1 of 19
|Model||Wizard River Skiff|
This Wizard River Skiff is a unique light-weight sprit rigged wooden sailboat with a highly unusual pedigree. The vessel was designed by Tom Hill, author of “Ultralight Boatbuilding” and built by Matthias Pliessnig, an acclaimed furniture builder. Published in 1987, the description of Hill’s “Ultralight Boatbuilding” begins with, “Ultralight canoes and small boats are things of beauty, their apparent delicacy concealing great strength. They are lapstrake-constructed from marine plywood planks, each plank overlapping the one below it in a gracefully curved hull. Epoxy glue along the laps gives the hull structural reinforcement, minimizing the need for framing and permitting an amazingly light structure. Round-bilged and elegant, they are built over jigs, but the method is straightforward and not time consuming.”
Pliessnig’s interest in woodworking grew after he built a boat. Nautical themes and construction techniques are clearly visible in his furniture. The influences and application of fine furniture making is apparent in his more recent wooden boat building projects. Pliessnig’s work has been featured by such notable venues as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the James A. Michner Art Museum. His work has been featured in Fine Woodworking Magazine, SOMA magazine, and Woodworker’s Journal. He has held positions at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Virginia Commonwealth University.
At first glance this sprit rigged sailboat appears similar to a gaff rig. The sail is four sided with the luff attached to the mast. The peak is not supported by a gaff but by a wooden sprit attached to the mast about three feet above the base. This particular sail is loose-footed. It can be reefed.
This sailboat is 15’ 9 ½” long. The beam is 4’ 6 ¾”. Depth inside the boat is 14 ½”. Draft is 4”. Draft with the centerboard down is 3’ 2”. 12 pounds of lead are in the centerboard. Length at the waterline is 14’. The mast is clear spruce and is 9’ long with a diameter of 2 ¼”. The sprit is also spruce and is 10’ 6” long with a diameter of 1 ½”. The oars are 7’ 6”. Most of the wood used in the construction of this Wizard River Skiff is mahogany.
The luff of the sail is 7”; the foot is 8’; the leech is 9’ 3”; the distance from the head to the peak is 6’. The sail is manufactured by Precision sails and is in excellent condition.
Included with this skiff is a trailer that does have a state issued Title. There is no auxiliary means of propulsion (other than the oars!) but a small outboard could certainly be attached to the transom.