This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
The following is a description of an may be easily pushed through marshes, easily constructed 12-ft. skiff, suitable It is constructed of 3/4-in. dressed pine, for rowing and paddling. This is the or cypress. type used by many duck hunters, as it The sides consist of planks, 14 in. wide, but 12-in. planks may be used, the length being 12 ft. 4 in. Two stem pieces are constructed as shown in Fig. 1, and the plank ends are fastened to them with screws. Nail a crosspiece on the plank edges in the exact center, so as to space the planks 34 in. apart, as shown in Fig. 2 ; then turn it over and nail another crosspiece in the center of the planks for width, and make the spacing of the other edges 40 in. Plane the lower edges so that, in placing a board across them, the surfaces will be level. The floor boards are 6 in. wide and fastened on crosswise, being careful to apply plenty of red lead between all joints and using galvanized nails, 2in. long.
Ill: The Skiff is Especially Constructed for Use in Shallow Water and Marshes by Duck Hunters, but with the Addition of a Keel It Makes a Good Craft for Almost Any Water as a Rowboat
A deck, 18 in. long, is fastened on each end, as shown in Fig. 3. It is made of strips fastened to a cross-piece. The seats, or thwarts, consist of 10-in. boards, and are placed on short strips fastened to the side planks about 5 in. from the bottom. The oarlocks are held in a wedge-shaped piece of wood, having a piece of gas pipe in them for a bushing, the whole being fastened at the upper edge of the side planks with screws, as shown in Fig. 4. The location of these must be determined by the builder.
Some calking may be required between the bottom, or floor, boards, if they are not nailed tightly against one another. The calking material may be loosely woven cotton cord, which is well forced into the seams. The first coat of paint should be of red lead mixed with raw linseed oil, and when dry any color may be applied for the second coat.
While, for use in shallow water, these boats are not built with a keel, one can be attached to prevent the boat from "sliding off" in a side wind or when turning around. When one is attached, it should be 3/4 in. thick, 3 in. wide, and about 8 ft. long. - Contributed by B. Francis Dashiell, Baltimore, Md.