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About the St. Lawrence River Skiff

About the Annie Design

Prizes and Awards

Testimonials from Annie Owners

Other Designs

Wooden Boat Repair and Restoration

Keith's History

 

 

 


 

 

 

About the St. Lawrence River Skiff

The St. Lawrence River Skiff was developed in the Thousand Islands, at the turn of the century, by guides who took wealthy patrons fishing. It was built with an eye toward maneuverability, stability, seaworthiness, and speed. Often compared to the Adirondack Guide Boats, the St. Lawrence River Skiffs were not required to be so portage-friendly, and so could be heavier and beamier, more comfortable and better able to handle rough water.
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About the Annie Design

The Annie, designed in the 1890s by A. Bain & Co., is narrower, sleeker, and faster than most St. Lawrence River Skiffs. Seaworthy, and with a large cargo capacity, this highly efficient rowing machine has many racing awards to its credit. David Stookey of "Open Water Rowing" said of one of Keith Quarrier's Annies: "A number of us long-distance cruisers agree, the St. Lawrence River Skiff is the best combination of speed and seaworthiness ever designed."

The hull is constructed of cedar strips, then fiberglassed and painted inside and out. Constructing the hull this way ensures that the boat will be leak-free, easy to maintain, and extremely durable, while remaining light. It is both stiffer and lighter than a comparable fiberglass hull. The beautifully varnished wood decks, seats, coaming, and trim add the finishing touch.

Specifications: LOA: 17'10"; Beam: 39"; Span (lock to lock): 41"; weight: 105 lbs.

Hull construction: Cedar strip, fiberglass/epoxy.

Price: $7,200.
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Prizes & Awards for Keith's Annies:

 1981. Craftsmanship Award, Thousand Island Shipyard Museum, Clayton New York

 1997. 1st place, Oarmaster Rowing Trials, Mystic, Connecticut

 1998. 2nd place, Blackburn Challenge, fixed-seat class, Cape Anne, Massachusetts

 1998. 2nd place, Oarmaster Rowing Trials, Mystic, Connecticut

 1998. 1st place, Adirondack Guideboat Challenge, Blue Mountain Lake, New York

 2005. 1st place, Blackburn Challenge, fixed-seat single class, Cape Anne, Massachusetts

 2005. 1st place, Blackburn Challenge, fixed-seat double class, Cape Anne, Massachusetts
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Testimonials from Annie Owners

More from David Stookey, former editor of "Open-Water Rowing":

"It's rare to find a boat that takes your breath away - both looking at it and rowing it.

"Keith Quarrier's ANNIE is fast enough to win the Oarmaster Trials, seaworthy enough for my long coastal passages, and good looking enough to draw a crowd anywhere.... Keith Quarrier's skiffs are about the best-looking boats being built today." (Letter to Keith this year.)

 From John Mullen, rowing enthusiast:

". . . I still have your beautiful cold-molded black Annie . . . the only problem for me [is] to restrain myself from gushing too much. Those lines crafted by your hands are an idyllic combination of a highly efficient rowing machine and a work of art." (Letter to Keith this year.)

"It was a pleasant surprise to see my boat, ANNIE, gracing the cover of Issue 15. I recently purchased her from builder Keith Quarrier. This 18-foot St. Lawrence River Skiff hull is truly exceptional: single, double, with or without passenger or passengers, a real head-turner and very fast. I have always enjoyed the search for the 'perfect boat.' However, now I am at a loss. What more could I ask for?" (Letter to the Editor, "Open Water Rowing," August 1999.)
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Other Designs

Keith based the Eliza Q on an early 1900s Canadian skiff owned by his aunt, who summered on the St. Lawrence's Scow Island. Keith took the original lines directly from the old boat; he and his cousin Sid, an avid rower, then spent considerable time refining the drawings. The resulting boat, built by Keith, has proved to be a great rower, very seaworthy and stable, with an even higher load capacity than the Annie. Keith converted the Eliza Q to a sailing skiff, and he added a second rowing station; both modifications work well.

Approximate specifications: LOA: 18'2"; Beam 48"; Weight: 148 lbs.

Construction: Cedar strip, fiberglass/epoxy or cold-molded with cedar and epoxy.

Built to order; price $7,600.

Keith has experimented with numerous other designs, from cargo canoes to paddle boats for children. Examples of a few of these are in the photo section. All reflect the craftsmanship and attention to detail that are the hallmark of his work and teachings. He is happy to discuss custom projects with interested buyers.
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Wooden Boat Repair and Restoration

Some of Keith's recent repair projects include a major rebuild and refinishing of a seventeen foot lapstrake Penn Yan outboard runabout, repair and refinishing of a lapstrake Thompson, and repair and refinishing of an antique Old Town motorable row boat.
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Keith's History

Starting early in the 1970s, Keith worked off and on for five years at Ely Boatworks on Long Island Sound, repairing and maintaining both sailboats and powerboats. He also spent summers in the Thousand Islands, where he first fell in love with the St. Lawrence River Skiff.

In 1973, Keith and his brother bought and refurbished a 41' wooden sailboat, which they took on a year-long cruise to South America. The trip taught them valuable lessons in making creative repairs while underway!

After the trip, Keith was commissioned to rebuild two antique skiffs up on the St. Lawrence. He also went to college for a degree in Industrial Arts, and through the 1980s and early '90s, he taught woodworking, drafting, and metalwork at a regional high school in New Hampshire. He introduced the rudiments of boat-building to his woodworking class, and later developed a more advanced course in which his students actually built canoes, rowboats, and powerboats.

While working at the high school, he continued to build and sell boats on his own. He and his wife also established a commercial dairy farm, milking 65 goats until 2003. Today, he is building and repairing boats full time.
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