For Christmas this year, Mrs. Chine bLog again gave me a four-pack of days apprenticing with Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Apprentice for a Day program. You may recall my very happy time doing this last year. This is SUCH a sweet deal. For $25 ($15 if you do the right thing and join the museum) you get a full day working on as fine a small boat as you could find with some great people and highly accomplished shipwrights. Even if you interest in great boats is passing, check it out – you will have a great time.
This year I went unaware of what the project du jour would be. Happily I arrived to find a real treat – the latest in a growing fleet of Delaware Duckers. I had not, heretofore, made the pleasure of their acquaintance. I didn’t catch the actual dimensions (doh!), but I am guessing the boat is 16′ long and a bit under 4′ abeam, designed for rowing and sailing, originally in pursuit of the eponymous fowl. Check out the pictures below – these are some stunning boats, and apparently they sail as well as they look.
The story behind this particular design of the boat is a heartwarming rescue tale. Or something like that. It seems that, like so many boats from days gone by, these boats existed only in stay pictures and memories. Those who knew of them admired them greatly, but had no idea how to construct and authentic one. And then one of those “tucked away in a barn” stories happens – a real live ducker turns up in PA somewhere and voila – the right folks get ahold of her, repair her, and take lines off. A class saved.
Below are some shots of one of the original one that will be in the museum’s permanent collection:
Here are a couple more shots of the one in progress – she’s just gorgeous. That scarf in the deck planking is a nice detail.
Finally, my work for the day… The boat will have a sprit rig so what better to work on that the sprit itself. I was pleased with this task and with what I knocked out in several hours. When I arrived the sprit was a rectangular length of Douglass fir. We cut in the taper on a band-saw, planing it clean in between sides, and then marked off the octagon and so forth. I managed to get it to a rough circle.
Location: Slaughter Beach, DE, USA