“....but it wasn’t long before they wanted a proper lid”.
In 1972 the full-cabin cruiser was launched commercially at a price of £595. The hull was identical to that of the dayboat and the blister-cabin version, but the cockpit and cabin moulds were completely new. The raised aft deck was removed to provide a more flexible storage area. Both full-cabin and dayboat versions were marketed as the Skipper Mariner at this time.
The photograph below shows ‘Judy’. The picture shows that the design still had a single centreplate at this time. Later examples had a sliding hatch instead of the fixed entrance cover. In later years the design was also marketed under the simpler name Skipper 17.
As Peter Milne explained at the time “the original boat was modified for Richmond Marine with a blister forward to provide simple shelter with space for a bucket and chuck-it.....”
Interior of single-plate Sk17.
A modified version of the Sk17 was introduced in the early 1970's where the cuddy roof was raised to form a bulbous blister cabin with two side windows. Inside, there was sitting headroom for two adults, and space for a toilet. The removable door was offset to starboard to clear the king-post that supported the mast. The cockpit was otherwise identical to the dayboat.
This rather ungainly arrangement had the disadvantage of eliminating the foredeck, and not very many were sold. In later years, this version was also marketed as the Skipper Mate.