Maryland Skipjack Craft

Make a skipjack!
Make a skipjack!

Make these fun skipjacks out of paper towel tubes and recycled paper.

According to the Maryland Sea Grant, skipjacks were made by oystermen over 100 years ago specifically to dredge for oysters. They were named after the skipjack fish because they are quick and agile in the water. There were once over a thousand skipjacks on the Chesapeake Bay. Now there are only about 20 left. And, even less are still actively used to dredge for oysters.


Supplies you will need:

1 Paper towel tube

2 Sheets of recycled paper

1 length of yarn or string, 26 inches long

Crayons or coloring pencils



Template — Skipjack template



The boat

Print out the template using the recycled paper if possible. (Alternatively, you can fold two pieces of paper into long rectangles and trim to corners). On one sheet, there will be two long boat pieces, one for each side of the boat. Once they are cut out, fold each piece along the dotted line. Students can add their name to the line provided and color the boat pieces to personalize them. Then put the two sides together and tape the ends only. Place the paper towel tube in the middle of the pieces and tape in place. The boat with the towel tube in the middle should be able to stand upright.

The sails

Next, cut out the two triangles from the second page of the template. (Alternatively, cut out two large triangles.) Tape each triangle to the paper tube as seen in the picture. Finally, take the string or yarn and drape it from one end of the boat, across the top of the tube, and over to the other end of the boat. Tape in place.

I hope you enjoy making these fun skipjacks with your kids.

The Maryland skipjack is featured in my children’s book, Olly Explores 7 Wonders of the Chesapeake Bay. Watch the book trailer is below.


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