Barnegat Sneak-Box and other Duck Boat Plans


Matt Wimmer

I am doing some research and development on duck boats and Barnegat Sneak-Box's. Does anyone have any online links to publications? Also looking for plans and books. And if anyone has made and/or owned one, I would like to know what kind of experience you had with it.
Happy Paddlin.
Hi Matt,

There was an article about duckboat racing on Barnegat Bay in the March/Aril issue of WoodenBoat magazine (issue number 207). It contains a brief bit of info on the history and evolution of of sneakboxes and duckboats, but most of it is about modern competitive sailing. In addition, there have been some articles on duckboats in Hunting and Fishing Collectibles magazine. That's all I'm aware of. Hope this helps a little.

You can start with W.P. Stephens here:

Also look for "The Seabright Skiff and other Jersey Shore Boats" by Peter Guthorn. Several of John Gardner's books have plans for a variety of duck skiffs. The boat collection catalogs published by Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and Mystic Seaport Museum have a wealth of information, and plans are available from both.

Finally, plans for such boats were widely published over the years in publications like Forest and Stream, THe Rudder, MotorBoating's Ideal Series, Popular Mechanics and the like. Any good maritime museum will have a library filled with such things - you can get lost for hours in them (go ahead, ask me how I know!).

One of our forum members from the Midwest was restoring a Barnegat sneakbox - Rick, are you out there?

Sneak Box


As Dan mentioned, I have a 1932 Bargegat Bay Sneak Box built by the Perrine Boat Works Company who was the premier builder for a long time. I have done extensive research on this craft along with old photo's and a set of plans that were redrawn from one of the originals. You will find that there were no plans drawn back then of the original boats but there are several variations of Sneak Box type Duckers. I have the sailing version. They were built the same way every time and there was no need for plans, just a good memory.

Start out with Tuckerton Seaport Museum, they have a builder there that gives classes on his version of the boat (you will find many versions) and the museum is dedicated to the Sneak Box and duck decoys.

Dan's referenced book is an excellent source but a little hard to find. Also try which is a goldmine of information and downloads on just about every subject from major library's. Just do a search on Barnegat Bay Sneak Box and you will get a lot of information and published stories. I'd be glad to share anything that I have on this interesting boat.


Ric Altfather
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I think the link to Google is:

I tried the link you posted and it leads to a sales pitch for some kind of money making software.

Thanks suggesting it. I had thought of checking out Google's book project but hadn't got around to it. Looks like a really useful site.
There are also a couple of duckboat forums on the web that are worth checking out.

I built a sail for a guy who was restoring an old duckboat a couple years ago and since I don't know squat about these boats, the forums proved helpful, as did some of the old photos we managed to dig up. The sails were pretty interesting. Most were modified versions of some of the same traditional lug, sprit and gaff types we use on canoes and dinghies, but tended to have curiously long, stretched-out clew corners with a hollowed foot and were used boomless. They had very strange downwind shapes due to this, but we figured all those old photos tended to indicate that they must have had good reason to build them that way, so we did, too. It was actually a pretty cool looking sail when finished. Kind of made me want to get a duckboat, but the last thing I need is another form of boating hobby.


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