A Skiff For All Seasons, How to Build an Alaskan Skiff (or How to Build Your Own Boat)

I ordered a whole mess of boat building books back around the year 2000 after deciding that I wanted to build a boat to suit my tastes. I picked up a book on building aluminum boats, several on the subject of the stitch and glue method of boat building and a few other general tomes on the subject. Hands down the one book that captivated my interest was Renn Tolman's, A Skiff For All Seasons.

After reading and re-reading the book over a period of a few weeks, I ordered Renn's Wide Body Addendum and a while later the Jumbo Addendum. I now had three versions of the boat to contemplate building. I've bugged Renn and several other Tolman Builders for details and pictures of their home built masterpieces and now through their generosity you too can study these very interesting and aesthetically pleasing vessels to your hearts content.

If you are thinking about building a boat then you should certainly consider building a Tolman Skiff using stitch and glue boat building techniques. Renn Tolman's books will clearly explain the tools you'll need, and he will teach you how to use the stitch and glue method of using epoxy, fiberglass and marine grade plywood to build a very seaworthy boat you'll be proud to call your own.

If you are a Tolman Builder please send links, pictures and your experiences so we can spread the word. I'm particularly interested in images that show human scale in relationship to the Tolman Skiffs, and any and all details of innovative design modifications or additions. Feel free to go to the Forum area of this website to post your own images and stories, and any questions you may have. Or if you prefer simply email comments and images to me at steveoh@fishyfish.com

What is a Tolman Skiff? Tolman skiffs are wooden skiffs of Dory Heritage with semi-vee bottoms made of plywood/epoxy/fiberglass (sometimes called stitch-and-glue, tack and tape, or composite construction).

Do you want to learn how to build a wooden boat? Or are you looking for DIY boat plans? Want to build a fishing boat? Then building a Tolman Skiff might well be up your alley. There are three Tolman Alaskan Skiff models to build, the Standard, the Widebody and the Jumbo. Read Renn Tolman's Book to find out more, or join the Tolman Forum to learn more about the Tolman Alaskan Skiff and how to build your own boat.

Tolman Group at Yahoo Groups

Also, years ago I started a Tolman Skiff email list that anyone interested in Tolman Skiffs can subscribe to. Although we've moved the conversation over to the fishyfish.com boat building forum here at fishyfish, it's still a great place to explore years of postings on the Tolman Skiff. It's easy to subscribe. Just send an email to: tolmanskiff-subscribe@yahoogroups.com . You'll get a confirmation email with instructions. You can also subscribe by going the YahooGroups website at:

Tolman Skiff Logo
Subscribe to the Tolmanskiff Group.

Here you can subscribe, unsubscribe and change your settings to receive individual emails or a digest of emails.

My Tolman Skiff Jumbo Project

And, last but not least, I will document the progress of my own Tolman Skiff project. Each installment is indexed below.


Stephen Dampier

Renn Tolman's Lastest Book Now Available

Tolman Alaskan Skiffs Book -  Building Plans for three plywood epoxy skiffs. Tolman Alaskan Skiffs Book - How to build a better boat. Tolman Seabright Book - how to build an efficient boat

Renn Tolman's latest book on building the Tolman Alaskan Skiff is now available. Book includes all three Tolman Skiff designs, with lots of info on cabins and other options, 8 1/2 x 11 inches, 250 pages, 175 drawings and 100-plus photos. $39.95 plus $4 for Priority Mail, $9 Global Priority Mail (foreign orders). Checks or money orders to Renn Tolman, no credit cards. Suggest Western Union in US funds for foreign orders.

New plans available for the Tolman Seabright Skiff! Twenty-five pages, of which nine are sheets of drawings. To be used with the book. Contains not only the geometry for the hull but considerable material on constructing the rudder, installing the engine, etc. $30 for the plans plus $5 for domestic Priority Mail.

  1. Paul Fithian - Tolman Skiff Jumbo
  2. The Tolman Alaskan Skiff - Renn Tolman's Web Site. Go here to order his book or any addendums. New Link!
  3. Bruce Armstrong's Review of A Skiff for All Seasons
  4. Kevin Beddoe's Article at DuckWorkMagazine
  5. Steve Bolton's Jumbo Project -link dead to www.sumboat.com
  6. Brian Dixon's Trip to Alaska (Visit Renn Tolman!)
  7. Foggy Bay Boats - Foggy Bay Boats builds and sells Tolman Skiffs in Washington state.
  8. Tolman Site - Bob Casler's Tolman Site
  9. Tolman Message Board - Bob Casler's Tolman Message Board
  10. Tolman Skiff Story - David Nolan's Tolman Story
  11. Bruce Armstrong's Lake Powell Primer
  12. Bruce Armstrong's Tolman-Interior Shots
  13. Tolman Skiff For Sale! Sold! But here's the pictures.
  14. Jim Omeara's Tolman Jumbo
  15. Paul Nelson's Jumbo
  16. Fishing Monster Ledge, (A Tolman Skiff Adventure, by Dave Nolan)
  17. Renn Tolman's Latest Jumbo Underconstruction
  18. Kevin Beddoe's New Tolman Site
  19. Bruce Armstrong's Pictures from the Homer Show!!
  20. Tolman Skiff Kits Are Available!!! (Jim O'Meara built a Jumbo in 93-days. Wow!)
  21. Tolman Skiff Builder? Go here to sign our GuestMap and to see where other builders live. (don't use your email address to avoid spam.)
  22. Bruce Armstrong's Homer Wooden Boat Show Article at Duckworks.
  23. Dave Nolan and Gary Schetlick Shark Killers (in a Tolman Skiff)
  24. Paul Hail, back from Homer, shares these Tolman pictures
  25. Kevin Beddoe Launches his Jumbo!
  26. Brian Dixon Flips his Jumbo!
  27. Robert Strawbridge is almost done with his beautiful Jumbo!
  28. Ron William's Widebody is another work of art!
  29. Russ Taylor's Widebody Contruction Photos!
  30. Jim Ward's Ultra Jumbo (25') gets turned (Duckworks)!
  31. Brian Dixon's Jumbo article at Duckworks!
  32. Dave Nolan starts work on the Tolmanesque Great Alaskan
  33. Neal Schlee's Jumbo
  34. Craig Floerchinger's 24 foot Jumbo
  35. Paul Hail's Widebody with Round Cuddy!
  36. Ray Brown's Jumbo gets flipped!
  37. Pictures:Homer 2005 Tolman Skiff Get Together
  38. Craig Floerchinger Launches His Jumbo!
  39. Jon Berger's Standard in a beautiful Pacific Island paradise  (Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia)
  40. Aaron Enstad's 24' Jumbo
  41. Stephen Mailloux Flips his 22' Jumbo
  42. Robert Strawbridge Launches his Jumbo!
  43. Doug Huvar's Widebody and his New Bay Weld
  44. Ray Brown's Jumbo
  45. Kenneth Dodson Flips His Jumbo!
  46. The Shirley Lamar is Launched Sept. 3rd
  47. Dave Wright's 18' Standard!
  48. WalknBob has his Skiff Kit and he's raring to go!
  49. Renn Tolman Interview
  50. Ray Brown is building a Jumbo that will have a Mercruiser Cummins Diesel!
  51. Kevin Beddoe's Lake Powell Report
  52. Michael Schlechter's Widebody Update
  53. David's Giant 25' Jumbo (Three Generations Building!!!!)
  54. Jim Wilcox's Widebody
  55. Jim Wilcox's Website
  56. Renn Tolman on the Tolman Skiff
  57. Trailer Boat Magazine Article on Kevin Beddoe's Jumbo
  58. Bruce Armstrong's Pictures of the ChulaRodHog for the TrailerBoat Article
  59. New Addendum(s) for Renn's Book (PDF file)
  60. New Pictures from Jim O'meara
  61. Phil Walker's Standard
  62. Russ Dodd's 24' Jumbo is Flipped!
  63. Jesse Morgan's Tolman Project
  64. Erin Scott's Jumbo Blog
  65. Ben Stuart's Widebody!
  66. Phil Walker's Standard Update
  67. Bill Jone's Jumbo Turned!
  68. Paul Hail's Widebody
  69. Pacific North West Tolman Owners Group Gathering (PNW TOG)
  70. Russ Dodd's 24' Jumbo
  71. Mark Wipfli's 20' Tolman Skiff Standard
  72. Phil Walker's Standard ON THE WATER!
  73. David Ohara's Standard
  74. Experimental User Upload Board (register to upload, not required to view)
  75. Ray Brown Launches His Diesel Powered Jumbo!
  76. WalknBob is back to work on his Jumbo!
  77. Mike Wagner is building a 24 foot Jumbo!
  78. Mike Schlechter has new pictures of his Widebody
  79. Becharof Adventure, by Mary Griswold
  80. Joe Nelson starts an 18' Tolman Standard (registration required)
  81. New Tolman Skiff Widebody image from Gary Porter!
  82. Jim Wilcox has new images of his Tolman Skiff Widebody
  83. Jim Shula has new images of his Tolman Skiff Standard
  84. Aaron Enstad has new images of his Tolman Skiff Jumbo
  85. Mike Schlechter has new images of his Tolman Skiff Widebody
  86. Renn Tolman is working on a new Design!
  87. Shirley Lamar T-Shirts Available!
  88. Jim Crawford starts his Tolman Widebody!
  89. Neil Andrew's sent new pictures of his Tolman Widebody
  90. New pictures of David Ohara's Tolman Standard!
  91. New pictures of Ken Chace's Jumbo Tolman Skiff!
  92. New pictures of Paul Hail's Widebody Tolman Skiff!
  93. New pictures of Nicola Caria's Widebody Tolman Skiff, Fresh From Italy!
  94. New Photos of Mike Schlechter's Widebody Tolman Skiff
  95. An Original Tolman Skiff (built by Renn) For Sale
  96. Joe Nelson turns his Standard Tolman Skiff! Video!
  97. Joe Nelson turns his Standard Tolman Skiff! Video!
  98. Joe Nelson turns his Standard Tolman Skiff! Photos!
  99. Fletcher Poole is building a Tolman Skiff Jumbo!
  100. Suzuki DF140 Set-Up Manual .PDF (2.3 mb)
  101. Adam Kondrashoff's Tolman Skiff Widebody!
  102. Jeff Hazelwood is planning on a Standard.
  103. Neil Andrew's Tolman Skiff Jumbo, and his Standard!
  104. Mike Wagner's Tolman Skiff Jumbo
  105. Kenneth Grome is building a Tolman Seabright in the Philipines!
  106. Friedhelm Wurfel is building a Widebody in Hamburg, Germany!
  107. Fletcher Poole Flips his Tolman Skiff Jumbo
  108. Robert Strawbridge's Tolman Skiff Adventure
  109. Plans available for the Tolman Seabright Skiff!
  110. Glenn McLain's Tolman Skiff Widebody!
  111. Paul Hail Tolman Skiff Widebody Update!
  112. Kenneth Dodson Tolman Skiff Jumbo Update!
  113. Ken Chace Tolman Skiff Jumbo Update!
  114. Bob Lanham's Vacuum Bagger
  115. Jim Wilcox gets his Tolman Skiff Widebody Wet!
  116. Paul Hail's Widebody Tolman Skiff Gets Launched!
  117. Uriah Rolando - Tolman Skiff Widebody!
  118. An Aluminum Tolman Skiff Widebody!
  119. The Gear Guys Turn Their Giant Jumbo!
  120. Tolman Seabright Article by Renn Tolman
  121. Bagacay Boat Works updated progress photos of their Tolman Skiff Seabright
  122. Ken Chace Gets His Tolman Skiff Jumbo Wet!
  123. Kenneth Dodson Goes Fishing in His Tolman Skiff Jumbo!
  124. Bruce Armstrong's 2007 Trip to Canada: A Tolman Skiff Adventure
  125. Aaron Enstad Launches His Tolman Skiff Jumbo Bassboat!
  126. David Dobler - Flips his Tolmanskiff Widebody
  127. Aaron Enstad's Official Launch Party!
  128. Paul Hail and Family Meet Renn Tolman
  129. Renn Tolman has updated his Tolman Skiff Website
  130. Ray Brown's beautiful Tolman Skiff Jumbo New!
  131. Dave Lambert - Standard New!
  132. Ken Chace's Tolman Skiff Jumbo Movie New!
  133. Ken Chace's Tolman Skiff Jumbo Movie New!
  134. Adam Kondrashoff Widebody Images New!
  135. Alaskan Wilderness Adventure - Renn Tolman and Mary Griswold New!
  136. Russ Dodd updates his Tolman Log New!
  137. Jerry Johnson's -Tolmanskiff Jumbo New!
  138. Join the discussion at the Beta Fishyfish Forum New!
  139. Martin Wagner's -Tolmanskiff Jumbo New!
  140. Renn Tolman's -Tolman Seabright New!
  141. Charlie Gieseker's -Tolman Widebody New!
  142. GearBox Guys' Giant Jumbo 25'8" New!
  143. Uriah Rolando's - Tolman Skiff Widebody is For Sale. New!
  144. Charles Preble's - Jumbo New!
  145. David Dobler's - Widebody New!
  146. Ben Stuart - Widebody - For Sale!
  147. David Dobler Launched His Wooden Tolman Skiff Widebody! New!
  148. Curtis Hanson - Tolman Skiff Widebody (for sale!) New!
  149. How to Catch Shrimp
  150. DIY Boat Building
  151. Wooden Boat Building
  152. Stitch and Glue Boat Building
  153. Wooden Boat Plans
  154. Wooden Skiff Plans
  155. Curtis Hanson - Tolman Skiff Widebody New Images (for sale!)
  156. Wooden Skiffs For Sale
  157. Shrimp Recipes
  158. Prawn Recipes
  159. An Early Example of a flat bottomed Tolman Skiff
  160. New Photos Dave Witherall's Widebody New!
  161. New Photos James White's Widebody - Wood! New!
  162. Colin Tolman - Tolman Skiff Standard! New!

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