Boat Build Project – Tango Skiff 17

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:

The Original Tango Skiff
The Original Tango Skiff

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.

Tango 17 Completed Boat Build
Tango 17 Completed Boat Build

Image Credits: Tango Skiff

What’s Next?

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.

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