Classic Wooden Jersey Speed Skiff

wooden pappy seaman  jersey speed skiff race boat

restored classic wooden Jeresey Speed Skiff

 

A Jersey Speed Skiff in 2013 is either a vintage racer or a APBA modern race boat. What is the difference? To the casual eye the APBA boat has a roll cage and the Vintage or classic does not. #Seabuddy may be old, but not old enough to first-hand tell the full length story of Jersey Speed Skiffs.

Along the jersey shore since the 1800’s, men beach or inlet launched a human-powered (row) boat to ocean and bay fish from. Then a sail rig was added and the popular way to go fishing in New Jersey remained a small boat. Think of a flat bottomed, cedar-wood planked boat using ribs to help define and stiffen the boat shape. Some cousins or early examples of a JSS boat were the Sea Bright Skiff, the Pound Boat, and Utility Skiffs.

In 1922, Harold “Pappy” Seaman built a 16’ long one with a Gray Marine Engine inboard engine. That started the powerboat JSS class idea. His boat went 21 MPH. Fiberglass replaced wood in the 1960s. Bud Bender is the man known for fiberglass Jersey Speed Skiffs. Seabuddy met Bud at a past St. Michaels Antique and Classic Boat Show and Festival in Maryland. Today a skiff can break 80 MPH or more and they use a Chevy V-8 for power.

BTW, many of these early boats fished during the week and raced each other on Sunday. Pappy was from Long Branch, built some 102 skiffs, and the base of the sport seems to have stayed there in Long Branch, but with boat races up and down the east coast all summer long in both Vintage and APBA racing. The next Vintage Event seems to be at the Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club on September 21, 2013 in New Jersey.

My photos are of SUDS, a restored, Pappy Seaman built, 1951 Jersey Speed Skiff. She is a 50 MPH boat. SUDS is powered by a 180 HP, 244cubic inch Fireball Graymarine 6 cylinder racing inboard engine.

She is a planked wood, no plywood anywhere boat. She has White Oak ribs and stem, and White Cedar hull planking, firewall, bulkheads, interior seating’s, and decks. The wood is held together by some 1,752 hand-peened copper rivets and 1,488 slotted screws. The boat was last in the water until the summer of 2012 in 1983. The restoration took 2,312 hours of labor.

#Seabuddy’s photos are from the Pt. Pleasant ACBS Boat Show. Historic photos from the web and other places.

 

Pappy seaman jersey speed skiff 1951 planked wood

Cockpit- note the firewall is planked, not plywood

 

wood restored classic jersey speed skiff

front cockpit

 

old wood from jersey speed skiff wood classic

sample of the old wood

 

Suds race boat pappy seaman

old racing photo of SUDS back in the day

 

jersey speed skiff in a racing turn

This is the way a Jersey Speed Skiff turns

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