What makes a fishing skiff a microskiff?
A legacy microskiff website is self-described as Dedicated To The Smallest Of Skiffs, and that’s fine, since micro is a word-forming element that means small in size or extent, and skiff means small fishing boat, so by definition, microskiff means the smallest of small fishing boats.
So far so good, but that website frequently reviews skiffs that are 22 ft long, and even bigger ones, which raises the question is a 22 ft skiff really small?
Arguably, word definitions and product classifications should be accurate in order to be descriptive and thus useful, and boats this size are not small, considering the fact that many anglers fish out of boats that are less than half this length. Indeed, some very small two-person boats for fishing flat water are just 10 ft long, and they are real fishing boats for flat water, not motorized kayaks, canoes, or paddle boards that have somehow found their way into the microskiff class.
Additionally, most skiffs are smaller than 22 ft, typically in the 16′ to 18′ range, if we are to judge by the content of most articles entitled “Best Fishing Skiffs of The Year”, “Fishing Skiffs Review” etc.
Going back to the question is a 22 ft long fishing boat a microskiff, it seems like it would be both more sensible, professional and fair to classify boats of such size as skiffs. Yes, a good-size fishing skiff is a description that best fits a 22 ft long skiff, while classifying it as a microskiff is inaccurate and potentially confusing, and the same is true about other skiffs that are 20 ft long, or in this range.
If most people, amateur and professional, think and talk about boats that are 16 ft long as skiffs and not as microskiffs, then arguably they are skiffs, and not microskiffs, and the term microskiff should be applied more carefully and restrictively, to skiffs that are indeed the smallest in this boat category, namely smaller than 16 ft, in an effort to avoid classifications that are non-descriptive and therefore unproductive.
This 16 ft figure is somehow arbitrary, of course, and the smaller number we choose the more accurate our microskiff classification would be, but we must not restrict the microskiff class of boats to a number of boats and boat models that’s too small, because that too would be counterproductive.
In sum, we think that skiffs that are 16 ft or longer are just that, namely skiffs, and not microskiffs, and for a skiff to be included in the category of The Smallest Of Skiffs, namely microskiffs, it should in fact be small, and not of medium size, or large size, because words matter.
So what is a microskiff? –
A microskiff is a fishing skiff that’s less than 16 ft long.
Note that the microskiff class in itself is broad enough to include the sub-category of cartop microskiff, or portable microskiff, namely a microskiff that’s lightweight enough to be transported attached to a car’s roof rack.
The Wavewalk S4 is a cartop microskiff.