(Photos courtesy South Bay Scooter Club)
Pretty interesting, from their website:
“Men on Long Island’s south side bays since early times have fished, clamed, oystered, eeled, and set fykes, fish traps, frostfish nets and smelt nets. Years ago they built small plumb-sided flat-bottom scows and rowboats or sharpies. These made good carriers for their catches, and when winter came they placed narrow wagon-tire [metal] strips on the boats’ chines. ….., so boats or scows could be dragged through snow over the ice. With a lot of hard labor men got these crude boats through thin ice and up on hard, thick ice to work their many sorts of fishing equipment, and to carry their numerous kinds of foodstuffs in the raw that our bay have produced over the years. It was all cold, rough, hard work….
The evolution of the Scooter is not well documented. It did not evolve from a designer’s drawing board nor was there a class association. It evolved out of necessity. Something like this. Take an old duck puntie and add runners. A mast, sprit sail or gaff and a pike pole to steer her. Angle the runners (bevel) to bite into the ice and to prevent the boat from sliding sideways. Add a jib to balance the main sail and a bit of rocker (curve) to the runners to increase steerage and you have a Scooter.”
As with the cover of the current issue of WoodenBoat, ice boating is in season here. I would just as soon see winter recede in the rear view mirror.
But the South Bay Scooter seems very cool. What do you think?
Here’s their website: http://ice-scooter.org/history.php