In Memory of David W. Carnell




Dave passed away on Thursday, April 28, 2011.  Aside from being an influential member of the Simmons Community, Dave was a retired chemist from DuPont, and a WWII veteran.  When he retired from DuPont and moved to Wilmington, NC, he became interested in the local boats, especially, the Simmons Sea-Skiffs.  Dave learned all he could about the boats, and purchased one of his own, a 1958 model 18-footer.  Since no one was building the boats any more (Simmons stopped production in 1972 following the tragic death of his son), Dave decided to do extensive measuring on his boat and come up with a set of plans that the average backyard boatbuilder could build.  He was able to show his finished plans for the 18-foot Simmons Sea-Skiff to Mr. Simmons only a few months before Simmons' passing in 1986.  The plans, distributed by the New Hanover County Museum became very popular, and soon there was a renewed interest in the little boats.  Dave wrote articles about the Simmons for Small Boat Journal and North Carolina Wildlife magazines.  He's been featured in many other articles concerning Simmons Sea-Skiffs.  Eventually he also finished plans for the 20-foot high-side and 22-foot Simmons Skiffs.  These plans have been sold all over the world, and the boats have been built in such places as Scotland, Australia and Singapore.  It is due to a proven design from Tom Simmons and extraordinary efforts from Dave that the Simmons is so popular today.


I am personally very thankful to Dave for his efforts in keeping the Simmons Sea-Skiff in the forefront of small boating and boatbuilding.  He will be missed.


-Alex Slaunwhite