I designed the 22-foot Ninigret skiff for Dudley Slocum of Casey Key, Nakomis, Florida. "Dud" wanted a practical fishing boat to use both in Florida and at his summer home ... near Block Island Sound. It is here that Dudley wanted to troll, parallel to the shoreline, for the elusive striped bass and bluefish. Above all, we were interested in developing an easily driven hull that would behave herself in Block Island Sound and in the Gulf off his Casey Key home.

Ninigret's principal dimensions are 22 feet 1/4 inch overall by 20 feet on her waterline by 6 feet 8 inches beam and 1 foot draft. She is constructed of 3/8 inch rotary-cut Bruynzeel waterproof plywood over 5/8 inch by 2 1/2 inch white oak frames spaced on the stations. Power is an Evinrude 30 h.p. outboard engine and the efficiently driven hull goes just over 18 m.p.h. with this unit. Dudley used greater horsepower on his boat simply to experiment and see which power plant suited her -- and what she could handle. He has used a 45 h.p. engine successfully.

I am not enamored of a huge outboard engine hung on the stern of an offshore fishing boat, so the 30 h.p. engine is installed in a well -- and an enclosed compartment. This was an amazingly good solution. It is possible to carry on a normal conversation when the boat is underway -- and she slides through the water with a minimum of fuss.

A man named John Martindale of Olmstead, Ohio, built one of the Ninigret skiffs several years ago and wrote me an encouraging letter. "I can't tell you how pleased I am with the Ninigret skiff: Its performance is excellent, and the very many compliments I have received from people who know boats are due to her designer as well as her builder ... [she] handles very well. She planes very easily in quiet water, and in rough Lake Erie waves, the sharp forefoot creates a soft, dry ride." It is this type of letter that tends to make everything worthwhile.

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