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Newton, Ben

Swamp boat, 10 feet long and 21 inches wide, built by Newton
Swamp boat, 10 feet long and 21 inches wide, built by Newton

Photos

Swamp boat maker in Smoaks, SC (Colleton County). Small watercraft also known as a flat bottom boat/skiff or a bateau (Sometimes spelled batteau). Used to navigate the shallows, marshes, and waterways of the SC lowcountry. Traditionally used by fishermen, crabbers, oystermen, clammers and to transport goods/people upstream or downstream. Usually powered manually, with a paddle or a pole. Can also be fitted with a small outboard motor. Interview and photographs by Michael Chiarappa.

Audio   (View Transcript)

bullet icon Different boat lengths (00:36)

Swamp boats/Flat bottom boats can be made to a variety of specifications

bullet icon Boat dimensions (00:59)

The reasons why swamp boats are made the size that they are

bullet icon Fish Well (00:39)

What is a fish well used for?

bullet icon Maneuverability (01:21)

How to navigate a swamp boat

bullet icon Building boat (02:10)

How a swamp boat is made

bullet icon Selling boats (00:38)

Story about selling his boats around the area

bullet icon Quality of his boats (00:31)

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