Smith Marine Design
LOA: 17'-7 3/4" (5.38m)
DWL: 15'-10" (4.82m)
Beam: 66" (1.68m)
Draft (Keel): 6" (152mm)
Displacement: 1,300 lbs. (590 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 6-12 Gals. (23-46 L)
Deadrise: 6 Degrees
Freeboard (Fwd): 18.5" (470mm)
Freeboard (Aft): 13.5" (343mm)
Power: 40hp Outboard
Construction: Wood/Epoxy Composite
Capacity: 4 Persons or 645 lbs. (293 kg)

Osprey 18 Flats Skiff

The Osprey 18 Flats Skiff was originally designed for a client (who stiffed me on half his bill!) in Louisiana back in 2008. Over the years it has gone through a number of revisions. The largest revision saw the solid Douglas Fir frames swapped out for Okoume plywood and the custom fuel tank replaced by an off the shelf portable unit. Through it all the basic boat has always stayed true to her original design.

The Osprey 18 was designed as a simple skiff that would run well with a Honda 40 hp outboard motor. In order to run well with such a modest engine, the boat had to be very light with an efficient hull shape. The hull is a simple V-bottom with a fine entry and about 6 degrees of deadrise at the transom. To keep hull slap to a minimum, neither the chine flats or the strakes transition through the waterline while the boat is at rest. In fact, if someone wanted to simplify things even more, the strakes and chine flats can be left off completely. To keep her from looking slab sided, I designed in quite a bit of flare up forward that transitions to outward curvature toward the stern. While this looks pretty, it makes the hull quite a bit harder to build. If kept light, I expect the top speed to be near 32 knots.

The deck arrangement is very simple with fore and aft casting platforms and a long narrow cockpit amidships. The cockpit measures 94" long x 39" wide. The side decks are about 14" wide to allow walking from bow to stern without having to step down. There is plenty of room on the casting platforms for both an aft poling platform and a bow platform for sighting tailing and feeding fish. Under the fore and aft platforms there is storage accessed from the cockpit area. Hatches in the foredeck and the stern allow access to the fuel tank and batteries. A small motorwell allows you to build the Osprey without a jack plate, my personal preference. There is a side console option for those who'd like to build her without the tiller steering. See the PDF files below for the drawing. Either one or two 6 gallon fuel tanks mount under the aft deck, while the batteries mount just forward of the cockpit under the foredeck. As this is a very small boat, any changes to the location of weights makes a large impact on not only the trim of the boat, but also on its performance. Anyone who builds an Osprey should be sure to check with me prior to moving any weights around!

Due to the curving shape of the Osprey 18, it can't be planked with sheets of plywood. Her planking consists of two layers of Okoume marine plywood that will be cut into strips (as large as possible) and epoxied on the diagonal to the stringers and frames. Up forward these strips will likely be pretty narrow. Back aft and on much of the bottom, much larger sheets may be able to be used. The bottom stringers are 3/4" x 1 1/2" Douglas Fir or Honduras Mahogany on 6 3/4" centers. Her frames are 24" apart and are cut from 18mm Okoume marine plywood. The transom is 2 layers of 18mm Okoume marine plywood, epoxied together. If you'd like to save some money, you can also use 3/4" AB Douglas Fir marine plywood for the frames and transom, but working with it isn't as nice. The deck and sole are 12mm Okoume marine plywood. The entire hull and deck will be covered in a layer of 7oz. fiberglass cloth set in epoxy and then painted.

While her construction is pretty straightforward, it is somewhat complex and will require some patience to do properly. I think a first timer can build the Osprey 18 as long as they take their time and read a few boat building books before getting started. The Plan Set is very complete and includes 14 pages of drawings plus full size patterns for every frame and the transom. The patterns will be sent to you by email in PDF format. You can then deliver or email them to a local blueprint shop for printing. If you prefer to have me get the patterns printed for you, that option is also available below.

A partial list of materials is as follows:

8-10 sheets of 4mm Okoume marine plywood
4-5 sheets of 12mm Okoume marine plywood
5 sheets of 18mm Okoume marine plywood
27' of 3/4" x 2 1/2" Douglas Fir or Mahogany
(4) 2 x 6 x 8' Douglas Fir or Mahogany
70' of 1/2" x 2" Douglas Fir or Mahogany (may need to be laminated in 1/4" layers)
146' of 3/4" x 1 1/2" Douglas Fir or Mahogany (may need to be laminated from 1/2" thick layers)
Approx. 30 yds. 60" wide 7 oz. fiberglass cloth
10-12 gals. epoxy resin

This is a partial list of materials for estimating purposes. Your quantities will vary!

A video of Luke Walker's Osprey can be found here!

Although more "features" could be added to make the Osprey 18 more like the production boats that are available, I'd keep it as simple as possible. It will perform better and be much less expensive to build and maintain. The Osprey 18 Flats Skiff should make a fine little boat for the serious flats fisherman.

To see photos of a Osprey 18 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 Drawing
Profile Drawing W/Side Console
Machinery Arrangement

If you have any questions about the Osprey 18 or any of my other designs, please don't hesitate to contact me.