Old 04-08-2016, 10:13 AM
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The Seaman Boat Works was started in 1841 in Branchport (part of Long Branch) by Isac Seaman. At that time there would have been little on the Jersey shore other than local fishermen and watermen in small villages along the shore. Seaman would have provided fishing skiffs for the fishermen who were beginning to supply fish for the New York markets. It is thought that Seaman was one of the earliest builders to use rolled and boxed garboard construction that is so unique to what is referred to now as the "Sea Bright Skiff".
Scenes of fishing skiffs like this would have been commonplace along the Long Branch, Monmouth Beach and Sea Bright shores in the 1800’s

Over the years Seaman's was known as "Seaman and Otterson" (late 1800's), the "Long Branch Dory Works" (early 1900's into the 1920's), the "Seaman Sea Skiff Works" (1930's) and later to local's as just "Seaman's"

In 1896 two local Highlands fishermen contracted Seaman to build a boat for them to row across the Atlantic in and attempt to win a prize put up by the editor of the "National Police Gazette". The skiff was an adaptation of a typical 18ft fishing skiff, except that it was double ended, had watertight compartments fore and aft, and was fitted with hand rails on each side of the bottom. (These proved quite useful during the journey.)

Interestingly in 1896, Harold “Pappy” Seaman as a young teenager of 13 helped build Fox by bucking rivets for his dad, and then in 1974 when the Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club built a replica of Fox Pappy again helped build the replica at the age of 93.
Here is the replica.

In 1922 Pappy Seaman was contacted to build a small 16ft inboard skiff. For this boat Pappy did not incorporate the typical rolled garboard keel and instead built her with a simple flat bottom and no keel at all. Powered by a four cylinder inboard the boat was capable of doing 22 mph, quite an accomplishment for the time. This skiff, named simply “PJ” is attributed to being the first Jersey speed.

Pappy also developed a very popular outboard well speed skiff in both 16 and 14 foot lengths.

Sarah Ann is a Seaman outboard well that dates to the late 1920’s. Interestingly she was used once by the original owners, and then stored away in the rafters of their barn for more than 50 years before she was seen again. She is a completely original skiff in completely untouched condition.
Here is a later outboard well speed skiff (1950’s)

The outboard well speed skiffs were very quick and capable little boats.

Pappy Seaman is recognized as the developer of the Jersey speed skiff, interstingly though, he actually only built eight inboard speed skiffs, and about 96 of the outboard well speed skiffs. The outboard well skiffs were apparently quite popular with the local marinas for use in their ‘rental fleets’ for little fishing boats.
The most well known of Pappy’s speed skiffs is “Suds”. Built in 1950 Suds was quite successful on the racing circuit for the then young APBA class for “Jersey speed skiffs”.
Suds has recently undergone a complete restoration and is more perfect than ever.

Amazingly at least four of Pappy’s original inboard speed skiffs are known to still exist.
This inboard speed skiff (being restored) dates to the later 1940’s

This speed skiff was built in 1952

And this speed skiff built also in the 50’s

Here is an interesting sequence of the construction of Suds in 1950.

In this shot are Pappy Seaman the builder and John Boland, who had her built.

To be contiued

Last edited by NedLloyd; 04-11-2016 at 10:29 AM.