|See also||Row 13, Scilly Gig 15|
The requirements for the Otter 16 were simple: an able open rowing skiff with an auxiliary sail.
This had to be a row boat first.
A length around 16', lets us use long oars and is about ideal for a serious row boat, smaller skiffs do not have sufficient inertia to go through a chop. This size also provides sufficient seaworthiness and ample capacity for camping cruising or fishing.
The layout can be used for single or double rowing.
The sail is an auxiliary sail: small are and spars that can be stowed inside while rowing; the small daggerboard and rudder do not affect rowing performance.
Many excellent designs in that style exist, in particular the ones by Pete Culler and Atkins but are for traditional wooden boat building.
Designs for plywood or stitch and glue are rare, most of them are flat bottom or vee hulls with more drag than ideal and a shape that will slam in a chop. A more refined hull shape is the one we use on many of our sailboats and for our row boats like the Scilly Gig and Row 13. That five panel hull shape is as close as you can get to a round bottom one.
That type of hull is also very easy to build.
One designer, Joe Dobler, used that same hull shape successfully and since we have the same program, same material and same size, it is no surprise that our boat looks very much like the Lissa, one of Dobler's designs.
Our scantlings are much more generous than in the Dobler design.
The Otter has a strong and stiff bottom, a true fiberglass sandwich and will withstand being dragged on a beach or running aground on an oyster bar. However, we kept weight in mind and the Otter has lightening holes in the frames. We also show limber holes and a drain plug.
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