Friday, September 16, 2016

Flat Bottom Skiff

Traditional flat-bottomed wooden skiffs were used for generations by Outer Banks fishermen.

Henry Pigott Meeting the Mail Boat

These boats were generally built upside down. The sides were built first; then the bottom planks were attached. These utilitarian boats were characterized by a sharp angle, called a chine, where the sides met the bottom.

Outer Banks boat builders laid the bottom planks transversely (from side to side). The photo below is of a skiff lying in a yard on Howard Street.

Today, most island fishermen work from fiberglass boats.

Our Ocracoke Newsletter for this month is an article by Philip Howard, My Ocracoke, Living amidst 250 years of Howard family history. You can read it here:


  1. It might be added that these skiffs were pretty much exclusively built with Atlantic White Cedar (juniper) and or Cypress. These woods are grown regionally and are known for their extremely rot resistant qualities. As I looked at the photo of the upside down skiff, I could almost smell the aroma of the juniper.

  2. Anonymous8:11 AM

    Thank you for including that great photo of Henry Pigott.