Friday, April 22, 2011

Worm Shoe

Last fall, when I pulled my wooden skiff out of the water for the season, I banged up the bow below the water line. It took three of us to position the boat onto the trailer, with constant gusts of wind and waves hammering us relentlessly. A storm was brewing and I didn't want to risk leaving the boat at the dock.

In the process I also tore off the forward section of a 3/4" X 1 1/4" wooden strip that was nailed to the bottom of the skiff. Capt. Rob explained that this is called a worm shoe. According to an on-line source, a worm shoe is "a non-structural piece of wood, fixed to the underside of a wooden boat." It is designed to protect the bottom of the boat from worms and collisions with underwater objects in shallow water. It is also the part of the boat that comes in contact with the rollers on the trailer. The worm shoe is made to be easily removed.

It took a couple of hours to raise the bow of the boat off the trailer, remove the worm shoe, cut a new piece of wood, and fasten it with stainless steel screws. Next I'll repair the bow with epoxy, then scrape and paint the boat. If all goes well I'll have her in the water sometime in May.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a history of the Ocracoke Preservation Society. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous11:03 AM

    Sorry to hear about the worm shoe repair, but hope it won't be too time consuming.

    Thanks for explaining the importance of the worm shoe and exactly what purpose it serves.

    As one of your faithful bloggers from the NC mainland, it's always interesting to read about the daily life on Ocracoke... the challenges, as well as the unique joys, it brings.

  2. Anonymous3:40 PM

    A worm shoe? Didn't even know worms had feet. Thanks Philip, now I know more than most landlubbers.

  3. interesting story here..thanks for sharing..

  4. have done several nice points there. I did a search on the issue ..thank you

  5. dropping by and have a nice day...all

  6. Anonymous8:34 PM

    Worm Shoe

    Is the worm shoe Prada? nada?

    If a worm did wear shoes what would he do and how many pairs would it need? Don't be so callous a well heeled annelid if he slid into something more comfortable would lose whatever he chooses and go nude --how rude and you?