The next stage in the development of the Skipper 17 (also known as the Skipper Mariner) was the replacement of the single 3/4 inch retractable steel centreplate with twin 3/8 inch retractable steel bilge plates. This was similar to the idea used by Uffa Fox in the Fairey Atalanta 26.
The advantage of this modification is that it removed the obstructive keel box down the middle of the cabin, while retaining the same ballast and pointing ability. The raising gear for the twin plates was much simpler and was easier to operate as each plate was half the weight, and the gear was now operated from the cockpit. The space under the the cockpit sole was now accessible for storage, using a long drawer that pulled out into the cabin. The disadvantage was that the space under the cockpit sole was previously used as a sealed buoyancy tank, and this was now open to the cabin.
The revised design also incorporated a smart internal moulding for the bunks, porta-potti and keel boxes (the latter were now effectively sealed off from sea water entry). The sealed buoyancy tanks in the bows and under the cockpit were unfortunately eliminated by this modification.
Later production models provided reserve buoyancy by inserting 18 cubic feet of polyurethane foam beneath the cabin moulding and other unused spaces.
The Mk II had larger windows, a moulding for the cabin side and headlining, new graphics for the hull, revised hand rails on the cabin roof, and a black anodised mast and boom. The transom had a V-shaped dropped portion for the tiller, replacing the previous slot which was not entirely weathertight.
More importantly, she now had spreaders for the cap shrouds, the latter being plated to the toe rail instead of the cabin sides, so that the jib was now sheeted inside the shrouds. She also had an optional cruising chute.
Until about 1985 the boat was manufactured on behalf of Richmond Marine by Anderson, Rigden and Perkins in Whitstable, Kent, England. Thereafter, a new version was introduced, popularly known as the Mark 2, manufactured by Specialised Moulded Products in Stockport, England. The Skipper 17 logo featured on this website is based on the one used during this era.