The immortal aluminum skiff

A great many cruising sailors swear by their rigid-hulled inflatable dinghies. The cream-of-the-crop is, apparently, a 10 to 14 foot Hypalon-tubed, fibreglass-bottomed thing with a two-stroke Yamaha on the back. Some folks start with something smaller and less rigid, but the small RIBs eventually dominate.

Up in Northern Ontario, though, such a vessel would be unthinkable. Almost every lake has rocks and deadheads that would tear an inflatable apart. The docks are rough, the winters are harsh, the repair facilities are non-existent. There's lumber to carry, fish to land and young skippers to teach.

Here, the humble, immortal aluminum skiff is king.

Stretching out a powerboat

Design ideas tend to build up around here faster than they can be written down. At the moment, there are seven boats on the board:

  • The Starwind 860 is under construction and her detail drawings are still being finished up.
  • The Bonaventure 570's construction drawings are in work.
  • An up-sized Almaguin (5.8 m) is awaiting final construction drawings.
  • The four Awenda planing-hull designs are on the back burner, waiting for a calm spell.

And after John Harries' post this morning on why long thin boats are cool, I couldn't resist pulling out the CAD models of the Bonaventure 1180 for a bit more detailing.

Bonaventure 570


Bonaventure 570

An efficient, seaworthy low speed power cruiser for coastal cruising and short blue-water passages. Long range, trailerable and shippable in a 20' container.


Length overall: 

6 m

Length waterline: 

5 m

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Displacement light-ship: 

2,100 kg

Displacement at design load: 

2,870 kg

Beam overall: 

2 m

Beam waterline: 

2 m

Draught normal: 

1 m

Bridge clearance minimum: 

2 m

Wetted surface: 

10 m²

Power typical: 

12 kW

Power description: 

Inboard diesel

Length/displacement LDR: 


Tankage water: 

128 L

Displacement/length DLR: 

567 ltn/ft3


4 kW/t

Tankage fuel: 

358 L



Plans available: 

Not at this time

Build status: 

Design in development

Design number: 



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