Families rekindle art of boat building

Elbow grease, caulking, sandpaper and nails are key ingredients
With a large crowd gathered in Lewes Canalfront Park, Gene Daffern and son Jarrett prepare to launch their skiff on Sunday afternoon. BY RON MACARTHUR
July 6, 2013

From the 1600s until the mid-1800s, hundreds of vessels of all sizes were built on Lewes Creek, now known as the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal. The Lewes Historical Society rekindles the art of boat building each year during its Family Boat Building Weekend.

This year, eight teams worked with the aid of society volunteers the weekend of June 14-16 to build shallow-draft wooden boats called Bevin’s skiffs. The society's wooden boat crew had pre-cut pieces for each boat.

At about 12 feet long, these wooden boats are great for fishing and recreation. The Bevin’s skiff was created to be a teaching vessel, designed to be constructed by beginning builders, and is a perfect introductory boat for families.

After construction, the teams launched their new handmade skiffs at Lewes Canalfront Park.