Eighteen foot skiffs

The 18 foot skiffs are a spectacular sight when sailing. The class is a development class and, as its name suggests is essentially limited to 18 foot in length. There are then differences between the European and Australian 18 foot skiffs. The Australian 18 footers limit the mast height to around 33 foot (on an 18 foot boat!). They have various size rigs for different wind conditions and the righting moment is provided by three crews trapezing on wings. They can plane upwind in anything over 8 knots of wind and off the wind can reach speeds of around double the true windspeed. If you want to see some footage of them sailing and the recent JJ Giltinan championship that has finished in Australia, then a good source is Eighteen footer TV:

You can find more information on them on:

You may also like to see the European ones in action and they will be racing at Stone Sailing Club 31st March – 1st April 2012. For more details see the  Stone Sailing Club website:

A YouTube search for 18 Foot Skiff should also give you some interesting results. For example:

3 comments

  1. HAh! girls boats 😛
    1. Not a proper kite, where’s the pole? And they still need tow people to work it!
    2. Helm has only the tiller to worry about with dedicated mainsheet crew
    3. Trapeze AND wings take all the hard work out of hiking

    1. I sail an 18 foot skiff all around the world and I can assure you that with over 1200sq ft of sail and 150kg all up weight they are not Girls boats! I would ask what beast of a boat do you sail Rik??? 🙂

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