Jim Crawford's Tolman Skiff - Widebody

Greetings fellow boat builders. Welcome to the blog for Jim Crawford's Tolman Wide Body Skiff.

I own a rather extensive wood working shop that includes among other machines, a 3-axis CNC router. I elected to make my Wide Body kit using this tool. The first thing to do (after buying the 'Tolman Alaska Skiff' book) was to create a virtual 3D 23' Tolman Skiff in CAD. Once the boat was built on the computer, I was then able to extract the various parts, nest them on a virtual sheet of plywood, generate machine code for the parts, and then actually cut the real deal wood parts. This technology allowed for parts, such as the bowstem, shelfs, transom, and front inner plates to be pre-beveled.

Will all this technology make my Tolman better than the next guys? No. It hopefully will be a Tolman half a nice as some of the "old school built" boats that are already well documented. The bar is pretty high among Tolmans right now. It's just a different way of going about getting the same result. Thus qualified, spare me the flames please. ;^)

The scarfs are a bit different from what the book calls out for. They could be called a sine wave scarf. There is quite a debate on in some forums as to weather this scarf is stronger that a flat scarf. I don't know. I just think they look super custom, and they are just as simple to make on a CNC machine.

I use the pre drilled stitching holes for aligning the panels for joining. Melamine works incredibly well for glue up. Epoxy won't stick to it, and it leaves a very smooth finish. Here's a melamine sandwich.

There was enough 1/4" ply left over from the front plates to make a 9' "Fast Garvey" tender for the Tolman. It will serve as my bass fishing skiff as a 23' wheel house boat is a bit tough to navigate the shoreline while workin' the rubber worm. The boat should be very light and plane with a 5 ~ 6hp motor. This motor will double as a kicker for offshore fishing.