Purchase Boat Plans

Interested in building a Simmons Sea-Skiff?

Thomas Norwood Simmons was born in 1908 in Wilmington and lived most of his life on Myrtle Grove Sound. He was a carpenter by trade.  In 1946, Norman Piner asked Simmons to build a boat for him. Simmons built the first boat of what evolved into the Sea-Skiff.

The Simmons Sea-Skiff was developed in the late 1940s and early 1950s out of a need for a lightweight boat. Its design includes an upswept bow, a semi V-bottom toward the bow with a flat bottom toward the stern, and a well for the outboard motor.

The Sea-Skiff can be launched directly into the ocean from the beach, is easily handled in ocean waves, and yet can be used in the marshes and tidal creeks because of its five-inch draft. It was an excellent combination of an oceangoing vessel, like the whaleboat, and the marsh or coastal river boat, like the shove skiff.

Cape Fear Museum Store is the only source for T.N. Simmons’ Sea-Skiff plans. Full plans are available here for the 18-, 20- and 22-foot boats.

Order your own Sea-Skiff plans and informative booklet:

Boat Plans

Simmons Boat Plans




A Boat for all Seas booklet ($10):




For more information about the Simmons Sea-Skiff, visit simmonsseaskiff.com or contact the Museum Store Manager

Cape Fear Museum Associates, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that exists to ensure the success of Cape Fear Museum of History and Science. We rely on annual, tax-deductible memberships and donations to help fund exhibitions, educational programs and community awareness. Your support helps preserve the Museum’s 52,000 artifacts and provides opportunities for the 46,000 yearly visitors of all ages to explore the history, science and cultures of the Lower Cape Fear region.