Toby Hall and Charlie Howland worked at Concordia years ago when Leo Telesmanick was running it. Now retired, the pair decided their six grandchildren (ages 2 and younger) needed some good little skiffs. They had some scrap lumber from Concordia that had been meant to be kindling, but they couldn’t bear to burn the clear cedar and white oak. So the pair built six Westport skiffs, one for each grandchild.
Toby and Charlie finished up several open cans of Kirby paint on the hulls. They tested them for seaworthiness before delivering them to their new owners, Cornelius and Sasha Howland, and Isabel and John Hall. The last two are awaiting a visit to grandpa's by their new owners. The boats are 31" long and just under 11" wide and have been put to work ferrying stuffed animals around the house this winter.
Charlie and Toby built them from a mold that may have been based on a Long Island skiff. A friendly boatman had given Toby the mold years earlier when Toby was a young man with two small boys. Charlie and Toby work together every Friday at their “Snail’s Pace Workshop,” which is where they built these little gems. When the children are older the grandfathers plan to build some “good little skiffs” that they can actually row about on Allen’s Pond near their homes in southeastern Massachusetts.