This weekend was a well needed break from work. To be honest, I focused on me… OK, my wife, and the garden and getting the river house all ready for summer. I noted on Friday when the AC would not work. That I own 5 air conditioning systems. And this year, they have all had some sort of issue. Blown compressors, switches, freeon.. And on.. But I digress…One of the things I love to do for me…is go Marina shopping. No not shopping for marinas, mmm, no… I go through old marinas. Oh you can not believe the treasures one can find. In many cases the boats in there have always been under cover. This weekend though was no different. A cool Owens, some Chris Crafts and a ton..tons of old Egg Harbors. I laughed that the Egg Harbor sales guy at this one marina must have been real good back in the day. But that’s not what this story is about. It’s a story of emotion and if I was a spiritual guy. I would be sitting in a corner starring into space. So here is the story.
As many of you know a couple weeks ago a good pal of mine passed away. Tiffany Cockrell, a local legend and one of the top boat builders in the country. Tiffany’s work boats back in the day were the go to Chesapeake work boat. They always had a touch of flair and craftsmanship. But they are work boats and later made some very fun fishing boats. Many of the boats are still working in the area. So.. That’s a bit of a background.. While enjoying a marina shopping trip, this small boat stood out. Now to be honest. Randy, Tiffany’s son had told me of a boat like this that might be still out there. He wasn’t sure. Yet, here was a boat that could be that boat. Yes… Tiffany’s first pleasure boat that he built right after the war. That’s right. Could this be. Just two weeks after Tiffany passed away.. I own the last boat Tiffany ever built. Our beloved Skiffany..
Could this be a sign.. A message.. The old boat is still floating.. In fact, it’s all re powered with a new Crusader 350. New fuel tank, sides refastened, All the one off parts are still there. Even the cool brass plaque that Reads Glebe Pt Boat Co. That was the name of the original company.. Very original and cool gauges. All of it. Boat house kept its entire life. The current owner Rich Riddell saved it from the fire wood pile.
Refastened the sides and secured the bottom.. Its rough, as Randy said. Its not much to look at and a ton to look at. Its cosmetically a mess, but floating and runs. Reminiscent of a early Chris Craft Express Cruiser. Only built like a dead rise work boat of the era. The Keel is a tree. It looks like its about a foot wide inside. The transom is 3 1/2 inches thick. The bottom planks are Cross plank. The last one built like that in the area. Construction like this is wonderful to see. I am glad that she is still going on creek cruises and fishing trips after 60 years. That’s the testimate to Tiffany and his craftsmanship, and the current owner Rich who saved her, and has kept her history alive… So, go to a Marina this weekend, ya never know….All I will say.. It’s now my screen saver.