FS18 Stringer Height

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FS18 Stringer Height

Post by Mooey88 »


I’ve been researching the FS18 skiff quite a bit on various forums and elsewhere. In photos I’ve seen of completed skiffs, it seems like the floor is typically a little too tall for my liking in relation to the sheer line or top of the deck. I understand some people have cut down the sheer, dropped the floor by lowering stringers, or a combination of these, and that there is always some variation from build to build.

I believe I’ve also read that the reason the stringers are designed at that height if for self-baling characteristics. May or may not be true, I just recall seeing this somewhere.

Anyways, my question is, is it possible to drop the stringer height and thus the floor height in the boat? Is stringer height a structurally integral part of the design? If stringers could be dropped, to what extent could they be lowered? 3” tall, 2” tall, 1” or even 0.5” tall? Just tossing ideas around in my head, I’d almost like to think dropping the floor as much as possible would be most fitting for me and my specific use. Most likely wouldn’t be using subfloor floatation foam.

I’m not concerned about having the skiff be self-baling. I would personally like to give myself a little more room in the boat and pull a blue if a wave comes over the bow. In a perfect dream world scenario, I’d really like to have no floor at all I suppose, much like early Hell’s Bay Gladeskiff’s or New Water Willets, but understand there may be limits to a structurally sound stitch and glue plywood skiff. That would be awesome if there were a way to make a skiff like an FS18 single floor though! Might save weight but understand there’s always some give and take. If it’s even possible with stitch and glue plywood construction, by the time you made up for the loss of stringers by beefing up the hull floor or fiberglassing, I could see how any weight savings might be lost. Would be interested hearing thoughts.


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Re: FS18 Stringer Height

Post by Reid »


I would not recommend lowering the stringer height. They are there for structural integrity as well as making the hull self bailing. I would recommend raising the hull side panels thus raising the sheer line and freeboard. The tradeoff to raising the sheer line would be increasing the affect wind will have on the hull.
As it relates to waves coming over the bow, I can tell you from personal experience that the FS18 is a really dry hull due to it being so light. I have fished it with three adults on a 1'+ choppy day in the river and the cockpit was almost bone dry at the end of the day. The lightweight nature allows the hull to ride over top of the chop. This of course does not help when contending with an approaching larger boat wake, but adding a few inches to the sheer line wouldn't make much difference, in my opinion. This is where a knowledgeable captain comes into play.
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Re: FS18 Stringer Height

Post by TomW1 »

Matt welcome. According to the designer you must keep 3" for all the frames all around and of course the stringers. This is as small as you can go. Look forward to following your build.

Restored Mirror Dinghy, Bought OD18 built by CL, Westlawn School of Yacht Design courses. LT US Navy 1970-1978

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