Skerry Raid

I am quite interested in the Skerry Raid. I know that it is in the beta stages but I am still surprised that only three of these have been built. I am also surprised that it doesn't seem to have picked up as much forum traffic as the Nanoship or Nesting Expedition Dinghy ( which are also very interesing boats). Could anyone comment on the performance of the Skerry Raid as it stacks up against the original Skerry? I would like to be able to sleep on board if required -  is this possible as presently configured or could an offset daggerboard be used? thank you, Allan

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RE: Skerry Raid

I've been interested in the Skerry Raid also. I really only need the Raid's swing centerboard ....though the idea of a six inch wider beam is helpfull. I suppose you could simply layout a dagger board on the Raid which might give you a bit of room for sleeping but I bet it won't be much. 

As for comparison with the regular Skerry, John Guider had the Skerry modified into a Raid for his 6K mile Great Loop adventure and he spent many hours in it. Wish he would add his comments to the discussion. 

A Beta kit might not be a good investment for a first time builder..which most CLC builders probably are. Those with more experience won't need step-by-step illustrated      instructions. But those with more experience might want a more traditional build rather than stitch and glue.  This might explain why so few have been built so far. Also, as with the Peeler Skiff, once someone documents a build others will quickly see how easily it goes together. builders have done so to my knowledge.




RE: Skerry Raid

Looking at the kit I'd rate it production minus, rather than beta. The hull and rigging look like almost stock Skerry, and the full Skerry instructions are included. Good point about beta builds being a better idea for experienced, rather than first time, builders, but don't forget - to build a Raid you have to first build a nearly complete Skerry, then add the bits that make it a Raid. The result is that by the time you get to the Raid part, you're an experienced builder with a Skerry under your belt. 

Have fun,



RE: Skerry Raid

   LOVE my Skerry Raid!!

Just completed another week aboard - my third since building completed in March '15. I currently use the sprit rig with an added Passagemaker RF jib. Simply AWESOME!! Yesterday, in 15-20 knots downwind, water depth from 8' down to 2', waves from 1.5 to 3', she was doing 5.8-6 knots surfing, never less than 5.5 otherwise - under full main only - centerboard fully up.  WHAT a Ride!!  6 hours of FUN!!

The day before, beating into 12-15, full main AND full jib, she amazed me with windward ability!  4.6-5 knots all day!  Centerboard fully down.  Depth 8' to 4', waves 1.5 to 3'.  Rarely does spray come into the boat.  Maybe 2 sponge fulls all day.  NO problem pointing & you can choose to sit on the sole or on the rail.  I have experimented with seating - when close hauled, you can sit on the sole at midships, on the sole aft or anywhere on the "deck"/rail from midships to quarter to dead center aft - I don't think it makes all that much difference performance-wise, but I am no racer, just a "Fun" cruiser.  You can also, by the way, stand up in anything less than 12 knots, especially downwind.  LOVE the steering stick!!

Just so you know, I'm 6'0", 185#s, and all these trips ( around 300 miles total, so far) are fully loaded with gear, I'ld estimate about 45-50#s of gear - mostly in the forward watertight space to offset me seated aft.  Also, I'm a first time builder with pretty much zero prior woodworking experience.  My boat isn't perfect, nor "yacht" finish, but buddy she can sure take a lickin'!!  I do not baby my boat.  She works hard & gets rammed (puposely) full speed onto beaches, shells, gravel, whatever with zero issues.  I did add glass all around the centerboard slot & up inside it about 3".  I also glassed the leading edge & "foot" of my board & rudder to take beachings/groundings.  I also double-layerd glass on the forward & aft 1/4 of the hull.  Other than a few paint scratches, you can't tell the boat has been used.  John Harris was, and is, always SUPER helpful in technical matters.  I sail in southern Florida, mostly skinny water, but offshore, too.

About sleeping aboard:  I do it up to a week at a time (gotta work or I would go longer).  No worse than sleeping on your floor.  I sometimes use a cheapo CCF yoga mat, sometimes "throwable" pfd cushions, often nothing.  On anchor, she's a peach - you cannot stay awake.  On the beach, fully solid ground beneath her, she's, well, solid. Still, a night full of stars & the sounds of water lapping after a long day's sailing; you will definitely sleep well!

OK - Any other interests or questions, you can reach me at [email protected].  I do have a series of sequential pics of the build (in my living room) if anyone is interested.

Do NOT hesitate to buy & build this boat!! If I can build it, anyone can build it.  For cruising, daysailing or adventuring, you can't beat the Skerry Raid/Expedition!!



RE: Skerry Raid

   Great endorsement John.

What do you use for an anchor?

RE: Skerry Raid


Thanks so much for your review of the Skerry Raid build. A few more questions

1. my Raid will have to be moored at a dock in all weather. Is there anyway to install a cover over the cockpit to keep most of the rain out when moored? Does a combing around the cockpit come standard or can I fabricate one to fasten a cover.

2. Did your Raid come with the oval rowing seat on the centerboard well? If so would it still work with a full thwart of 8-10" wide in place of the oval seat?

3. Could three adults sail in the Raid for short day trips without being totally in each others way?

Thanks again for your excellent information on your Raid. I would like to see any photos of your build. [email protected]


RE: Skerry Raid

   Hey, Silver Salt,

I currently use a cheapo danforth style anchor with Very cheapo Home Depot ugly color braid rode.  No chain, works Perfectly!  In my area of east coast Florida the bottom is always sand or mud (in the rivers).  I've anchored in everything from inches to maybe 20' & currents up to maybe 4 knots &/or winds up to 20.  Wonderful boat at anchor!

Most of the time, I sail into my "spot" & drop the hook from where I'm seated.  Once she sets, I pay out my appropriate scope & make her off to my stern cleat, then stow whatever sail(s) are up.  I stay anchored by my stern until ready to leave.  It's very simple to drop & retrieve from aft like that, even if you will be sailing away from your anchor.  Remember, though, this is in shallow, sand or mud bottoms.  When the wind & waves get up at anchor I sometimes remove my rudder because the pintles & gudgeons will  "chatter" to you all night in bouncy conditions. I stow my anchor & rode (150' that I've never used all of) on the starboard side of my centerboard trunk, flat on the sole against the forward bulkhead, with one side of the stock "hooked" behind (forward of) my mast where it sits in its step. Simple, out of the way & has never moved until I move it.

Sorry to be so wordy but I just also want to mention that I used to use a Walmart 5# folding grapnel with 150' of 1/4" laid line - also works Perfectly but also always made me nervous once the wind or current piped up.  It never drug, I just decided it wasn't prudent in other than quiet waters, which, as you know, don't always remain quiet.

Final note, Michael Burwell has posted info somewhere on this forum regarding an anchor that I now forget the name of.  Seek his advice, as he has way more experience than me with his Skerry, essentially the undecked version of the Raid.

Hope that's helpful!


RE: Skerry Raid

   Hey, Robert,

1. IMHO, a cover is a Must!  I keep designing & experimenting & redesigning but the simplest method is to make a "tonneau" cover out of poly tarp & install snaps or velcro as needed along the perimeter of the cockpit.  Using the wooden arched batten method keeps the water from pooling.

There is no real coaming, per se, but the cockpit rim is sufficient for mounting snaps or velcro & the fittings to hold the battens.  You could also use a strongback but I think the battens are much easier to make, install & stow.  Yes, you can add a coaming & I may actually do that later on - she mostly doesn't take a lot of spray aboard so it's not necessary but sometimes when sailibg with the rail in the water she will allow the occasional "slop wave" aboard. So far, I've never gotten more than 2-3 sponge-fulls in a day.  Rain, however, WILL fill this bathtub!! Rained all night for 2 nights on this most recent trip - I puposely had no cover along to see how that worst case would be.  Yeah. No.  Bring a cover!

2.  Yes, it comes with the rowing seat.  I made mine easily removeable & mostly it's stowed out of the way, attached to the forward end of the centerboard trunk.  Yes, you could use a thwart - I wanted to keep mine removeable for more sleeping room & for me, thwarts would interfere with sleeping on the sole.  I have friends with Skerries who do sleep aboard on thwarts - these boats can be tippy until you adapt to their motion so keeping your weight lower when sleeping is worth thinking about.

3. Three adults might be 1 too many, though 3 who are good sailors/boaters who can anticipate & respond well to tacks, jibes, etc. might be exciting.  I have not yet had anyone out with me so I actually don't know.  Load-wise, I don't recall the boat's capacity but when I first was getting to know her I used to cram a ton in her & she always sailed well.

I will email you some pics of the build in the next few days - it is amazing how quickly a pile of thin wood in a box becomes a wonderfully stong & able, totally expedition- capable craft!


RE: Skerry Raid

  Thanks for the postings on this site.


Am definitely interested in the Skerry Raid as a camp cruiser.  I am 5'4" tall and 145 lbs.  Is the cockpit sole enough space for someone like me to sleep aboard?

How does she row?

Are there any owners who live within 500 miles of Washington, DC?

If so, I'd like to go sailing with you to see how this designs sails, rows, etc.

Thanks for helping me plan the optimal retirement boat.



RE: Skerry Raid

   I have a one question about skerry raid. My raid is come to phase for cuting deck and glue it to boat, but I run in "trouble" with that. How many plywood you need for deck? Do you have any pictures when you are made your deck, how you are make layout on plywood? Thank you!

RE: Skerry Raid

   The webpage for the Skerry raid makes it look like kit builders make the deck from 6 pieces, while plans builders appear to scarf 2 sheets together lengthwise to make each half.

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