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Stevenson Super Skipjack


Frank Hagan
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Mike Stevenson posted a link to the YouTube channel for Stevenson Projects, where they have a few new videos. The Super Skipjack looks interesting:

Has anyone built one of these? I'm wondering how much easier the build is than a Weekender; I'll bet you trim off about 1/4 the materials and time to build one of these. (Maybe Mike can comment on that!)

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Hi Frank, thanks for clarifying the process of posting YouTube vids.

The Super Skipjack is 14' on deck, and has a very similar hull shape to the Weekender. It's essentially a 7/8-scale Weekender hull (with a slightly modified aft third of the hull). There is no cabin, so all that work is eliminated, and the cockpit's actually much larger than the Weekender. (But one loses the dry space and coziness of the cabin.) The keel is thinner (1 1/2" instead of 2 1/4"), plywood thicknesses are reduced, so the cost and overall weight is less. The weight is close to HALF of what a Weekender weighs!

I wouldn't say 1/4 the materials, or time, but I would say maybe 5/8? There's a certain amount of fixed time it takes to sand and prep and all that and the difference in size is just not that much. BUT: the open cockpit really changes the finishing work. This is a small, sporty boat. With that in mind, I did NO non-skid on mine. One won't be walking forward (possibly crawling, but not often) as you can walk right up to the mast, standing on the side-decks isn't quite possible (it's barely so for a lightweight person on the Weekender), so the only places one will be stepping is either the seats (and personally, I didn't want to non-skid them) or the cockpit floor (and I have boat carpeting velcroed down there). That saves weight and time also.

I ended up finishing the deck and seats to a higher degree than we usually do on our prototypes, in that we knew this was a "keeper" and I wanted to finish it a bit more for my own satisfaction. (for those readers new to boatbuilding, that's a great thing about building one's own boat: You get to finish it to your own level of happiness, and you can go back a season or two later and bring things up another level, which is essentially what I just did here!)

I added a taff-rail of Australian Jarrah, cut and routed new cockpit coamings, made a new rudder box and rudder (and a MUCH longer tiller—I prefer this to what Peter has in the plans—using an axe handle like the very first Skipjack we did in the '70's!), I upgraded the standing and running rigging (and I had to make a new boom and gaff, as the first pair stayed in Texas on Peter's Weekender, and I re-made all the fittings (gooseneck, mounting straps, chainplates, etc.) from stainless strap which I then polished with sandpaper and compound.

So work-wise, I added a bit to my job, certainly, but then these were personal additions and one could build the boat more simply, as usual, and it would perform exactly the same! I may still do one more coat of black on the hull, but not until next Winter.

I'll post a page with shots from along the process and more details, probably next week. Thanks again for the video link help!

Mike

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Thanks for the clarification, Mike! In all the times we had our Weekender out, I never went into the cabin. My wife did, abandoning me at the tiller to nap contentedly in there. But I'm thinking for day sailer use, the larger cockpit is probably a good addition.

I was thinking you would save about 1/4 on the materials, so the material cost might be about 75% of the Weekender, but I didn't state it very clearly. On the modified aft portion is it beamier? I always thought the Weekender was just a bit cramped by the tiller, and would have better trim with heavier sailors if the aft was wider (similar to the Potter 15, an ugly little boat but a fun one to sail).

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Ah; sorry, I misunderstood. I'd have to say, still possibly 60% or so, but I haven't priced it out. We added a bit of depth, actually, rather than beam. Just a little less rocker aft. Not too different.

I had lots of fun with the self-tending jib, as it's nearly effortless, but a big asymmetrical would be fun to try (with a good crew! I'd want another person who knew what they were doing in that case.) When I get time, I'll take it up to Sierra Point in San Francisco Bay and see what sort of speed it can do on that flat, shallow water with 25kts of wind...Once again: with experienced crew in wetsuits! I have a neighbor who kite-surfs and had a Hobie 16 for years, so I think he'd be easy to Shanghai!

Mike

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