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Thread: Sa's First Flats Boat

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Gordonsbay Wcape
    Posts
    10

    Default Sa's First Flats skiff

    Last year had a urge to build a Skiff to fly fish from and for 6 months did on and off research as to what makes a flats skiff a flats skiff.

    stealth - no chine slap , narrow glide surface, plain easy , low wind resistance profile , storage , weight etc

    for a long time decided should we , maybe and then just went for it.

    So had to design and build from scratch.

    The boat had to do the following:
    1) Plain well on a 15hp motor
    2) Comfortable fishing space for 2 people
    3) Towable with a small car
    4) uncluttered deck , lost of storage
    5) Rugged

    What we got on the prototype is a craft that has the following Specs

    1) L - 5,05m 1.7m Beam
    2) Weight is 192kg dry
    3) Draft - 18cm laden motor trimmed up , 22cm with 2 big adults aft
    4) Chine width- 1.4m
    5) power 15-40hp Motor
    6) Tiller or Centre Console configuration .

    Took the boat for some seatrials 2 weeks ago and made the following notes :

    Saturday 13 Feb took the boat out on the water for the first time just outside of Gordonsbay old harbour .
    Conditions were OK to choppy with a 1-1.5m swell and 8-11mph winds.


    Got to the slip reversed the trailer into the water , as soon as the trailer wheels touched water the stern started floating.( retrieving was also interesting as you have to be far forward for the stern to rest on the trailer). The skiff was on my AceCraft trailer and the stern hangs 60cm off the back just due to having a different waterline profile that is very long .
    off the trailer got on the boat and the first impression is the level of stability it is not tippy even a little bit, with my Gymnastic physique I am able to walk around on the gunnel from Stern to bow in dead calm/flat water .

    Got out of the harbour mouth , Twisted the 15hp merc with a tiller extention and onto the plain she went almost instant and started accelerating , so much so that had to reduce power just to adapt to the water conditions sitting at 13-14 knots , turned around into the chop and got up to 17/18knots WOT.

    Went over a 1.5m swell dead on - did a bit of a belly flop - this boat doesn't like belly flops , took the next 5 swells at a 30degree angle and smooth as it comes
    lesson 1) if it can cut through it rides soft and dry , jumping it likes less. 14-16knots in these conditions was its happy place and had 1-2 horses in hand ( Having a horse or 2 in hand was almost comical as we crossed our fingers that it would plain ) it plains easy because it has a very long water line and big low deadrise planning surface.

    when the boat jumps on the plane it doesn't make a bow wake it has to get over , it just accelerates - I like this, as it is important to do this in shallow water.

    Then Came the Acid test : 2 crew( 122kg / 136kg ) / 45kg gear weight/ 25l of fuel . Twisted the throttle and up on the plane she went a second or so slower but not labouring at all , got to 15/16knots WOT and almost wanting a extra 2-3 knots with extra weight.

    What I like

    * Plains easy with a 15hp in salt water with few horses in hand , it performs perfect with the 15, going to a 30hp will give you better speed on flat water and little more torque and more horses in hand not that you may need them but if for some reason , also of the opinion a 30hp is going to be a tad over power at max operating . a 30hp with electric start , T&t will be very convenient, a 15/20hp with these features would be perfect.
    * Boat is dry
    * It is comfortable for its small size and very stable.
    * Stupid Skinny , with crew aft and one on the bow 16cm Draft with both crew aft 22cm Draft
    * You can tow and launch it comfortable with a citygolf sized car.
    * uncluttered deck , lots of storage under deck
    * Fuel consumption +- 80km on a 25l tank with 4stroke 15.


    What needs to be tweeked .

    * Would like the inside planning strakes 10-15cm Shorter - creates a little chine slap with single crew but quiet with 2 crew.
    * Having the pole platform a extra 10cm higher - 1st go around its ok but extra 10cm would be more convenient.
    * Need to reinforce the Hatch lids a little more or go on a diet
    * adding a little seating box on deck with grabrail .
    * Raising inside deck from 350mm to 320mm to gunnel

    Some Aspects getting used to :

    Tiller steering + Tiller steering plus extention turning to starboard easy - turning to port less versatile while seated.
    Standing on the poling platform is a little freaky but will get used to it in time

    boat likes as much weight as possible forward.

    Being openly critical , but all in all I think here is something special , special in a sense where this is a craft that is so simple and effortless to own and use and being able to fish in waters that other craft cannot .

    some pics
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Mr AceCraft; 24-02-16 at 01:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    johannesburg
    Posts
    506

    Default

    welcome Mr AceCraft
    you've got my attention so a few questions. was the wooden hull a template or did the wood remain after glassing it, did you feel safe at wot while siting in the back (you mention she likes load up front), did it have spray, is there prevision done for an electrical troll motor with batteries and lastly, how much (all inclusive)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Gordonsbay Wcape
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Dollar,

    This Craft was designed and then template cut with CNC machines - if not for this technology would be much longer process and may not have existed

    The superwood mould , was a onceoff female mould to get to prototype phase which is all GRP construction with glassed in marine ply transom , from the prototype
    we now get real world performance/ testing and the ability to tweek, for example the one plaining stake is 10cm to long as it still creates a little chine slap at rest
    (noise) so no problem to adjust once going to the moulding phase. being stealthy is important when sneaking on tailing fish. The sea conditions we tested in was slightly windy , 2m swell with short wind chop , considering this is a estuary /lagoon type craft very impressed with how she handled the conditions . Maybe a bit old school but like to test something first and tweek till I am happy before releasing it.

    Having load up front seems to be in line with the USA versions of such craft as it gets the V in the nose to cut through the water and track better in chop - this is being very critical and technical as a single crew running the craft sitting down or standing up very comfortable still just that the boat likes a bit of weight forward. the boat has 2 planning stakes inside stake @ -5 degrees and outside stake @-10 degrees that creates stability and keeps the water down for a dry ride , the bow section also has a oversize spray rail to keep craft dry. Trolling motors / electronics all possible and easier compatible with electric start motors for manual motors some modifications may be needed depending on brand.

    Personally I prefer newer generation 4 stroke motors as they mostly have all the features compatible with batteries/electronics and also more top end torque
    the F15 4stroke Merc in terms of power ( in saltwater) is more than acceptable but personally would maybe like a model with T&T and electric Start that seems standard on 30hp and up 4stroke motors.

    We will start making the mould most probably in May /June and be completely ready for Production July/Aug.

    Pricing to give a ball park have the following in Mind

    1) Standard Model - tiller 4stroke 15hp ( merc/Suzuki/Yammie) +trailer = Sub R100k ( 90-99k all dependant on brand of outboard)
    2) Fully Delux model Centre console with 4stroke 30hp T&T, steering ( Merc/Suzuki/Yammie) +trailer = Sub R140k

    Tiller 30hp or Console 15hp also possible with pricing anywhere between .

    This is all virgin territory in terms of type for the SA market but do think we have something very special in the making here.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Mr AceCraft; 24-02-16 at 03:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Cape Town South Africa
    Posts
    1,277

    Default

    Amazing to see a craft like this coming out of a South African stable... Bravo Mr.AceCraft... when I saw the pics on FB I was blown away... Having spent some time on both the bow and poling platform of technical poling skiffs in the US and Caribbean, I can honestly say there is no place in the world better than the bow or poling platform of a quality skiff with skinny water underneath you, and tailing fish ahead of you..

    Bravo, really look forward to seeing the further development of this craft... any details with regards to rod storage ( essential 9ft ) and other "essentials" like pop up cleating/push pole storage etc?
    *** TO RIDE, SHOOT STRAIGHT AND SPEAK THE TRUTH ***

    Some people are like Slinkies.... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. - Hunter S. Thompson

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Gordonsbay Wcape
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Nepptune

    Ja only after the boat jumped on the plain with a 15hp did it sink in what we created as prior to this most has been theory and numbers the computer throws back at you

    Rod storage we still need to cut out in the inside gunnel flanks on the prototype , and may only do that once we have completed the moulds from it - just easier that way but should be able to accommodate 10-11ft , the boat is 16,6 long and with rod tubes running internally 2-3 rods each side should be sufficient.

    Retractable pole cleats - does not exist in SA to import @ $90 per cleat will quickly add cost so busy to make some locally.

    The Push pole we were also very fortunate to find a company on our doorstep who can make them , he can go as super carbon fibre as needed or as basic e-glass
    the first pole we did with e-glass and epoxy 3x2m section and as a total noob can only say it works well and does what it should and not too heavy and expensive - R3k vs $300 for import or $500-600 for a carbon fibre version. As this will progress all the typical flats boat add ons will be possible and options

    aerated livewell , elevated bow platforms, Trim tabs , remote Shallow water spikes etc.

    all very exciting and busy with pioneering work. I see you are in Capetown and more than welcome to come have a look at the boat and would like some inputs as well from guys that have guiding and fishing experience on these type of craft.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Cape Town South Africa
    Posts
    1,277

    Default

    Brillinat stuff Ace-Craft!! Love the "Local is Lekker" route you guys are taking... really looking forward to seeing this craft when I can find some time to drag my head out of work in a couple weeks..
    *** TO RIDE, SHOOT STRAIGHT AND SPEAK THE TRUTH ***

    Some people are like Slinkies.... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. - Hunter S. Thompson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    298

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr AceCraft View Post
    - R3k vs $300 for import or $500-600 for a carbon fibre version.
    holy carp no thx then I'd rather carry on with my bamboo pole

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    johannesburg
    Posts
    506

    Default

    thank you for the detailed response. sounds very nice and as you said "we have something very special in the making here" hence my interest

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Gauteng
    Posts
    1,225

    Default

    Awesome piece of engineering.
    Bryan Williams

    “My Biggest worry is that my wife will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it!”

    Check out my albums

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Western Cape
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Love this, looking forward to seeing it.



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