as a design of one of the larger boats. So it was few weeks or perhaps even months, I cant remember now, before we finally printed out the full plans for her.

And what a delight she is with an elegant transition from the paddling to the sculling. I was able to talk Chris out of the angled forward transom that he had originally called for in favor of an upright and fairly plumb stem and also a fairly vertical transom on her with just enough rake aft to make her look good to my eye. She also has a deck on her with an oval cockpit coaming with a small hardwood edge that wont dig into your side uncomfortably while bracing for a wake from some inconsiderate power boater that just zoomed past. This decking provides a lot of reserve freeboard to the design and that translates to increased seaworthiness.

The sliding seat mechanism can be just set into place and two small bolts made up, one on each side, to fasten in her for rowing and while the sweeps are long, they couple nicely with this boat and its performance. With her long waterline, she really carries way quite nicely and will work very well for both propulsion purposes. With a couple of paddlers aboard and some well balanced kayak paddles, you can face forward and explore your local waters for evening paddles that do much to calm the soul and sooth the spirits after busy days.

I think Chris was right on with the concept and I’m pleased to offer it to the rest of you who might be able to find her useful. — Sam Devlin

Artfully Designed and Crafted Boats since 1978

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