LOA: 15'-9" (4.8m)
DWL: 14'-2" (4.32m)
Beam: 66" (1.68m)
Draft (Keel): 6" (152mm)
Displacement: 1,100 lbs. (499 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 6 gals. (23 L)
Deadrise: 6 Degrees
Freeboard (Fwd): 18 1/2" (470mm)
Freeboard (Aft): 13 1/2" (343mm)
Power: 25-30 hp Outboard
Speed: 26-27 Knots w/25 hp (estimated)
Construction: Strip Planked Composite
Capacity: 4 persons or 600 lbs. (272 kg)
Crystal 16 Flats Skiff
While finishing up the drawings for the Danube 6.4, I ran into a small delay. I decided to fill the time by working on a new design for a simple little skiff. Little did I know it would take forever to finish! Named after the beautiful Crystal River not far from my home here in Citrus County, the Crystal 16 is a simple flats skiff that will fit right in along the Nature Coast! After introducing the Osprey 18 design, I received a number of requests for a smaller version. The reasons were varied, but most often revolved around a desire to make it fit in a garage. Although she looks very similar to the Osprey 18, they actually share very little other than their 66" beam.
My philosophy behind this design was to keep it simple and light. The deck has an ample casting platform forward and two small platforms back aft on either side. These two could be spanned by a removable platform if you wanted a full casting platform back aft. There is space in these aft platforms for storage, although I am leaving that up to the builder. Up forward there is battery storage and a forward locker with a hatch. This hatch could be hinged, although I am leaning towards a lift-off hatch with a lanyard so you don't lose it overboard. It can be held down by a couple of simple twist latches.
Her hull is similar to the Osprey 18, a simple convex vee shape with about 6 degrees of deadrise at the transom. The bow has some flare, but not so dramatic that it will make her difficult to plank. There will be no chine flats as I don't want there to be anything on the bottom that will slap while you are poling. This will also make the hull simpler to build. If spray is a problem, some small spray rails can be added at the chine.
The strakes on her bottom serve a couple of purposes. One is for directional stability. My hope is that the vertical sides of the strakes will act as small skegs and help keep her going straight while poling. The second purpose is for improved turning while on plane. Boats turn by pivoting about their bow. The stern on a low deadrise hull tends to "wash out" in a turn as it doesn't get much bite on the water. The strakes should help the stern of the Crystal 16 bite the water a little better in a turn.
The Crystal 16 will not have a built in fuel system. She carries a 6.5 gallon portable tank back aft between the casting platforms. Just forward of the 20" transom, the cockpit sole ends, leaving a well in the keel for a bilge pump. Her batteries for starting and a trolling motor will be carried up forward under the casting platform. I feel more comfortable with a long starting cable than with a long fuel hose! I envision her powered by a 25 hp tiller steered outboard, which should push her around 26-27 knots. No consoles or steering system. Remember, the Crystal 16 is supposed to be a very simple boat!
Her construction is something new for me, but I think it will be simple to build and more pleasant than a lot of methods. She will be strip planked over temporary particle board molds with a light softwood, such as White Cedar, Western Red Cedar or Paulownia. The 1/4" canoe strips will be installed just like on a stripper canoe, glued together with either epoxy or waterproof wood glue. You can use square strips or bead and cove, whichever you prefer. The hull will then be glassed on the outside with a layer of 1208 double -bias fiberglass set in epoxy. Once faired and primed, she can be flipped over and the temporary framing removed. Fair the inside and add another layer of 1208 for the inner skin. Now you can epoxy/glass in the 12mm Okoume marine plywood stringers and frames. Lastly, add the sole and the deck and you are pretty much finished. This construction method will yield a very light (bare hull weight approximately 450 lbs.) and relatively inexpensive hull.
The following is an approximate bill of materials for building the Crystal 16:
(2) 2 x 8 x 16 Framing Lumber (Strongback)
(1) 2 x 8 x 14 Framing Lumber (Strongback)
(4) 2 x 4 x 12 Framing Lumber (Strongback)
5 Sheets of 3/4" particle board or MDF (Mold Frames)
8 Sheets of 12mm Okoume Marine Plywood
1 Sheet of 18mm Okoume Marine Plywood
2300 LF of 1/4" x 3/4" Bead and Cove Canoe Strips (White or Red Cedar)
(11) 3/4" x 1" x 8' Fir Boards (5 of these are used as frame/stringer stiffeners - clear grain Pine can be used)
(4) 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 8' Fir Boards
(1) 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 10' Fir Board
350 Sq. Ft. 1208 Double Bias Fiberglass
125 Sq. Ft. 10 oz Cloth
10-12 gals. Mixed Epoxy Resin
The glass and epoxy amounts are very rough estimates and you should do your own estimates before ordering materials. I have tried my best to be accurate, but can not guarantee the amounts above are perfect for everyone.
As is my practice, the Plan Set is very complete. There are 17 pages of drawings detailing how to build the Crystal 16. The standard Plan Set includes dimensioned drawings for each mold frame. Simply transfer the dimensions to your wood stock and cut them out. If you would like full size patterns printed on plastic film, they are available at an extra cost. There is also a drawing showing how to nest all the parts in order to minimize your plywood usage.
With all the delays caused by my other projects and my myriad of health problems, I sometimes wondered if the Crystal 16 would ever be finished! A number of people have been very supportive during this time and offered their advice and encouragement. I thank you for your patience and hope the Crystal 16 will meet your needs for a simple flats skiff!
To see photos of a Crystal 16 under construction, please visit the Underway page. Study plans are available below as downloadable PDF files. These can be opened with any PDF reader, most people already have the free Adobe Reader installed. Please remember that these plans are the property of Smith Marine Design and should not be used for any purpose without my written consent.
Profile & Arrangement
If you have any questions about the Crystal 16 or any of my other designs, please don't hesitate to contact me.