Riley Hall was born and raised in Gig Harbor, Washington, a quiet town nestled around a narrow, mile-long inlet that shares the town’s name. The shoreline is bristling with piers and the water is dotted with boats at anchor. Surrounded by boats, it was only natural that Riley began building and working on them at a young age. He kept at it through high school and began restoring a 1940s-vintage canvas-covered cedar-strip rowing boat at home. For his senior-year project, he chose to work at the Gig Harbor BoatShop, documenting and disassembling hull #2 of the Ben Seaborn–designed Thunderbird.After graduating, his interest in the restoration of old boats led him to move across the country to Rhode Island to study at Newport’s International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS). While enrolled there, he spent winter evenings and weekends restoring a 1963 Snipe. After graduating from IYRS in 2012 he got a job maintaining and restoring mostly classic racing yachts at Baltic Boatworks in nearby Bristol.During the time he had been on his career path—restoring large yachts and working boats—Riley had been toying with the concept of small boats built from a single sheet of plywood. He designed and built his first one-sheet rowing skiff  while home for Christmas in 2014. He had brought the paper patterns for the skiff with him to Rhode Island and shared them with Don Betts, a local boatbuilder who had built a 31’ six-oared Cornish gig, and the one-sheet skiff Don built  led to two more, built with the help of a group of Sea Scouts.

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