The Farley Boat Works team has built the type of boat common to Port Aransas waters around 1870-1880. The design, called Mockingbird, measures 16-ft in length, 4-ft 6-inches wide, and has a draft of about 4 inches. She is planked out of cypress over mahogany frames.
In the days of Tarpon Texas, before we became Port Aransas in 1910, our local guides took their clients fishing for Tarpon in row boats like this one. Imagine the excitement of landing an 80 pound Tarpon in a row boat.
I began working to re-create this early model Port Aransas Skiff about 40 years ago when I first came to the island. I sketched old wrecks, decaying boats converted to flower boxes, and examined all the photographs I could find to arrive at some approximation of the proper shape and size of these early rowing skiffs, and then put the lines on paper.
I named the type “mockingbird”, built a prototype, re-drew the lines and finally this year the Farley A team built hull #1.
The boat is as accurate and authentic as we could make it, with some extra attention paid to appearance that the early guides likely didn’t have time for. It is a thing of beauty and a part of the history of our island town. There will be others, but there will never be another #1.
The boat was sold at auction March 7, 2015 to support the Port Aransas Museum & Farley Boat Works. It has a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser.