The other evening,the editorial staff here at Chine bLog got flipping through one of the kids’copies of Ranger Rick magazine,the venerable publication from the National Wildlife Federation. Usually the magazine is a source for pre-teen wildlife education,but this one issue actually contained Chine bLog fodder:a picture of a gorgeous,traditional open boat with a gaff-headed ketch rig. The article discussed a program called Solar Sail,a Maine coastal adventure for teenagers. We had to dive in to this story.
The boat is part of the fleet owned by Chewonki,a one-time summer camp in Wiscasset,ME that has grown into a broader environmental education organization. We know of it first because we spent a week there in fifth grade and secondly because it is just up-river from a former Chine bLog family property. The area is all kinds of mid-Maine gorgeous and the organization well-regarded.
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The Solar Sail trip is for girls and boys ages 13-16. It begins with land-based education on sustainability,but then takes to the water in one of these lovely boats for a multi-day camp-cruise from Montsweag Bay to Mount Desert. Obviously the trip is fully “naturally”powered –sail and oar to move the boat and solar for the safety electronics.
We couldn’t find much about the boat itself beyond the pictures. It looks to be about 30′LOA,double-ended,and fully open. She appears to be wooden and has attractive,rough-hewn spars. The rigging looks traditional and relatively simple. I love the plumb stem and raked stern post. Can we convince the kids to join up in a couple years?!
Last weekend we were out for a hikelet along the Potomac river and happened upon a woman enjoying the view of the marsh. We got talking and she mentioned,in particular,my Wooden Boat hat. She then revealed that she was a photographer who specialized in classic and traditional boats,and she noted she had been published in the magazine. Her name is Ellen Tynan and,on review,I am sure I have seen her work (also on Flickr).
She is hoping to publish a book in the not-too-distant future:“Boat Lines.”It will compile her photos of traditional boats from six regions of the world:Maori New Zealand,Ireland,Alaska and British Columbia,Peru,Indonesia,and Egypt. Good sampling,there,eh?
I’d suggest browsing through her work and getting a sneak peak at what might be in the book. A quick selection of works that jumped out at us,here at Chine bLog,includes (will open in new tabs/windows):
There are many more great ones. It would be well worth your time to browse them all on your own. Keep an eye out for this great sounding book.
It happens all too rarely,but I was able to cash in a Christmas gift and spend another great day with Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum‘s Apprentice for a Day program. The current boat is an enhanced reproduction (a reproduction with some more modern updates incorporated) of GHOST,a deadrise bateau from about 1920. She is a longtime fixture in the museum’s collection but has not,as I understand it,seen the water in that time. Little is known,therefore,about her performance. She is just shy of 16′LOA with a beam shy of 6′. In her day she carried a sprit rig with 146 square feet of sail.
I found her reincarnation with two rough side planks clamped on to molds and an oak stem. Her chine logs and transom were in place –check out that upsweep in the chines and the laminated keel –as were the initial stab at that most curious of Chesapeake boatbuilding creations,the chunk bow. Rather than planking the forward portion of the bottom,where planks could get twisted and tricky,the builders took a page from the dugout-builders of yore and carved pieces from solid stock. Arduous,but it did the trick.
Our first task was to fit the bottom-most port side plank (the bottom will be diagonally planked).
» Continue reading Learning to plank –a great time as a CBMM Apprentice for a Day »
Chesapeake Light Craft’s John Harris had a great blog post a bit back on two faering designs he developed. The post gives a good overview of these lovely Scandinavian working boats,but the thrust of the piece is that John designed his own faering for stitch-and-glue construction.
At the moment,plans to make a fully-fledged kit for this boat are in limbo,but here’s hoping CLC goes forward with it. While their current fleet does have a nice traditional feel,notably,in this case,the existing Iain Oughtred-ish Skerry,this faering design extends the offerings to include a more interesting,“exotic,”traditional boat. That,in turn,introduces kit builders to designs beyond the more established set. Understand I have absolutely nothing against dories,skiffs,and prams –I just want a wider interest in all the other kinds of craft the world has to offer,and kits like CLC’s are a great avenue for achieving that end.
I was even more intrigued by the second boat Harris introduces,a scaled up version based on a Scandinavian craft called a fembøring. This craft includes a small,aft cabin. Harris’s boat includes such a cabin as well as a sliding seat,a lug rig,and a self-draining cockpit. An exceptional pocket cruiser / camp-cruiser,in other words. This one is unlikely to make it to kit form,though I believe I read Harris correctly that plans could be available. It’s a pretty cool-looking boat.
Double-down on Friendship Sloops –with which we have no problem –because Great Harbor Boatworks posted a nice set from the Southwest Harbor Friendship Sloop Race on its Facebook page (thanks to Thomas Armstrong of 70.8% for the share). The lead-off boat in the photo album is the one below,which is a cutter we believe named RESOLUTE. She is so beautiful it hurts.
We here at Chine bLog are just getting back into the grind after a nice vacation at our fave port,Cuttyhunk Island,MA. We got in some good paddles in the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe,AL DEMANY CHIMAN,and,along the way,key our shutter ready for interesting craft that were also there. There were several of note. Below are some highlights.
An interesting-looking pocket-cruiser ketch
Sweet little gaff sloop
A well-appointed mini-tug
Workboat-inspired power cruiser DORETHEA L
As in the past,we are inclined to award a Boat of the Trip,given to that vessel that best captures our heart,pure and simple. The ones above are all nice,and we were thinking we’d have to make a tough choice,but then,on the last full day,the dark horse appeared and sewed up the award. I saw her from the house,about a mile away,and knew I had to check her out. Up close,I found what I expected:a gorgeous sheer,fine woodwork,and tons of character. She’s the delightful lovechild of ROSINANTE,a Maine lobsterboat,and a 20′s commuter. We call that fusion of tradition,my friends. In the end,with no disrespect to the other entrants,it wasn’t close. So congratulations to BARNACLE of Guilford,CT –you’re the Boat of the Trip!
Bow-on view of BARNACLE,from Guilford,CT
I learned recently,via the Cheaspeake Maritime Museum Facebook stream,the the Apprentice for a Day program completed the North Shore Sailing Skiff I worked on for a day this spring. As expected,she came out quite well. She’s a nice design overall,and I hope I can take a few pulls in her at some point.
John Harris of Chesapeake Light Craft recently published a nice piece,“Lug Nuts,”on the virtues and characteristics of the lug rig. I’d recommend it for anyone picking a sail for a small boat (or selecting a boat to acquire.
Excellent times Saturday as I took advantage of a Christmas gift of another day in the Apprentice for a Day program at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. I hadn’t been there since the passing of Dan Sutherland,who ran the program for the past few years and a much-missed genius. Happily the program has rallied to continue Dan’s final project,a North Shore Sailing Skiff,“Miss B”Model,and I was thrilled to get a chance to participate in building this nice-looking classic small rowing and sailing boat.
I confess I didn’t get to learn much about the boat. It was designed by Robert H. Baker and a version of it appeared in the very first issue of WoodenBoat. More recently,the hull,NELLIE,appeared as Miss November in WoodenBoat’s 2010 calendar (via Benjamin Mendlowitz,of course). CBMM’s blog has a bit of additional info.
The boat had been fully planked and framed. The boat is going to be gorgeous. She will have a bright-finished Spanish cedar transom and I must call your attention to the black locust breasthook and quarter knees. My goodness,that breasthook is treasure.
So,on to the work I did. The morning had us refining the fit of the seats. As is often the case,this meant a good deal of subtle tweaking and nudging followed by an extensive effort to find the right spot to cut the mast partners into the forward seats (there are two mast positions and the center-line had gotten a bit murky when compared with the seats). I eventually was able to have at it with the drill press and a 3″hole saw. A little more clean-up and the seats got pulled again and spent the afternoon in the finishing room with another participant.
The afternoon was focused on figuring out the floorboards. The plans called for a single 3″plank running fore-and-aft about 5-6″off the center line. This seemed an odd choice and we decided,after extensive discussion and test-fitting,to add a second floorboard inboard of the designed ones. We milled the boards –barely –out of some sassafras and a spent the last part of the afternoon shaping and sanding these pieces. Satisfying as always.
I wanted to get these pictures of the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival up right away;I’ll be adding captions soon.
[UPDATE] Captions are now on there. I encourage you to browse through. There were some AMAZING AMAZING boats there. I’d highlight the sailing canoe SEVEN STARS,the Melonseeds,the sailing canoe in pictures 4 and 31,and,of course,the Coquina.