I started building my Phil Bolger & Friends Skimmer on 8/19/02 and today launched and christened it "YOUR AD HERE," named after a billboard I saw on the highway once. I tossed it in the back of my F150 about 5:45 PM and drove 20 minutes or so to Lake Wheeler (http://www.raleigh-nc.org/parks&rec/wheeler/), one of the local parks. I slid the boat off the back of the truck using some beat up 12' long treated 2x6's that I salvaged from a neighbor's "destined for the landfill" deck ruins. A young couple was looking for a place to take a photo with their little kids, so I offered to let them sit in the boat for a pose. So, technically I'm not the first person to be in the completed boat. I don't even know their names - hope their photo turns out.
The colors are from the System Three (www.systemthree.com) chart - mercer green, yellow, black, and white. I also covered everything with a coat of the clear topcoat combined with cross-linker to give the boat a glossy look and more durable finish. These water-based paints are easy to clean up with water - no chemical solvents are needed.
The lighting on the quarter shot is a little harsh, so the side looks teal instead of green.
I used the bow line bowline to tie the fuel tank near the front so I would have some of the weight up there.
When I was out on the water and opened up the throttle, the boat planed and then started spraying water up over the transom and into the boat. That was a bit of a surprise. I'll dig out the service manual for the engine and see if dropping the transom down two inches helps - I suspect it will. Thankfully I had sense enough to carry a bailer along.
I don't have any shots of the boat underway unfortunately. However, there was a wedding taking place at the park, and I notice some of the guys with video cameras were filming the boat instead of the reception. So if you see a wedding video with a boat named "YOUR AD HERE" buzzing past in the background, I guess that's me.
Update - Today I took a friend along for a ride on the boat. We had NO problems with water splashing in over the transom. I checked the manual, and the transom height is ok for the motor shaft length. I am concluding that my initial experience was simply due to load distribution issues. Also, I figured out a better way to get the boat into the truck. First, I slide the boat in as far as I can, which does not have to be far. Then I drive up the ramp, turn around, and head down the ramp a little and park. Now I can use gravity to push the boat the rest of the way into the truck as it is facing downhill.
Construction was straightforward, and after documenting at length the Martha Jane construction on my web site, I dont have anything new to add regarding "YOUR AD HERE."
Plans are available from Dynamite Payson. This boat is described in his book, Build the New Instant Boats.http://www.instantboats.com/skimmer.htm
Some other Skimmer links follow.http://www.hobby-boatbuilding-index.de/htm/launcher.htm
(See photo at bottom.)http://220.127.116.11/gypsy/Skimmer/
I had two goals in mind when I built this boat.
1) I had the 8 HP engine and wanted a boat for it that would not require a trailer.
2) I wanted to get experience working with pre-fabricated panels (applying the epoxy, cloth, and filling the weave before cutting out the parts).