A Simple Skiff
This photo was taken in Southport, NC at a Simmon’s Sea Skiff Expo.
Maybe you have never heard of the Simmon’s Sea Skiff. It’s not only a great little boat, but it’s a great local story. It was developed by T.N. Simmons, a master woodworker, who was born on Myrtle Grove Sound, in Wilmington, NC, in 1908. The Skiff was designed as an outboard powered fishing boat for use in the inlets and open oceans of the North Carolina coast. “Tom” and his son built about 1000 of these remarkable wooden boats, which gained a solid reputation for seaworthiness in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
An interesting thing is that Mr. Simmons never used plans to build his boats. He just had rough sketches and some notes. He built these boats until they “looked about right”, so no two are exactly the same. There was also no glue or resin in the lap strake joints; just a wood to wood fit.
Although the Simmons shop has been closed for three decades, his boats are still a fairly common sight in the Carolinas. Their owners are die-hard fans, and for them nothing can match the performance and handling characteristics of a Simmons Sea Skiff. The design has been copied all over the world. The original boat is so popular, and in suchdemand, that several people have relofted the boats and drawn new plans.
The Simmons Sea Skiff Club holds an Expo every year, and some of the boat are displayed at the Cpae Fear Museum.
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