I would say it's the classic lines, solid seakeeping abilities for it's size/class, and refreshingly simple layout. But I'm no expert and very much a newby to this forum. Downeast skiffs where I live mean east of Beaufort, NC - Gloucester, Atlantic, Harkers Island. Working boats very similar to the New England downeast working boats. Amazingly similar in my opinion. In fact down here, if you say "downeast boat" they will assume you mean a "downeast NC" working skiff and most don't even know it's a whole world of new england boats.
my brother and I used to own the world's most expensive double-wide on the backside of the island. He and his girlfriend just bought a new place on Island drive. Spent some quality time on the bench at the Fishing Center.
did that mold end up with Gilbert Radcliff at Privateer ?
he had a 10 foot beam X 26 center console with huge bow flare that came from a mold called the Downeaster
I had Gilbert build one for me just for fly fishing with all pop up hardware and a tall 30 inch transom
plus a walk in console that had fresh water and potti. the hardtop was done by the outfit that supplied Albemarle and Carolina Classic with their hardtops and fabrications. nice boat and lots of fish caught on the fly. one of Privateers customers loved my boat and wanted one IMMEDIATEY so he bought mine and it went to the Chesapeake Bay.