So, I was talking with my friend Chuck the other day... You know Chuck, he built a Chebacco, which I have had the pleasure of cruising on, in the San Juan Islands. He also built a Ness Yawl.
But now both of those boats have been replaced by two deep draft, fixed keel cutters. Chuck loves cutters.
We'll get into the details about his cutters another day. I'm scheduled to crew for Chuck on a 400 mile open ocean trip, north from Newport, Oregon to the Salish Sea, in July. Unless we get side-tracked to Hawaii or something.
Suffice to say, each of these boats is traditionally built and could, by all appearances, be among the relics of the nineteenth century. Chuck is also a keeper of history.
Because I'm known to have a stash of old, hard to find hardware, and because I'm selling the stuff off, Chuck called me and asked if I have a matched set of Herreshoff cleats. As a life-long scavenger / recycler of old boats and boat parts, I can tell you, this is a difficult request. To top it off, he wants them in polished bronze.
Now we're talking about pure gold.
I know he has his heart set, so I didn't mention the wood cleats I've been making recently. But to me, these varnished, handmade hardwood accessories are more salty than a casting.
The one I really like is a tiny thumb cleat I was asked to make as a duplicate of an old original, the belay cleat for a sprit sail. It's made of a hardwood called Appeton, which has a lot of natural oil and is strong and durable. It's just two inches long and appropriately sized for 1/4" to 3/8" line.
Try it yourself - it's very therapeutic.