Wonderfully evocative of the atmosphere of being up early for clam fishing.
The Clam Skiff’s Role in the Essex Clamming Industry
Outfit of a Clammer. — The outfit of a clammer does not require much outlay of capital. A skiff or dory, one or two clam hoes and three or four clam baskets complete the list. Occasionally, as at Ipswich, where the clam grounds are widely scattered, power dories are used, and this necessitates the investment of considerable capital; but the investment of the average clammer does not exceed $26. Personal apparel, such as oilskins and boots, are not considered under this head.
Skiff dory, $22 00
Two clam diggers, 1 50
Four clam baskets, 2 00
Total, $25 50
The boats most often used by the north shore clammers are called
"skiff dories," and in construction are between a dory and a skiff.
These boats are especially adapted for use in rivers.
Source: Massachusetts. Commissioners on Fisheries and Game. (1909). A report upon the mollusk fisheries of Massachusetts. Boston: Wright & Potter printing co., state printers.