We here at Chine bLog were sad to hear the news earlier this week of the passing of Harold “Dynamite” Payson. If the late, great Phil Bolger deserved eternal bliss for designing the Gloucester Light Dory, Dynamite Payson deserves the same for making the great design so accessible. Dynamite Payson literally wrote the book on building the Gloucester Light Dory, the one I used when I built one at age 16. How to Build the Gloucester Light Dory: A Classic in Plywood is a well-produced, easy-to-follow guide to building the boat, and it made the project possible. I even contacted Mr. Payson a year later to inquire about the feasibility of adding a sliding seat to the boat. He responded graciously to a 17 year-old kid without much forethought on hydrodynamics. I wish I could have met him.
Carl Cramer, of Wooden Boat Publications, did know him, and wrote a nice obituary on Monday. Carl is also quoted in one in the Bangor Daily News that gives more background on the man. Read these and learn about this obviously great man and important contributor to the resurgence of wooden boats.