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In defense – at least a little – of the traditonal working scow

We at Chine bLog have very much been enjoying reading Howard Chapelle’s American Small Sailing Craft, even if the writing is a bit trying. After musing about the types and origins of colonial watercraft, Chapelle turns, in chapter 2, to the simplest of boats, the scow.

“Scow.” The word seems to say it all (unless [...]

Gap filled – Chapelle’s “American Small Sailing Craft” now resides at Chine bLog HQ

It was shameful. Howard Chapelle’s classic treatise on American traditional boats, “American Small Sailing Craft: Their Design, Development and Construction,” did not exist in our bookshelf here at Chine bLog headquarters. Until a week ago, that is, when Mr. & Mrs. Chine bLog Senior filled this gaping hole. Merry Christmas to Chine bLog!

We [...]

Sweet finding at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum – Howard Chapelle’s battens!

Check this out: I am wandering around the shop at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and I see a long, old, wooden box. I assume it is battens and open it. Whoa – there’s a name… Howard Chapelle! I am holding Howard Chapelle’s personal batten box! Take a moment to reflect on the history of those [...]

More from Chesapeake Bay Maritme Musuem – two-masted crabbing skiff still for sale

I was pleased to be able to at least see a picture of the two-masted crabbing skiff I worked on last year during my Apprentice for a Day stint at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Here she is, and she is still for sale. A bargain at $10,500. This boat would be a wonderful, solid [...]

Building the Peace Canoe – time on the Moaning Chair

At the beginning of Howard Chapelle’s seminal tome Boatbuilding, there is a 4-page introduction in which Chapelle goes through the entire building process at a 10,000′ level. After talking through getting out molds, cutting the rabbet, and installing deck beams, Chapelle devotes the final paragraph to a subject that one must assume is of equal [...]

Making sawdust again, part IV – a mast and its partner

And so, it came, my last of four trips out to Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Apprentice for a Day program. What a great experience it has been – I can’t wait until life’s other demands allow me time to head out there again.

The boat is coming along well. The frames and deck knees [...]

Still more from Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum – a surprise treat

So one more surprise was in store for me during my recent trip to Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. At lunch I mentioned Howard Chapelle, he of American Small Sailing Craft and other utter classics, since he lived in the area. One of the boatwrights responded that Mr. Chapelle had retired to the museum. And you [...]

Making sawdust again, part III – Of deck knees and a centerboard

Geez – it has been too long. Apologies to my loyal readers – yeah, you three – for keeping you hanging. Last weekend brought me back to Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s for another installment of the Apprentice for a Day program. And a great day it was.

The boat has come along [...]

Making sawdust again, part II – I was framed!

Yesterday was another gorgeous day, with a light breeze and a clear sky. Chesapeake Bay looked gorgeous, shimmering below me, as a crossed it on the Bay Bridge, headed East again for another day with Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Apprentice for a Day program. Last week had whetted my appetite; yesterday I was hungry, though. [...]

Making sawdust again – apprenticing at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

As my regular readers know (you know who you three are), I am longer on boat building desire than I am on facilities and time to actually do it. Ergo, I blog… That all changed today, however, and will again three out of the next four weekends. Courtesy of a thoughtful Christmas gift from Mrs. [...]