About the 16ft Skiff

16′ skiffs are a uniquely Australian high performance three man dinghy and the class has a long history being sailed for over 100 years. During this time the class has seen many developments.

Today’s skiffs have a three person crew, two on trapeze, and large mast head assymetrical spinnakers.

16ft skiffs are one of the most popular boats sailed in Australia with fleets in NSW and Queensland. There are currently over 80 boats registered through 9 clubs and regattas regularly attract fleets of up to 45 boats. Most 16ft sailing clubs have excellent facilities and actively support sailing in other smaller dinghy classes.

The Design

To contain costs and to provide closer racing, strict one design rules were introduced in 1997/98 for hull design and construction. A design by former skiff sailor, Craig Hughes, was accepted as being the most progressive and suitable to take the Class forward.  

The design rules also fixed the number of masts and sails which could be registered for the Australian Championship Series. Only two masts can be used and the number of sails is limited to three jibs, two main sails and two spinnakers. Boats utilise these sails in combinations to give different rig sizes which can be selected for optimal performance in different wind strengths.