Thomas Simmons was a house carpenter until one day a fisherman asked him to make a special skiff that launched through the surf on the South Carolina Coast. Thomas was such a gifted carpenter that he never had to draw any plans. Everything was done in his mind’s eye and wooden templates. This is how he built his famous Simmon’s Sea Skiffs. They ranged from 18′ to 22′.
When Thomas was in the hospital near death, a man named Dave Carnal asked if he could take his wooden templates and transform them into paper boat building plans. Today you can buy those plans.
Michael purchased plans for an 18 footer, but all he had room for on the mid ship of the Island Maid II was 14 feet. So Michael re-drew the 18′ plan to 14′. Since Tom’s Skiffs were designed in the early 50’s, Michael thought it an appropriate fit for the Island Maid II’s net tender. It took just short of 4 weeks for Michael to build this traditional lap strake.