Burin boat builder com­pletes his sec­ond pro­ject

An­drew Riggs, 76, re­cently fin­ished a tra­di­tional New­found­land punt


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.


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.

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