Cape Cod Classic: The George Williams Skiff

Mention the term “skiff” to anyone who has lived around Woods Hole and they will immediately picture a George Williams skiff, a total old school classic and great for a multitude of purposes.

The typical George Williams skiff is around 17 feet in length and made of painted pine plywood. Powered by a small outboard motor, this versatile skiff is so synonymous with Woods Hole that it is often referred to as a Woods Hole skiff.

The skiff’s configuration ranges form an open tiller steering to a specialized workboat with side steering and seating. The beautiful little skiffs draw little water so they are perfect for navigating the rocky coastline of Woods Hole’s Great Harbor and the surrounding islands. Add that they are easy to repair and a breeze to trailer and you can start to understand their local popularity.

Wander the perimeter of the Eel Pond in Woods Hole, and you will find many brightly colored George Williams skiffs. Watch them skitter under the drawbridge, heading out to a beach day on the Weepecket or Devils Foot islands. Or just admire them at the dock, another reminder of the hardy mariner spirit of Woods Hole.