XLNC 19'2" Fast Low-Powered Flat-Bottom Skiff
- Has anyone built this in-board powered skiff? What engine was used?
Has anyone had experience with air-cooled inboard engines installed in
any of the Atkin skiffs?
In Alaska, hand-trolling in 16'-20' skiffs ("puddle jumpers") powered
with 8hp - 20 hp Briggs & Stratton engines was a cheap way to get into
commercial fishing. Engines were connected to the propeller shaft with
pullys and belts. There were no gearboxes. Reverse direction was with
Thanks for any comments or suggestions.
- There's a photo of a gussied up XLNC in the photos section of the Atkin
pages. It did 11.5 mph. with a five horse engine:
An aircooled engine would be fine in an XLNC. She's an inexpensive boat to
build, which matches the inexpensive powerplant, and a light engine would
be good for her performance. Reverse is awfully nice though, expecially if
you're doing much docking.
Aircooled engines have been used in many small boats over the years. Here
on the West Coast the most famous example is probably the Poulsbo Boat on
Puget Sound. They usually, if not always, had a reverse gear. I recently
picked up a 4.6 hp. Wisconsin with a Twin Cone reduction and reverse gear
made in Seattle:
A little further north small lapstrake boats were quite common in British
Columbia. I had one for a while, though it didn't have an air-cooled
engine when I got it. A friend of mine is now renovating it. Here's one I
saw not long ago at Nanaimo:
George Calkins of Bartender fame built a fleet of skiffs powered by
air-cooled (B&S IIRC) engines for use as rental boats on Devils Lake at
Lincoln City, Oregon when his shop was there. They had no reverse.
And there were the hand trollers you mention, and no doubt many more
examples I don't yet know about.
B&S, Wisconsin and Reo made marine versions of their engines. So don't let
the naysayers sway you! Every time somebody mentions on the 'net forums
that they want to try using a "lawnmower engine" in a boat they get
savaged by a crowd of know-it-alls telling them they'll blow themselves
up, the Coast Guard will throw them in jail, or the engine won't last a
season. If you don't enclose the engine the Coast Guard won't get you. A
remote tank is a Real Good idea, and the engines will last a long time --
and when they die they're cheap to replace.
The cheapest engines are the vertical shaft ones that come on lawnmowers.
The cheapest way to get one is to buy a lawnmower on sale, it's cheaper
than buying an engine by itself! I've often puzzled over how to use on of
them in a boat and get a reverse too. Even in my wildest dreams I didn't
think of mounting the whole power deck from a riding lawnmower in a boat!
On Wed, 18 Jan 2006 07:56:54 -0800, michael parker wrote:
> Has anyone built this in-board powered skiff? What engine was used?
> Has anyone had experience with air-cooled inboard engines installed in
> any of the Atkin skiffs?
> In Alaska, hand-trolling in 16'-20' skiffs ("puddle jumpers") powered
> with 8hp - 20 hp Briggs & Stratton engines was a cheap way to get into
> commercial fishing. Engines were connected to the propeller shaft with
> pullys and belts. There were no gearboxes. Reverse direction was with
> a oar.
> Thanks for any comments or suggestions.
"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb.
"Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the
truth. <Alfred North Whitehead>