In the spring of 1970, the Marine Historical Society, now the Mystic Seaport Museum, sent out a flyer inviting recreational rowing enthusiasts to a “Small Craft Conference–Rowing Workshop” sponsored by the Small Craft Laboratory, which had been started by then Associate Curator John Gardner. Topics would be pulling boat design, reviving recreational rowing, and comparing participating boats. The flyer also suggested that participants submit a design for the “perfect boat.”Capt. Pete Culler took an interest in the design challenge. A yacht captain, boatbuilder and designer, he had designed and supervised building the schooner INTEGRITY for his friend and sometimes employer, Waldo Howland, owner of Concordia Company. Pete and Waldo discussed the idea and Pete sketched a simple 13-1/2′ flat-bottomed skiff, similar to a 15-1/2-footer he had built in 1968. Waldo liked the result, and mimeographed a pamphlet about it which was distributed at the workshop. In it he wrote that the new skiff was “a learner’s boat for rowing and sailing, and for fun and satisfaction. Suitable for instruction and general use in summer camps, in youth training programs and at home. Rowing is fun if the boat is the right model. Big enough to be useful, long and fine lined enough to row easily. With sufficient length, she will be stable. There are many uses for a good skiff besides rowing alone. Pulling up on a beach for swimming & picnics. Go fishing or clamming. Carry passengers or cargo. Imagination and a bit of water is all you need.”Designed to be built by amateurs, the skiff received an enthusiastic reception and, after the workshop, Culler drew up plans for what has become a classic, the Good Little Skiff.

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