Skiff is a feisty fun-loving little boat with a very upbeat and positive attitude, in spite of the fact that his captain, Sailor John, is not very nice to him. Sailor John bosses Skiff about, but no matter how loud he shouts or how hard he stamps on his deck, it never seems to dampen Skiff’s spirit. Skiff remains keen to make up again and genuinely thinks of Sailor John as his friend. Skiff treats every day as an exciting new adventure; he likes to see the best in everyone and think of the world as a wonderful place. This leaves him vulnerable to persuasion to the point of appearing gullible.
Skiff’s transformation from a small sail boat to a ‘Railboat’ was inspired by some old photographs of a retired naval officer sitting in a small sailing vessel travelling on railway tracks. Skiff doesn’t have a motor and can only be powered by the wind in his sails, or by being rowed with oars.