If you’ve ever come to understand the expression, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” You’ve most likely accepted that sometimes we can overlook obvious answers to even the simplest questions. As humans, we love to over complicate things and tell ourselves, “It can’t be that easy.” As urban legends go, NASA engineers supposedly spent countless hours and millions of dollars attempting to create a ball point pen that would work in space when a pencil would have sufficed. The truth is, the tall tale is just that, a tall tale, but it’s definitely believable.
As experts within the marine industry, we too can overlook the simple. Frankly, it’s easy to write off an answer as too basic or elementary but the other day, the question arose during a dinner conversation with friends, “So what is a skiff?”
Even though I’ve heard that question a thousand times, this time, it struck a nerve. Why? Well I realized that some people know much less about boats than I often assume and as a marketer, that’s bad. Now accepting and owning my wrongful assumptions, I’ll answer the question, “What is a skiff?”
According to the modern day oracle (Google), a skiff is, “a shallow, flat-bottomed open boat with a sharp bow and square stern.”
Bow, Stern, Flat Bottom
What does that mean in plain English? The back (stern) of the boat is squared and the front (bow) is pointed. On the bottom, the boat is flat which allows it to ride (draft) in much shallower waters than a v-shaped hull. Making a new assumption (which I hope is correct), you might next ask, “What is the primary purpose/role of a skiff?” According to the Oracle’s more personally embellished little brother Wikipedia, in the Americas skiffs are, “boats for use by inshore fisherman.” I certainly agree and would only add that your skiff can also be used in lakes, rivers, and streams.
Have a specific question about a skiff? Please feel free to comment below and as always, enjoy your Sundance and safe boating.