Burin boat builder completes his second project

Andrew Riggs, 76, recently finished a traditional Newfoundland punt 

Published on July 28, 2017

Andrew Riggs of Burin is pictured in front of the two boats that he has built – his latest, a 24-foot punt, and the 27-foot trap skiff he built in 2015.

©Submitted Photo

BURIN, NL — At 76-years-old, Andrew Riggs of Burin has recently completed the build on his second boat, a traditional Newfoundland punt.

Riggs told The Southern Gazette he worked on the project off and on for a number of months.

“I’d say about eight months,” he said. “About that to build her if you’re at it steady. I wasn’t at it steady.”

The first boat he built, a 27-foot trap skiff, took him longer to complete, Riggs said.

“The other one took me longer ‘cause I didn’t know much about it then,” he said. “But the more you do (it), the better you get at it.”

Riggs completed the trap skiff back in July 2015 and named it in memory of his granddaughter, Siobhane, who was killed in an ATV accident.

For this project, Riggs decided to go a little smaller: “A punt this (time), not a skiff. This one is 24-feet.”

Riggs said when he started out to build the punt, he didn’t have anyone in mind to give it to, but since then his son Dean has shown interest in the boat.

“I didn’t build her for anyone, but my son lives up in Ontario, (where he is) teaching, so he’s going to take her up there with them,” Riggs said.

Riggs said he does not have any immediate plans to build another boat “but I’m not saying that I’m not going to build one.”

Riggs said he did not have any plans on building another boat when he started with the punt.

“(No plans) really to build this one. I just took it on. I got a lot of timber cut for another boat though, so I don’t know what will happen. I’m getting old now, so you don’t know,” said Riggs, adding going into the woods to get the timber is the hardest job.”

Similar to the trap skiff he built in 2015, the punt is also put together with stainless steel screws – 3,000 of them.

“She is all screw-bolted with galvanized screw bolts,” Riggs said. “No nails in her.”

Riggs said that although nails would have been a cheaper option, he prefers using stainless steel screws because they won’t rust.

The punt was christened “Delainey Siobhane” before it was launched at the wharf in Burin on July 22.