Barnegat Bay Sneakbox Builder/Information Wanted : LUSENET : Open-water rowing : One Thread

I would like to find out more about a boat called the Barnegat Bay Sneakbox (BBSB). Do any of you know any builders of these boats (wood or fiberglass)? I would also look at puchasing an older boat.

-- Jim Rehl (, December 02, 2001


There are a few designs called a sneakbox. The most often seen on Barnegat Bay is 15' long and is strictly a sailboat. There is a 12' version known as a Diamond, also a sailboat. Other versions for hunting are very low to the water, wide enough to hunt from, and can be rowed or pushed with a shoving oar. David Beaton & Sons of Mantoloking NJ is the builder of most wood sneaks now sailing. An older builder was Perrine. What kind of sneakbox are you looking for?

-- Larry Deering (, December 04, 2001.

A little more information: I am looking for the BBSB to duck hunt from in the fall and winter and for rowing in the off season (spring and summer). The desired length is 12' with a 4' beam. The lower the boat sits in the water (profile) the better for my needs. I know some BBSB's are built now as a "higher volume" boats mainly to use with an outboard motor but I would rather row. There are much better designs for those looking for an outboard powered boat. Some of these boats do have sailing rigs which I could use in the summer but a rig is not a requirement.

-- Jim Rehl (, December 04, 2001.

A couple of years ago the Rockland Apprenticeshop built a nice hunting sneakbox for a customer. Don't know what they got for it. Off hand I do not know of anyone who is building these in glass on a production basis. Melonseeds which are slightly larger are being produced in glass for the recreational trade, but there is no reason that you can't hunt from one after specifying that it by built in duckboat drab.

-- Ben Fuller (, January 05, 2002.

I built a sneakbox in 1959 and it was probably the most versatile duck boat I've ever owned. You can't believe how many shooting opportunities it opened up around private land. It was undoubtedly one of the most seaworthy boats I've seen. If I were to build another one, I think I would build it along harpins(?) in the traditional manner

-- Bob Coombs (, January 08, 2002.

Thanks for all the responses. I just returned from Maine (to central Ohio) with a fiberglass BBSB built for sailing or rowing. The design is a copy of a boat built in 1836 -- it is much lower in profile than most of the boats built today.

-- Jim Rehl (, January 10, 2002.

There is someone in MD building fg sneakboxes. Website is Telephone 410- 798-7886.

-- andy anderson (, January 24, 2002.

I own a BBSB Built by Classic Barnegat in Mayo Maryland, and use it for duck hunting it rides low in the water and the ducks never knew what hit them. This barnegat is built to use a motor it also has ore blocks and rows better than it motors. Its 12'6" by 4' and it built to scale to the orignals. Contact me if you want more info. By the way the builder only wants about $1800 finished also has splash fly and payed extra for a soft and hard cockpit cover. www.classicbarnegat.comm

-- Charlie Latona (, April 21, 2002.

I just finished rebuilding an original 1938 BBSB. It was original white cedar but I fiberglassed over it. I used all the original planking but did replace the cedar ribs. I hated to glass over the original wood but decided it was better than swelling it every year. I started the boat in early August 02 and finished it the day before Thanksgiving. I have not killed a duck out of it yet but I am sure I will soon. I think that is more due to the poor hunting this year rather than the boat. I run a 6hp on it. It sure is a nice boat so far.

-- Andrew Timmins (, December 26, 2002.

I am investigating a stitch and glue approach to a boat my boys and I can sail, perhaps a melonseed. I own an original bbsb made by leon headley my late friend somers headley's father. I could convert it back to sail but it is such a lovely thing and a keepsake i havent the gumption to cut it. Would rather keep it hanging in the rafters and build another for me and the boys. My point is this only, these boats give joy and pleasure when viewed by the right eye and made by the right hand

-- joe mcmillan (, December 31, 2002.

I own a Barnegat Bay sneak box designed and built by Perrine at his banaget boatworks around 1920. It is in good shape,mostly originalwith a new sale. I don't sail it any more and would like to sell it to someone who would take care of it and enjoy it. Interested parties can contact me by email or at the following numbers 315 354 4105 or 252 249 3996 the boat is located near Blue Mountain in NYS

-- Warren A. Reynolds (, July 12, 2003.

To whom it may concern:

I own 3 Barnegat Bay Sneakboxes I built. They are 12' X 4'. Two are on a single trailer and one is on its own trailer. I have a video concerning the last time I opened them for inspection. I would send a copy for viewing to someone who is serious about buying them.

I am retired and due to medial reasons no longer able to use them. I would like to sell them to someone who would appreciate and care for them properly.

If the name sounds familiar it's because for over 20 years I wrote for various waterfowling magazines and for over 35 years I made and sold Carlson Championship Calls. I sold the business about 5 years ago and CCC calls are still in Cabela's and many other catalogs and stores.

These handcrafted BBSBs are unique and a real collectors item. I've made thousands of waterfowl calls, but only 3 waterfowling boats. Interested parties may call me at 1-319-848-3370 or e-mail me.


Wendell R. Carlson 12200 College St. S.W. Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

-- Wendell R. Carlson (, July 16, 2003.

I have a 12 NJ Cedar Barnegat Bay Sneakbox for sale. It was built by William Kelly, a local boaqt builder in West Creek NJ. The boat has never been wet. A picture of the boat can be found at I am asking $1000 for it.

-- Scott Hickman (, September 09, 2003.

There is a "back yard" builder of BBSB in Kennebunk Maine. His name is Bill Perry and lives on Sea rd. He builds them in fiberglass although I beleive he lost his mold in a fire. Not sure if he has built another mold.

-- Andrew White (AWHITE@STABBAYHBRME.USCG.MIL), November 28, 2003.

I own a melonseed-love the boat-great to row, but am getting a Drascombe Scaffie so I can camp(and perhaps sail on the North Sea one day). If anyne is looking for a melonseed-please e-mail. My father was a duck hunter and made his boats out of stainless steel. He was a steelworker. I helped sand the seats-never duck hunted

-- Carrie Metzger (, January 23, 2004.

I would like to see some photos of the mellonseed boat you have. I would be interested in buying it if the design would work for me for rowing or hunting. Thanks, Jim

-- Jim Rehl (, January 23, 2004.

I have a Perrine BBSB that originally belonged to my Great Uncle. I have the builders plate from the cockpit with the name JH Perrine, Barnegat NJ, but it unfortunately is not dated. My family was never entirely sure when it was built or exactly how old it was, but our math and the failing memories of the family members that remembered the day he got it as a teenager put it around 1918- 1920.

I've had it now in my garage in Havre de Grace, MD for close to 20 years, and it hung from the rafters of the garage at his summer cottage in Charlestown Maryland for probably 20 before that. Though I have no intention of ever selling it, I've always been curious what it was worth. I have all the rigging, two masts, two upper gaffs and a newer, meaning probably 1970's era sail. It has 99% of the original wood, the only board having been removed is the central plank where the mast slides in. It has been stored indoors and covered for probably 40 years except when it was used, which it hasn't been since the best I can remember the late seventies. I also have the cast iron wheel and wood dolly that was custom built and fit to it when he bought it. I've always had plans to restore it totally some day,just to take a sail in it, but I've so far never progressed very far. It honestly looks like you could throw a coat of paint on it, swell it and sail away in it.

Is there any archive or source of information where I could find more deetails about my boat and J H Perrine, the builder.

John L Narvell IV, Havre de Grace MD

-- John Narvell (, March 08, 2004.

That's a real treasure, Jim. You might try contacting Tuckerton Seaport Museum, 152 Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ, 609-296-8868. (Their site -- -- doesn't seem to be working.) The museum is housed in a collection of old buildings that were moved to the site, and they have a recreation of the Perrine Boatworks, with demonstrations on sneakbox building. Here's a link to a virtual tour of the shop:'s%20Boatworks.htm

Stephen Paskey

-- Stephen Paskey (, March 09, 2004.

I too have a great interest in the Barnegat Bay Sneakbox. Does anyone have Information on where I can find a set of prints? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

-- Harry Schlott (, December 03, 2004.

In response to the recent request regarding a set of prints: there are several sources you could consult.

In John Gardner's "Building Classic Small Craft," there are instructions and drawings for the "modernized" construction of a 14-foot sneakbox. The instructions are based on a late 19-century drawing by W.P. Stevens.

Second, Howard Chapelle's "American Small Sailing Craft" has a discussion of sneakboxes, including line drawings and offsets for two different boats.

Third, Mystic Seaport sells large scale prints with lines, offsets, and construction details for a 12-foot boat. The plan number is 61.915 -- you'll find ordering details at the Seaport's website,

There are other scattered sources, but those are the most accessible. If I were going to build a sneakbox, I'd get my hands on all of the above.

-- Stephen Paskey (, January 04, 2005.

I have two BBS's Built by Vansant in ATlantic City. Considered one of the best Gunning boxes ever built. I have wealth of info regarding BBs'S my grand father built them If you wish to contact me you may call me at my office 410-639-7011 it's okay for me to talk about boats there I have a boatyard and am a Marine surveyor. I look forward to anyone who wants to talk Boats especially duck boats Doug

-- Doug Megargee (, February 02, 2005.

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