Wilmington Pride: Cape Fear Museum

WILMINGTON -- Part of what makes so many people proud to call Wilmington home is the city's rich history. Much of that history is housed in the Cape Fear Museum. A local man, T.N. Simmons, created the Simmons sea skiff in the forties and fifties. It can now be found all over the region, and has made its way across the globe. Simmons made an estimated 800 sea skiffs in about 20 years, but he never wrote down his plans. Dave Carnell took on the challenge of creating the design plans when people started to ask for them. Now the Cape Fear Museum has a few of the boats on display and has sold 1,500 sets of plans in about 20 years. Carnell says working on this project has been the most rewarding part of his retirement. "We haven't had a single unhappy customer and that's the real satisfaction, to see people doing something like this is based on something I did," Carnell said. Most of the tools Simmons used in his woodwork are at the Cape Fear Museum. The Simmons sea-skiff has really made a name for itself in this region. It is well-known for being sturdy in small creeks and marshes and in the ocean waves.

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