The plans for the “Melon Seed” come from that WPA survey project. It was a small wooden sailing skiff of the 1880’s, designed to be used by one man, primarily for duck hunting in winter in the shallow marshes and choppy bays inside the barrier islands of the Jersey Shore. Variations were used for similar conditions in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. During the winter, when the fields lay dormant, a farmer could supplement his income and spartan table with wild ducks and geese, if he could get to them. A partial deck on the boat gave protection from the elements, and a rail along the edge kept wet feet and decoys from slipping off, providing a place to tie the ducks. The boat had to be small enough to maneuver in and out of the marshes, with shallow draft, had to be easy drop sail and row, but stable enough to take him safely home across icy and often rough waters of the open bays.