History of Model Skiffs

The traditional Sydney Harbour model skiffs have been raced around Balmain and Birchgrove on the Parramatta River for over a century.
The models are small yachts in their own right and were designed and built by shipwrights and skiff crews in their spare time.

They were generally hand carved from a solid block of red cedar, but more recent craft were planked on frames. The two most popular classes were 12 Inch and 2 Foot, but there were also 6 inch, 10 inch, and 32 inch long classes. The 32-inch boats were raced on ponds and lakes.

The ‘skipper’ and ‘crew’ manned a rowing boat at least 10 feet long so that they could keep up with the craft. They came alongside and adjusted the rig, even setting and taking in Spinnakers. They had various rig sizes to suit different conditions.