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Name of Boat

Rowing skiff

Owner's Name

Kent Smith 

Boat Location

Toronto Lake Maquarie NSW 

Registration No.


Sail No.



Feet & Inches  Outside of stem to outside of transom

Overall Length

16 feet 

Maximum Draft

8 inches 

Maximum Beam

5ft 2inches 

Centreplate Case Length




Carvel Clinker
Open 1/2 Cabin Cabin


Gaff Lug















unknown but possibly Humphrey's Boat Builders Newcastle 


Probably Humphreys Boat Builders. Similar to TOWNS boat 


The old skiff was found in roof of old Newcastle house where it had been stored and forgotten for over 50 years. New owners of the house discovered it when builders began renovations to the old home. It was put up for sale at a local antiques auction. I bought it and had Alkira boats in Toronto Lake Macquarie clean off the 50 odd years of dust and dirt and repair some minor damage to the hull. They gave it a number of coats of oil and varnish and repaired a couple of the copper rivets.

It was probably used in Maitland/Newcastle area as a floodboat or workboat in the early to mid 1900's and is a rare example of an early Australian rowing skiff or Waterman, as they were sometimes known, in virtually original condition. Many of these boats were built but few have survived. This one probably survived in such original condition by being left forgotten in the loft of the old house for half a century. It has traditional open wooden pegs for locating the sculls, removable cedar floorboards and positions for two rowers and up to five passengers on the other three seats.


Race Record


After the skiff was refurbished at Alkira Boatyard we launched her again for the first time in well over 50 years. She took very little water and after only an hour or so in the water had virtually stopped taking water. She was smooth, fast and easy to row and tracked very straight. Being heavier than the new plywood rowing skiffs that are built today, using similar hull shapes, it was very easy to maintain a good steady speed for long periods of rowing, once the boat was under way and up to speed. There was very little resistance or wake created by the efficient hull shape and it cut nicely through any small waves or choppy water. The boat is currently stored in Alkira Boatshed at Toronto.



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