I grew up in a fishing/farming community and my family owned several small wooden boats. I owned a small wooden skiff with a cross planked bottom at an early age – a family relative gave me an old 5 hp Evinrude so we spent all our time on the local river in Bon Secour, Alabama. Later when I thought I wanted to be a commercial fisherman, I purchased a used 18′ wood mullet skiff that was built locally near Mobile, Alabama. I wish I had never sold that boat although it was a long time ago! The man who built the skiff was Floyd Bosarge, he passed away in the late 90’s and his boats are getting scarce.
In recent years I’ve been looking for this type of commercial/recreational wooden boat but have not had much luck finding one and started thinking about building a skiff. After lots of Internet research I found the Brockway type skiffs that had been being built by high school classes and many others. Mr. Earle Brockway, on the East Coast, agreed to have his boat building process documented for use by the Peace Corps overseas to help replace inshore fishing fleets after they were destroyed by storms. Mr. Brockway was generous with his boat building knowledge along with the folks who helped put manuals together to build 14 and 16 foot skiffs at The Sound School. (The informational part of the manual is a great read and goes into detail about Mr Brockway and the documentation process.)
I’ve done a few simple home projects, built birdhouses and worked on roofing/construction crews for a few weeks and that’s about it so this has been and continues to be an interesting building project! The help I’ve gotten from the guys on the WoodenBoat Forum has been much appreciated!