The West Point Skiff
I have always been interested in building wooden boats, as well as preserving a bit of West Point history, where I make my home. Tradition is most important to me. The West Point Skiff design evolved from the inshore fishery requirement for a seaworthy but small boat to work the waters close to ledges and islands in all weather. The design has been modified over the years first by Amos Wallace in the early 1900’s and handed down to his son Alton Wallace (1909-1995). Alton perfected it and built over 200 of them in the village of West Point, hence the name. These boats were also know as ‘Westpointers’ and ‘Pointers’. The design for this boat is from an original 18-foot West Point Skiff that I own and use to fish for lobster. build in the traditional manner, using wood, nails and screws, in the same way as Alton made them. The strips are cut from clear white pine boards, hand-planed to fit, and side nailed using silicon bronze nails. Keel, transom, ribs and stem are oak. Ribs are steamed and bent to fit inside the finished hull. It has a v-bottom forward which transitions to a flat bottom aft, which I believe contributes to its stability in the water.