Higgins' boat building career began in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Higgins Industries was known for creating watercraft for the shallow bayous in the surrounding area. One of Higgins' earliest designs was the Eureka boat, or Spoonbills. It was eventually adapted by the U.S. Marine Corp because of its extreme durability and utility. The unique design of the hull, with a shallow draft that allowed the boat to operate in just 18 inches of water, was revolutionary. A heavy-duty block of wood at the bow called the "head log" allowed for near indestructibility when cruising over debris in the water or running aground, and a propeller that was tucked in a tunnel in the hull for protection were features that would prove to be crucial in his next design — the Higgins boat.