Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tweezerman has asked the question and henceforth I am not responsible.
Since the addition of Lively to the fleet, the question is "how many?"
When the weather was sunny, I wanted to take a turn around the Doryman boatyard with a video camera, but when the weather is warm, Doryman is either working or sailing on a boat.
So, as the (unusual) freezing weather takes hold here on the coast, we'll take a pictorial tour instead. (It's pretty hard to build boats when it's 20 degrees F)
First is the bateau Huckleberry. She's a take on John Harris' Peace Canoe.When building Huckleberry, I thought I would shorten the canoe as planned, so that it would be the length of two sheets of marine grade mahogany plywood, thus saving the price of the remaining sheet.
The plans call for installing the sheer guard and chine log to the side panels before completing the boat. I used an African mahogany called Oboto, which resisted bending so much that Huckleberry ended up with a transom. Thus are new designs made!
Next up is the wherry yawlboat Lamb Chop. She is built of Port Orford cedar on yew wood frames. This little tender was used on the island of Nashawena in Massachusetts to rescue sheep who had fallen on the beaches and bring them to higher ground. Because of this, the boat has come to be known as the "sheep boat". Thus; Lamb Chop.
Pete Culler, famous for his yachty interpretations of working boats is responsible for this little wherry yawlboat.
The Rhodes 33 Caper is a project in process. This classic boat is an orphan waiting to be loved. I am keeping her alive with infusions of TLC during the summer months that allow work outside. If I were a younger man, this fine old vessel would get a complete work-over, she deserves the best! Hopefully someone will take her to a good home. She is planked with African mahogany over oak frames.
Love of my life! The Pete Culler Good Little Skiff Paku! She came to me as a pile of boards and with two years of loving restoration, this is the result. Constructed of cedar planking on mahogany frames, with a cross planked bottom of African mahogany, Paku is a durable skiff and beautiful, too.
Once again, Pete Culler outdoes himself.
She leaves me speechless.
Sandy Douglas designed the Thistle racing dinghy in 1945 and this is hull #16 of that one-design class. Sweet Sixteen was built in 1946, the first year of Thistle production and was another old boat on the skids. It took three months of research to learn how she was originally designed. One-design rules dictate that the boats be held to a strict standard to be raced. There is no reason this 63 year old wood boat would not be competitive with a modern Thistle (made of plastic). She's a dream to sail, but I have to sell her. Can't keep 'em all, I guess!
Mistral is my self designed/built 36 foot, five ton cruising dory. The design for this boat was conceived in 1989 and construction started in 1990. From then until now, I figure there are about 12,000 hours spent on her. The greatest fault with taking twenty years to build a boat is all the changes that can happen to the boat, and to the builder! The sail rig was an afterthought, so you might imagine what that entailed! She has not had a proper mainsail yet, but will as soon as the handwork is done. Stay tuned!
Newest to the fleet is the Ed Monk 15’-6” Knockabout, Lively. Lots of fun! A simple and attractive plywood skiff, with thoroughbred sailing characteristics, easy to trailer and launch - we are very likely to hear more about Lively in the months to come.
With a new mainsail, I may be tempted to race her, she's that good!
The boat in the shed is one of Sam Devlin's original Egrets. This boat was given to me this year and I think she deserves some attention. Can't say much about her yet, but when she's re-launched you'll be the first to know.
One of the first boats I built is the 13 foot light dory Otter. A dory is measured on it's bottom. Otter is 15 feet over-all, built of fir plywood with stitch and glue construction.
After 30 years and many changes and upgrades, I gave her away this year. She's a great little boat and never shipped a single drop in all the trials I've put her through.
Her new owner has dressed her in all the finest.
When I see her again, I'll let you know...
This is a 20 foot Old Town Freight Canoe named Woody.
No, I didn't name her.
I had this idea that I would take this rare old canoe and fit her with oars, since the bursitis in my shoulders makes paddling very painful. She would be more like a peapod. I think this would have been a good idea, but as the boat's old luster began to surface, it became apparent that the canoe should remain true to it's heritage.
A 20' wooden freight canoe is a rare find.
As it turned out, Woody went back to it's previous owner who was intrigued by the fine looking boat that emerged from the dust.
The little dory and the canoe gave way to plans for new boats. (Can't have enough boats!;-)
First up on the list of new construction is an 18 foot Chesapeake Light Craft kayak. The plans are on my desk.
Sanpierota plans! I can't tell you how excited I am about this new boat. The sanpierota is an ancient Venetian design, and is still occasionally found there.
But I doubt if there is a sanpierota in the US, so I hope to be the first. The plans came from Gilberto Penzo in Italy and are notated in Italian and lofted out in metric. I don't read Italian and have never built a boat to metric specifications, so this boat is scheduled for next year to give me time to get up to speed!
Doryman is behaving like the kid in the proverbial candy store.
Too much Fun!
If I had a better memory, we could take a journey back to all the boats I've owned and built, but you've been given a reprieve for now...