Students Learn Lessons from Skiff-Building Project

EastBayRI.com reports on a group of Tiverton High School woodworking students who built a flat-bottomed skiff of the sort that local quahoggers and fishermen have used for generations—and learned a lot about boatbuilding in the process.

“This was quite a moment, 2 years in the making,” teacher Bill Phillips was quoted as saying. “It’s our most ambitious project and we’re all proud of how it turned out … I must admit, I did lose some sleep over this one.”

And while the new-boat market could be stronger, this one didn’t wait long for a buyer. A Tiverton customer snapped it up, paying enough to fund the start of the student woodworkers’ next project. The new owner intends to keep it at Nanaquaket Pond and use it for recreational fishing.

Having long been tempted to build his own boat, Mr. Phillips said taking on the skiff project was a daunting job. His inspiration, he said, came from a neighbor he had while growing up—the late Butch Sanford.

“He built great skiffs for shellfishing,” strong boats that provided a stable platform for quahoggers. “I used to watch him work and learned a lot from him.”

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