GIS – Traditional good looks excellent sailing performance

Goat Island Skiff - simple build but fast plywood sailboat.

I’ve been up in Mooloolaba Queensland for around a week now doing some planning and groundwork for the PDRacer – a small cheap sailing boat that is easy to build. But that is not the focus of this blog entry.

I’m staying with Peter and Jo Hyndman – Peter built the first Goat Island Skiff to my plans about 12 years ago and we have been firm friends since.

Peter and Jo live on the edge of the Mooloola River – which makes it quite easy to take a break and go for a sail.

Peter has been perching up on his balcony with his new Nikon digital camera while I put the GIS through its paces.

I’ve put the results in a couple of Flickr albums.

In stronger winds.
In moderate winds.

It is definitely a quick boat. Maybe it doesn’t have the top end of a modern racing boat, but it is not going to be embarrassed by any non trapeze boat on any point of sail and most windstrengths. Hopefully we will be posting some videos taken the same day as the image above so ppl can see for themselves.

The thing about the GIS is that it is constructed like a modern boat out of a minimum number of pieces.
2 x sides
1 x bottom
3 x seat tops
4 x bulkheads to support the seats and create the built in buoyancy tanks
1 x transom.

There is very little else.

The end result is that the boat is lighter than many racing boats. Peter’s own Gruff weighs in at a very light 127lbs (58kg)- not bad for a boat a little under 16ft (4.8m).

So in these pics you can see it in fast mode – and also see just how pretty it is.

If you look at the GIS Pages on my website you will be able to see it carrying a bit of weight too. I’ve sailed it with 4 adults in the boat (Actually it was Peter and Jo, me and my ex Maz) for a daysail on Moreton Bay with a picnic aboard – about 700lbs (310kg) of crew and gear.

Another interesting thing is that you wouldn’t think that this was a 12 year old boat judging by the pics. It has never been repainted or revarnished.

A testament to coating a boat with a good quality boatbuilding epoxy system and then following it with a quality paint system. It costs more in the first place, but the boat and the owner don’t miss the two or three major periods of sanding back and repainting that would have been required if cheaper materials were used.

It has been great having the GIS on the beach ready to go for a quick sail – I’ve taken three people out today for a quick blat around the island in front of Peter’s house – a half hour sail – so that is four rounds of the island for me today.

You see I snuck out for a quick sail before everyone got up this morning.

In the fresher conditions in the pics she is a bit of handful for one person – but I was trying to see how fast I could go for the photographer! A second person makes it easy to hold her up – or the other alternative is that I could have reefed her down.

Enjoy the pics – I’m off for another sail.

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