Nic Compton describes his outboard engine adaptation that added a new dimension to his Nigel Irens 14ft rowing and sailing skiff during restoration Nic Compton adds an outboard engine well to his 14ft Nigel Irens designed skiff during restoration in 2015. Credit: Nic Compton In many ways, the 1990s were a good time for me: I had a nice terraced house within commuting distance of London; a great job editing a boating magazine I loved; and I was married with two lovely children. There was one big gap in my life, however: I had no boat. My wife and I had sold our 32ft double-ender after our first child was born and hadn’t found anything within our price-range to take its place. So when yacht designer Nigel Irens was looking for guinea pigs to build a kit boat he and Ed Burnett had created for a TV series, I jumped at the chance. It might not have been the ocean-going vessel I dreamed of owning, but it would at least get me back on the water. It would also mark a small personal milestone since, despite working as a journeyman shipwright for several years, I had never built a boat from scratch. The Western Skiff, as Nigel christened his new design, was a slender 14ft dinghy intended ...