Selecting a Small Boat Build Project
I have been told that one should build the boat that best suits the nearest body of water – that’s the way to get the most use out of it.
Source: Small Boats Monthly: Tango 13 A twin-tailed Transom
With this quote in mind, the Hudson River is only a few minutes away. And with time always a factor, I considered the time it would take to launch a boat from a ramp. While I enjoy sailboats, I felt a motor boat would get us out on the water faster. So with these things in mind, I decided a motor boat was the way to go.
Next, I considered boat length for two important reasons. First, my work space is limited. Second, I have to accommodate two six-foot-tall adults and our two young but growing boys. And so, after a great deal of research and no small amount of hand-wringing, I’ve decided to build designer Hank Bravo’s Tango Skiff seen here in its original incarnation:
Since then, Hank Bravo expanded the Tango Skiff line to include plans for 12, 13, 14, 15 and 17 footers.
The plans for the 17 include a couple of drawings for a paper model (seen up top). Personally, I found this very helpful and encouraging. Since the boat is entirely plywood with no lumber involved, building a paper version is a great way to get an idea of what’s in store.
A Completed Tango Skiff 17
Below is an example of a completed Tango 17 with a side console rather than the center console drawn by the designer. I believe its the first one completed. It looks great but I’ll likely stick with the center console design and go with a lot less brightwork.
Image Credits: Tango Skiff
Let’s start with a model of the Tango Skiff. A model is a great way to get a better idea of the build process and helpful for trying out ideas.