It may be that the introduction of plywood as a reliable boat building
material, and the availability of a variety of new and reliable inboard
engines, influenced the design evolution you recognized. Then again, I
also believe there are two distinctly different types of Seabright
skiffs in the Atkin collection ...
When I first began to research these boats I learned that I had to be
careful to distinguish between their original Seabright skiffs and the
ones Atkin terms "tunnel-stern" Seabright skiffs. These are two
different boats in my opinion. I think the tunnel-stern boats were
designed for low-end planing speeds rather than displacement speeds so
they need a wide planing surface aft, and that's where the tunnel-stern
The latest (and theoretically the most refined) of the smaller Seabright
skiffs designed by William Atkin is the tunnel-stern model
called "Shoals Runner". Lots of people appear to be more interested in
Rescue Minor, but there are subtle yet substantial differences in these
two boats when you compare their lines, and I think Shoals Runner is
more refined and probably resolves some of the issues reported by
Rescue Minor users.
I'm told that John Atkin continued to design tunnel-stern Seabright
skiffs after his father's death, but it seems John's designs were much
larger and heavier than his father's boats -- more like cruisers than
utilities or runabouts -- and their bottom geometry is different
because of their size, weight and lower top speeds.
These boats are very interesting -- all of them. If the reports are
true it seems they offer a number of desirable features that can seldom
be found in the same combination in the popular plastic outboard
powered boats so many people seem to want to buy these days.
> I am wondering about the evolution of the atkins' seabright skiffs,
> especially the open utility models like Everhope and Rescue Miner. It
> seems that aproximately after WWII Wm. Atkin prefered the V bottom
> design, like RM, Nibble, Sallie Hyde, etc., to the earlier, more
> traditional round bildge models like Everhope and Sunray. I wonder if
> this was because the hard chine hulls proved to be better, or if they
> were just easier to build.
> Andrew Harvey