Since early settlement, the fishermen of Newfoundland and Labrador have enjoyed a reputation of being capable boatbuilders. Using locally harvested timber and hand tools, they built skiffs, punts (also known as 'rodneys'), motor boats, schooners, and a variety of small wooden boats. It should be noted however, that Aboriginal peoples of the province were also engaged in boat building and had their own set of tools, techniques and traditions related to this craft. The boats they built were smaller in size and reflected two predominent boat styles-- canoes and kayaks.
The David Taylor Collection accounts for the majority of the DAI's achival material on boatbuilding. While the principle focus of this material revolves around the materials and methods used in the construction of inshore fishing vessels, often those being interviewed will provide personal narratives about their lives in early twentieth century Newfoundland and Labrador out-ports.