Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Ash Breeze

I was just perusing the latest issue of the Ash Breeze, the quarterly publication of the Traditional Small Craft Association. The TSCA is at the heart of the traditional wooden boat revival that has swept the world in the last thirty years and it is a vital organization to those of us who love to build, row, sail or motor in fine wooden boats. Anyone who has even a passing interest in small craft should be a member - the TSCA needs our support.

There are chapters all over the USA with ongoing boating events and shows to promote the sport.

The Ash Breeze is a member contribution journal with articles about building and using small wooden boats. It is worth the small cost of TSCA membership by itself! The journal is devoted to topics ranging from reports of the TSCA chapters to technical details or specific designs with lines and offsets. You may find anecdotal accounts of experiences in traditional boats or tips on how to spile a plank.

The following is from the mission statement of the
Traditional Small Craft Association:

"The TSCA as an organization was first created as a response to a plan by the Federal government to adopt a set of "safety" standards that would, in effect, have declared traditional types such as peapods and dories "unseaworthy". This seemed WRONG to people such as John Gardner and Pete Culler. They were told that protest would be much more effective if they were speaking for an organization, and so they went and built one."

"We'd like to think that the TSCA had a significant part in the result, which was that the regulations were revised so that traditional boats were permitted to continue to exist. FOR THE MOMENT. Who knows when we'll need to take up the cudgels again? Having got by this crisis, the organization turned to the long-term business of "passing the word" about traditional types to the world in general, or at least that part of it which might be interested. For further information, see The Ash Breeze Vol 17 No 3."

In the latest issue of the Ash Breeze, there is a fine article on a subject dear to my heart; respecting the power and capricity of the weather. The author tells a tale of being challenged by conditions that built beyond his margin of safety. "Caught Out and Trapped: A Cautionary Tale" is about an adventure in Miss Retta, a twelve foot John Brooks, Ellen design sailing dingy. Miss Retta carried Ed Neal of Cleveland through winds up to 24 mph while he struggled to find a place to land while waves broke on the beach he'd launched from only a half hour earlier. I won't spoil Ed's story, please check it out for yourself.

And join your local chapter of the TSCA! It's inexpensive and provides an invaluable service to the community of traditional craft and those who love them.


creativelenna said...

I wanted to tell you, since you came up in my search for the Ash Breeze, that it is my husband Steven Deming sailing the melonseed in the foreground, the melonseed my father built. I have visited your blog before when you shared my photos from cedar key! Here is the link to my post about the summer Ash Breeze Cover, you might find it interesting! Sincerely, Lenna Andrews

doryman said...

Thank you, Lenna!
I guess it's time to post about the new issue - your post says it all!

I recognized the melonseed and also your husband as the skipper as soon as I picked up my copy. As you may know, Dave Lucas keeps us posted about events in Florida, so I'd seen the story about your father and his boat before.
It would be nice if you could get an original of that painting, it's very nice.

Please pass on my congratulations to Steve!