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 on: December 18, 2014, 03:04:16 PM 
Started by FredG - Last post by steveoh
It's easy to get confused.

The original book that Renn Tolman put out was titled:

A Skiff for all Seasons, How to Build an Alaskan Skiff. His second book is titled: Tolman Alaskan Skiffs, Building Plans for Three Plywood/Epoxy Skiffs.

This first boat was called the Tolman Skiff Standard.

The second boat was called the Tolman Skiff Wide Body.

The third and last iteration of the Tolman Skiff is the Jumbo.

All three of these boats are Tolman Alaskan Skiffs, and were designed by Renn Tolman of Homer, Alaska.

Later, a man named Brian Dixon started building a Tolman Skiff Jumbo, and around the same time enrolled in a boat design course. One of his boat design course projects entailed designing a skiff that looks remarkably like the Tolman Skiffs we all know and love.  Only in his design he widened the beam, and lengthened the boat to 25 + feet. Because of his naming of the Great Alaskan Skiff, and the fact that it looks like a Tolman Skiff, some of us jokingly refer to the Great Alaskan Skiff as a Pseudo Jumbo, Jumbo-esque, etc.  No doubt it helps with the marketing of the Great Alaskan or GA, since the boats are often confused.  Please keep in mind these are the facts as I understand them.

Brian has/had an agreement with Renn Tolman (R.I.P.) that he would only offer his plans in 25' and above, and should someone want a shorter skiff say a 24' or less, then Brian would refer that individual to Renn or point them to one of Renn's books. Renn has passed on to the great fishing grounds in the sky, and is not here to clarify any of my jumbling of the facts.

To further confuse things, Tolman Alaskan Skiff Jumbos originally were designed to be 22'. Renn pretty quickly approved of stretching the Jumbo to 24', though builders have gone to 25', 27' and perhaps beyond. Seems like folks are always stretching these Jumbos a little more every year.  Sometimes folks will call these stretched Jumbos, Super Jumbos.

The CNC guys of which there are three... can further clarify their understandings.

By the way, Brian has been a long time member of this forum and the Yahoo group that proceeded. He's very prolific in his postings, and has been extremely helpful to new and old builders alike.

Hope this helps.


 on: December 18, 2014, 02:56:22 PM 
Started by FredG - Last post by David Nolan
Welcome Fred.     Your at the right place.  Smart guys here.  Very helpful.   Not like most forums.   No BS here lol

Fred welcome.  This has been beat to death.    Forget the names.  I get called names because where I am from on the east coast a skiff is a little boat.  My skiffs are 23 WB and 27 Jumbo.    I just say skiff.

Anyway you got the numbers sort of right and forget the names.   The internet is now totally covered up in confusion with the Tolman family of skiffs, from the little extremely capable 18 ft std to the venerable widebodies that can do just about anything in a sea a human would likely to go out in, to the better riding a bit softer Jumbos to the bigger versions of the Jumbos – one form a man named Neal and once form a man named Brian.    Add to that the people who took the original designs (like me) who stretched my widebody to 23 feet, I think one went to 24, stretched the Jumbo to 27 foot (adding a heavier bottom and stringers) all the way to one dude form down under who made the giant GA skiff into a 32 something by 10 ½ foot ship.    

As Renn likes to say "we are all in this together".     I'd take that and call it my own saying but it'd be plagiarizing.     What are you going to use your boat for?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 on: December 18, 2014, 02:34:24 PM 
Started by FredG - Last post by FredG
Hi again.   So Im trying to wrap my head around these models.   IN the original book, its called an Alaskan Skiff.  Period.   And I got my copy of Mr tolman’s book now.    And searching the web I see that there is a 18 foot standard model that’s a 7 ft beam and most are open boats, and then the widebody which seems to have been built from 20 ft to 22 feet with a couple longer, and is 7.5 feet in width and its open and in center console models.      And then a much bigger boat in the Jumbo Tolman Skiff which is a 8 ft beam and the Great Alaskan Jumbo Tolman Skiff (sometimes called the Great Alaskan Tolman) or which is 8’6” beam and can be built longer and now is available in the standard Tolman Jumbo lines, or the GA Tolman Jumbo lines.  I’m a little confused by that.   I’m thinking that the Jumbo Tolman is the most commonly built boat now but that there may be more widebody Tolman skiffs out there since it has been around longer?  Is there a list of the Tolman boats built anywhere?  So these words are confusing … Jumbo,  Widebody,  Skiff,  Alaskan, Tolman, Standard.  It gets even more confusing when you look at the Great Alaskan Tolman Skiffs on a different website than the Tolman Alaskan Skiffs and there are CNC guys who can cut kits on both coasts for (I’m assuming) any of these models.  I saw one mention of a Super Jumbo too.   Unless thats the Great Alaskan Jumbo?

I guess I have to go back and read

 on: December 18, 2014, 02:22:18 PM 
Started by FredG - Last post by FredG
Hi    I have heard a lot about these Tolman Boats want to build one of my own.    Ive built a small pram so I have the basics of epoxy stitch and glue.   Im reading the book now.    Regards.    Fred 

 on: December 18, 2014, 10:03:34 AM 
Started by AlasKen - Last post by tolman_paul
Big anchor, plenty of chain and make sure it's well set.

I've spent many a night on shore and haven't worried about the boat disappearing, but I've always stuck with very protected anchorages.  I've only anchored through a serious blow once (the sound the wind made blowing across the VHF antenna sounded like a jet engine and it rained 6" overnight) but we were in a super protected anchorage and slept on the boat.

 on: December 18, 2014, 09:46:15 AM 
Started by TunaDave - Last post by cgrfish
What are the odds?  I suspect among boat people better than you'd think.  Year before last I was at a fourth of july gathering at my brother in law's up on the Alsea river.  I start visiting with a my sister in law's uncle from her side of the family, and mentioned I'd been working on the boat before I came to the event.  He was quick to want more information, and when I told him it was a Tolman Jumbo, he said he had been contemplating a build himself.  As it turns out he spent most of his career as a fisherman in Alaska, and was very familiar with the Tolman's.    I guess he wasn't too happy with me this year when I didn't show up for the gathering, as he was looking for an update on the build.

Great boats with a great reputation far and wide!

 on: December 18, 2014, 09:14:14 AM 
Started by TunaDave - Last post by tananaBrian
Neah Bay, Washington, right?  Interesting story and glad you shared.... The only ferro-cement boat that I've seen is doing what most big ferro-cement boats are doing now ...purposely foundered near a shore, filled in, and being used as a dock!  The one that I've seen is in Newport, Oregon ...and just so ya know, there's some pretty good crabbing around the old cement boat (but the current can rip through there a bit on tide changes and you can lose your pots or rings... don't leave them alone too long!).

I remember when I was a kid, when my dad first told me about cement boats... I couldn't believe my ears!  But the water displaced by the boat is so heavy in comparison, that cement boats float just fine ...and if I recall, are even on the lightweight side of the scale.  And the other thing that surprised me about them, is that they are flexible ...I though that of course they'd crack and that would be that, but apparently not.  I am not sure why they are not used more, but I suspect that minute cracks leading to water and oxygen rotting the rebar inside the cement gives them a limited lifespan.


 on: December 18, 2014, 08:56:30 AM 
Started by TunaDave - Last post by luk diver
 Dave: Given that you're in Oregon? it's a 'no-brainer'. Talk about being in heaven as far connection to the Tuna Highway. Where's your cousin? Sounds like the 'mental connections' I get with my twin brother. B & B

 on: December 18, 2014, 03:25:41 AM 
Started by TunaDave - Last post by gdwamsley
I hear twilight zone music playing. Shocked

Super cool though.  You guys obviously think along the same lines even after all the years.

 on: December 17, 2014, 09:33:10 PM 
Started by TunaDave - Last post by TunaDave
Short family history lesson.
My uncle built two ferro cement boats when I was young. The first one was about 18 feet long and was sort of a practice build. I think it saw the water one time. The other was about 65 feet long and did end up in Neah Bay as a commercial boat.  My cousin and I both worked on the big boat tying wire and hog ringing chicken mesh to the skeleton of the hull. Our uncle passed years ago.

Fast forward to now.
I never knew what ever happened to the 18 foot boat and decided to call my cousin to see if he knew. We see each other about once every three years and rarely call each other. We just live our own lives.
He told me what happened to the boat and then asked me why I was calling about it. I told him I was building a boat and was just thinking about it. He asked me what kind of boat I was building, and I told him it was a stitch and glue boat. He then asked me if it was a "Tolman". I told him it was and then he told me that he was planning a build for a 24' Jumbo in about a year when he retired.
I am also building a 24' Jumbo. What are the odds of two distant family members each deciding to builld 24' Jumbos with no talking or communication with each other?
He told me that the Tolman was the best boat for the money as far as he could tell. That was the same reason I went for the Tolman Jumbo.


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