For many lobstermen a skiff, or small flat bottomed boat with an outboard motor, was their first vessel. They learned to set traps 5 at a time, pull them by hand, and navigate the inshore waters without as much danger as a larger boat and big diesel engine can bring.
The skiff also serves as sort of a taxi that lobstermen use to get to and from their larger boats that are kept on moorings away from the wharf. Often not owned by an individual fisherman, but by the wharf itself, they are sometimes treated as such. It is easy for them to fall into disrepair, with them mindset of some being “as long as it is running when I get out, it’s not my problem”.
Used everyday but taken for granted until something goes wrong, it is the washing machine of the fishing world.