Ray & Anne's

Home-Built Tolman Alaskan Skiff

Begun: June 16, 2004

The Beginning





Cruising Plans



The Beginning


New pictures of our relaunch. See Relaunch


The Perfect Boat?

I wanted a large open runabout like a panga. One that would bridge waves on the Columbia River. One that I could go fishing in. I had a 16 ft Bayrunner but it was too small. Maybe I could take it up to Barkley Sound but then it would have to have a cabin. Maybe we could take it to all those cool places where our sailboat couldn't go -- Lake Powell, Lake Chelan, the Intracoastal Waterway in Florida and across Lake Okeechobee. Oh yeah, and it had to be light so I wouldn't have to buy some gas hog to tow it or a 400 cubic inch inboard engine to push it. It could be like a 22ft C-Dory but not with such a flat bottom. And it couldn't cost too much. I wanted to build it my way but it couldn't be too hard. It should be easy to get far enough along in the building process so I wouldn't want to quit part way through. Oh yeah, and it had to have an enclosed head so I could get Anne to go along.

Decisions, and decisions that make decisions for you --

The decision was made to order a Jumbo. I started out wanting a Widebody with a cuddy and hardtop. It would be open on the sides of the hardtop, maybe use Sunbrella canvas and vinyl windows. Wanted to use the Evinrude E-tech 90. Light, simple and good for shallow water, easy to tow with the existing Minivan. Then we saw the Homer boat show pictures and the cabin versions of the Widebody were kinda out of proportion. The cabin was too tall and the cockpit sides looked too short. Also, the precut kit from was about the same price for either Widebody or Jumbo. Then I noticed that the Jumbo version came 22ft or 24ft for about the same price. Also we plan to do extended cruising and that means taking lots of stuff along. I could see the handwriting on the wall. Simple, light and small was not going to work.

Porch becomes workshop --

I had to revamp the back porch in preparation for the big build. New plastic on the roof, chipboard to cover the deck boards, an 8x10ft extension to accommodate the bow and new paint everywhere. This was in addition to regular maintenance, reshaping and widening the front driveway, making the gravel parking pad Jumbo size and of course the required honey-dos.

Picking up the kit from the trucking company.

Special delivery to the back porch. --

I ordered the kit because I thought it would give me a head start to completing the project. I had trouble with the book's text-based instructions, and the full-size pre-cut pieces helped me visualize the process. Also, I could not find any good plywood in Portland Oregon. Later, for the interior, I found the local plywood supply to be a mixed bag. I still can't find acceptable marine fir plywood but I have found Aquatek meranti mahogany plywood that I really like.

I started collecting tools and supplies. Epoxy was found much cheaper online, so we became good friends with the UPS guy.

Other boats --

There have been others, many others.


©2004 Ray Brown & Anne Thompson