Peeler skiff is amazing

I purchased and built the Peeler Skiff, completing it June 2022, just in time for summer vacation. I built it in CA on my covered outdoor deck and trailered it to Essex Mass where it now lives and where we vacation in the summer. Using it in salt water on a bay and venturing into the ocan from time to time, I had some trepidation about the flat bottom, but I was pleasantly suprised by how well it does in the chop. I find running at 1/2 to 3/4 power with bow up it rides the chop just fine. I also opted for a 20 hp motor and am super pleased that I did. It was out of neccesity as 15hp motors with remote control were not available for over 12 months. I did glass quite a bit more than the plan suggested. I glassed every plywood surface inside and out and added extra seam tape at all corners. My boat weighs 390 lbs without motor. It is a pleasure to drive and carries my wife adn two kids with ease. I opted for the Tohatsu 20hp as it is fuel injected and has a 5 yr warranty. The motor works great. I also added a chase under the port seat so all the controls lines are hidden as opposed to running them around the perimeter of the boat as the plan show. I bonded in cut peices of a winsurfer mast for the entry / exit with flexible hose between and skipped adding the cut foam the plans recommend in the sealed compartments. I also added sealed hatches at the bow and starboard side for storage. The bow compatment holds an anchor, and 3 life vests. I lined the forward compatment with a high density foam so that the anchor bounding around will not compromise the hull. 

I am a proud owner and happy with the boat. Build time was probably over 300 hours. I used alwgrip on all topside surfaces. No brightwork for me. Low maintenance over pretty - but the boat looks great none-the-less. 

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RE: Peeler skiff is amazing

Sounds great. Pictures or it didn't happen :-)  



RE: Peeler skiff is amazing

I have been interested in this boat for a long time, for similar conditions here on a large-ish island in Maine, and the question of how much to power it has been on my mind. I'd like to do it in electric.

I need a boat that can sit on the bottom and sometimes land on beaches. That is why I have been hesitant to jump in with the Peeler. I built a Passagemaker a few years ago, and I love it, but then there's the maintenance, so I'm with you on the painted surfaces and decking material (I'd love to see the pictures, too).

So here is maybe a stupid question for the boatbuilders out there. Would it be feasible or impossible to bond a fairly substantial sheet or sheets of aluminum to the bottom of the Peeler, or would the different co-efficients of thermal expansion make this a non-starter as an idea? Or are there other, better ways to upgrade the bottom for a bit more rough use?

RE: Peeler skiff is amazing

A friend and I built my Peeler Skiff in 2014. She's is used solely on the saltwater of Narragansett Bay in RI. She is everything that Dtemo says. We doubled up on the fiberglass and the fillets so she is really stable and strong.

This year we upgraded her from 9.9 to 25 hp. (also because Yamaha doesn't sell the 15 hp with remote control). The Yamaha 25 is very little heavier than the 15 and sips gas at the throttle settings we use. I do recommend DoelFins or trim tabs however.

Properly handled, the Peeler is rock steady and stable. She even handles the big wakes thrown by thoughtless bif boaters. I have never felt any doubt in her out on the Bay. She's a great choice and a big bang for the buck.



RE: Peeler skiff is amazing

Able Abe,

I put extra glass on the bottom of my Peeler and she has held up beautifully to being frequently beached on gravel and shells. If you are worried about abrasion, you might think of adding a layer of Dynel fabric on the bottom. Dynel and epoxy are more abrasion resistent than glass and epoxy.

Personally, I would avoid aluminum sheathing. It's just asking for trouble.

Cannot beat a Peeler for fun and durability.



RE: Peeler skiff is amazing

Interesting thread. I don't get on here much but I can add to the orginal post and also recommend this boat. I built a Peeler Skiff with center console recently. Finished it in April 2022 and I've now had almost a full season with it. We use it in the large lakes of northern Georgia and will most likely be taking it to Florida for some winter adventures. 

As with the OP, I opted for a 20 hp outboard and I'm glad I did. I bought a Suzuki which took 5 months to arrive after ordered. In my opinion, 20 hp is appropriate for this boat and anything less would have given me unacceptable performance. The Suzuki 20 is the same as thier 9.9 and 15 hp motors. It just has a different ECM and restricter plate. More power for the same weight, Better cruising speeds and fuel consumption. Higher top speed if needed to outrun a squall or just get somewhere quicker. 

Sadly, I followed the plans and filled the forward compartment with foam, a huge mistake. This boat lacks storage and my first project this winter will be to cut a hole in the bulkhead, remove the foam and install a hatch. 

A word about performance. The boat needs a cavitation plate hydrafoil. I bought the Doal-Fin brand.from Davis Instruments. Without it the boat squatted, would not come up on plane well and it "porpoised". Installing it solved these problems. Prop pitch makes a big difference as well. My outboard came with a 9" pitch prop. It cavitated and overrevved with that prop, not a good situation. I replaced it with an 11" pitch prop. Problem solved. Top speed about 25 mph at 5600 rpm. Perfect. Just recently I did a fuel consumption test. In two outings, I traveled 34 miles total running at between 4000 and 4600 rpm, cruising speeds of 13 to 17 mph. I refilled the tank and used 2.2 gallons of gas. 15.4 miles per gallon, which is better than I expected.

I'm extremely pleased with this boat. It was fun and a bit of a challenge to build and it fits my needs perfectly. The Peeler is a stunning looking skiff that is perfectly proportioned. I always get compliments at the boat ramp or wherever we go. Thanks to CLC and designer, John Harris!    

RE: Peeler skiff is amazing

You might try Dynel cloth for an extra bottom layer to handle the abrasion issue.  I see Jamestown Distributors has it, probably others.  No personal experience with it, but I remember reading in magazines about boat builders using it for its high abrasion resistance vs. glass cloth.


RE: Peeler skiff is amazing

I've used Dynel for the reason you mention, but it soaks up a lot of resin. It's thick, but does stretch around/over curves.

I've more recently used Kevlar, and think that makes more sense. Looks cool, too!


RE: Peeler skiff is amazing

Thanks to all who responded to my question, and also to all of you who described your experiences with the Peeler. It does sound AMAZING.

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