Monday, April 28, 2014


A Glimpse into the Voyage Ethereal...

Easter weekend was the date for the world famous Depot Bay Wooden Boat Show and Crab Feed. Apparently it wasn't the best time for boat worship. Though the event was sluggish, a good many stalwart attendees braved the hostile weather, none-the-less. Photos can be found on Duckworks (submitted by Richard Green), Andrew Linn's web journal, and the ever popular Mother of Maritime Links, John Kohnen.

I spent much of Saturday afternoon in conversation with the owner of Doineann, the second St.Ayles Skiff to be built on the west coast of the US. This is also the second of these skiffs to be built at the Wind and Oar Boat School in Portland, Oregon. Now that there are two, the races have begun. I have been reporting on and promoting the phenomenal St Ayles project for a few years now. It seems to me the challenge has not quite been met on our west coast. I've signed on as crew on Doineann, and would love to see more of these boats built around here. I pledge to further the cause.

Photo by John Kohnen

Back in the Doryman boatyard, work centers around the Stone Horse, Belle Starr. Last fall, Belle Starr took her shakedown cruise in the Salish Sea. Over the winter and spring months, upgrades indicated by that voyage have been addressed. New safety lines are the latest addition.
By the end of May, we will see her heading north in company with sailors from the Salish Sea Small Boat Society. The destination is Desolation Sound on the west coast of British Columbia. Be sure to stay tuned for that, it's sure to be exceptional.

Saturday last, I took a break from sanding and painting to attend the Twanoh State Park Oyster Feed, a one day messabout sponsored by the Puget Sound TSCA. Randy Jones was gracious enough to invite me aboard his Core Sound 17. I've admired this boat for years and was lucky to be sitting closest to the helm when Randy went forward to shake out a reef. Once Doryman gets his hands on the tiller, it's all over. Randy gave me a lesson in steering with the mizzen. We lashed the tiller amidships, trimmed the main in tight and tacked to windward using the mizzen sheet alone. Too much fun.

Not least, the weekend concluded with a new addition to the Doryman fleet, a flat iron skiff named Stewball. This simple fourteen-foot lapstrake is a museum piece. Built in the 1940's, it was used on Orcas Island, in Washington State's San Juan Islands as a livery vessel. A sailor or a fisherman could rent these boats to sail or row, by the day.
Stewball is rigged with a sprit mainsail.

The builder of Stewball took great care with old-growth cedar and Douglas fir to create an elegant work boat. The knees and hooks are made of carefully selected grown lumber so that the grain of the piece follows the angle of the structure. Pictured here is the breast hook, possibly crafted from a root.

Art in nature.
Restoration of the flat iron skiff will commence next Fall.

Yes, the name will remain the same.

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