Saturday, February 26, 2011

Crystal River Boat Builders

As you all know, I promote the Traditional Small Craft Association at the drop of a hat.
This time it's the Crystal River Boat Builders Chapter. These folks are very seriously recreating the documented history of locally built boats of Crystal River in western Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. Their signature boats are completely handmade, with no power tools.

Their current project, the USS WARTAPPO was used by the East Gulf Coast Blockading Squadron along the Crystal River shore during the US Civil War. Its history is documented in the correspondence of the squadron.

A sailing scow was captured by the ships of the Union squadron. The scow and it's "contraband" were taken as a prize of war.

Amazing what the articles of war entitle you to!

The scow, as it was originally built, was probably used to transport goods; cotton, lumber, turpentine, etc. from the local rivers down to waiting ships anchored at sea. The contraband was likely privately owned goods intended for sale, but trade was forbidden under blockade.

The CRBB are interpreting the building process of this historic scow and exploring the historical aspects of the craft from the eastern Florida region. To kick off the project, raise awareness and solicit funds, they are building a 1/6th scale model of the USS WARTAPPO before building a full scale replica.
Everything on the model will be built exactly as it will be on the full size scow; the hull, the deck, the masts and rigging, the sails. The workshop will have period tools and many member-built items such as a workbench, shaving horse, joining bench, sail sewing bench, sawhorses and toolboxes.

They have nearly finished the scale model and I urge you to support this project and visit Crystal River TSCA.
Crystal River Boat Builders are also on Facebook.

USS WARTAPPO: Length 36ft. Beam 12ft.

MODEL: Length 6ft.
Beam 2ft.

Doryman is the national President of the TSCA and enthusiastically endorses this effort!


Anonymous said...

Fantastic project ! Love it!

doryman said...

The Crystal River Boat Builders are on Facebook and have been posting pictures of the scow under construction. It's going to be a big boat!