Thursday, June 25, 2009

Design request

I am looking for a designer who could handle an unusual request. I'd like a 19' to 21' cat yawl junk rigged twin keel stitch and glue designed for the amateur builder. Small cockpit and larger cabin. Bluewater capable. No engine, sculling sweeps acceptable. Reverse shear.

I put up a picture of Kite, a Robert Tucker designed Debutante, because she's the closest I've come.

Any ideas? If you are a designer and intrigued by this proposal, or if you are a reader and have knowledge of a designer who might take this on, email me. My email address is at the upper right of this page.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Philadelphia Wooden Boat Festival, Independence Seaport Museum

Here are some of the boats, from the bottom, Pepita, a
elonseed Cat designed by John Brady; a Cerlew built by Phil Maynard; a Delaware Ducker owned by the Museum and a Celebrity class racer, Mudhen.

Wendy Byar likes to stand up when sailing her 13' Lowell semi dory.
This is a Salibury Skiff built in1989 and originally owned by Wendy's Grandfather.
Wendy is a mainstay of the WOW and has a blog documenting the workshops progress here.
She tells me she has 10 or 11 other blogs, one devoted exclusively to sailing, but I'll let you know.

Here Wendy takes my brother John for his first sail, ever!

Mighty Sparrow is an Abaco Dinghy built by Thomas Winer Malone in 1957. Malone is recognized as one of the foremost boatbuilders in the Bahamas, having built over 200 of these boats. She's owned by the Florida Maritime Museum and was trailered from Cortez, Fl. to the festival by the director of said museum, Roger Allen, also a member of the TSCA National Council. Roger formerly was director of the Philadelphia Maritime Museum, which became the ISM, and initiated the Workshop on the Water.

On the river.

Painted in tradional Bahamian colors, she's built of madiera, horseflesh (woods, not wine and...) , Bahamian cedar and other traditional woods.

Phil Maynard and Mike Wick ready their boats for an afternoon sail.

Mike Wick coming back in. Mike's boat, Pepita is a 'Melonseed Cat', so called by her designer, John Brady of the Workshop on the Water. She was built by Carl Weissinger. Mike is the president of the Delaware River chapter of the TSCA.

Here's Mike's lovely Pepita at rest.

John Brady built this Delaware Tuckup, an early racing class which originated on the Delaware River.

Heading out of the basin into the Delaware river.

Nice boat.

Phil Maynard coming about in his Edwin Monk designed Cerlew. Phil built her himself.

Coming into the basin.
Phil has made some modifacations to the original design. Read about them here.

Built by Nick Roth 1977-78, Gwylan (Welsh for seagull) was commissioned by and owned until 1985 by John Cadwalader of Philadelphia, a major player in operation Skyhook. She's now owned by Roger Prichard who has done major restoration. She's an Herreshoff H28 and Roger has singlehanded her , mostly, including a nine day sojourn on the Chesapeake. Roger sails out of Riverton, NJ and brought her over to Philly for the festival.

Nice and comfy with a stove to boot.

Here's Barbara Monson rowing Ted Kilsdonk's Asphodel, a Jim Michalek design.

Ron Gibbs' Mudhen, a Celebrity class boat, built in 1963 to a 1931 design, still a viable racing class which originated in Northern Holland, in the Friesland area, They were originally cat rigged but over the years became sloop rigged. Ron rebuilt the centerboard box and the floors on this boat.

Nice day.

All photos Thomas Armstrong

The Indepedence Seaport Museum held it's second Wooden Boat Festival last weekend. The Traditional Small Craft Association held their annual meeting here, and brought lots of beautiful small boats. In it's second year, the Philly festival is still a nascent affair, with lots of potential for growth. It has a beautiful hosting facility, is centrally located in the mid Atlantic region with many great classic wooden boats, both large and small, within striking distance.
There was Elf up from it's Chesapeake home, and the recently launched Silent Maid, Gwylan, an Herreshoff 28, and numerous smaller traditional and not quite traditional craft. It rained. But the spirits of the participants and the visitors were undampened. Good wind for part of the day made for some exciting sailing on the Delaware River. My brother John had his first ever sail! This event has all the elements in place to become a major event. Let's make it so.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kayak 2.4, Historian/Builders: Wolfgang Brinck

Wolfgang Brinck's treatise on constructing an Aluet Baidarka

Wolfgang in his famous cedar Aluet paddling hat

First boat, to a plan by H. C. Petersen

Inspecting a frame at the Phoebe Hearst Museum

Wolfgang's second build was this Atka from the Phoebe Hearst Museum in Berkeley

Here receiving an overhaul after 17 years of service.

King Island replica,

showing it's potential for a sleep aboard

The king island's frame

The Aluktan gym with frames building

Don Jon Tcheripanoff, one of the students, inspecting his frame

Karen Vincler lashing frames to ribs

Karen with her finished frame

all photos courtesy Wolfgang Brinck

Wolfgang Brinck has been building traditional skin on frame kayaks since 1987. His first one was a Greenland Qajaq from a design found in HC Peterson's book. He soon turned his attention to aluetian baidarka, building replicas, doing research, and finding plans but scant information on construction . He decided to write a book on the boats and how to make them, and it was published in 1993. He also began testing his builds, paddling boats year round on Lake Michigan. He along with Martin Honel and Dan Joyce co-founded the NativeWatercraft Society, in 1991, which sadly is no longer with us. As his reputation grew, Wolfgang gradually moved into a didactic role and began teaching others to build the boats he was so enamoured with, in addition to building them himself, sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm. Teaching gradually became a major focus, and after a decade of helping others build boats he was invited to the Aluetians in 2004, specifically by Akutan high school, to help lead a group of high school students in building several replica Baidarka. By the time Wolfgang left, the first Baidarka launched in the area since 1930 was on the water!
Wolfgang maintains both a website and a weblog dedicated to skin boats and his activities, and they are both very worth your time and full on information on building and paddling traditional skin boats. Please visit.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Silent Maid: SPLASH!...the launching of an historic replica @ the Independence Seaport Museum

Catboat,Silent Maid
LOA: 33'
Beam: 12'6"
Draft: 2' 6" Board up
Sail area: 960 sq. ft.
Commenced: November 18, 2004

Silent Maid was designed by Francis Sweisguth and built by Morton Johnson of Bay Head, NJ in 1924. Intended primarily as a cruising boat, she was capable of some speed and was the B class catboat champion on the Barnegat Bay in 1925. We are building a copy of Silent Maid to sail on the Barnegat Bay and the original boat will become a museum piece. In this way the original is preserved with all of her history intact yet the experience of sailing an early 20th century catboat is still available.

My first view of her.

Stern view


Volunteers rigging the forestay

John Brady, the Workshop on the Water's manager, head builder and guiding light, overseeing the preparations.

Fitting the cockpit benches.

The indispensable Newt Kirkland making final cuts to the benchtops in the workshop.

Russ and Julia Mannheimer came up from Barnegat Bay for the festivities.
They own Sjogin, (see a previous post).

That's longtime volunteer Wendy Byar rigging the mooring lines. Wendy has built some 50 odd boats and blogs about it here.

Up the mast in the bosun's chair, making some last minute preparations. removing this piece of carpet.

Karl Schoettle, grandson of Edwin J. Schoettle, was one of many relatives of the builder and owner of the original Silent Maid present.
Edwin built her in 1924 and owned her until 1948.

She's up...

And in!

John tosses the mooring line.

Setting the fenders.

John Brady with a look of satisfaction (I think). He should take satisfaction in a job well done. With her bright hull and meticulous workmanship throughout, Silent Maid is worthy of pride.

Down below she is spacious with lots of headroom, lots of lockers, clean and neat.

And gorgeous.

That's my brother John (red shirt) who's been volunteering at the museum library and invited me to the event. We had a great day, thanks John.

Lori Rech is the museum's President.

The party moves onboard as John and I depart.

Time for one last shot.

All in all it was a wonderful afternoon. John and I, not realizing the scope of this launching, were expecting a small informal gathering. Imagine our surprise and delight to find a huge crowd, live band and a catered affair, not to mention an open bar! We felt a little underdressed, but I suppose it's not the first time. John had done some work last year surveying a part of the Museums collection and liked the place so much he's gone back to volunteer in the library. It's a very impressive museum, especially with the active boatshop producing such excellent work. A recent exhibit, Skin and Bones, Tattoo's in the Life of the American Sailor has been receiving high praise, including this double thumbs up review in the New York Times. Next weekend, the Traditional Small Craft Association is holding it's Annual Meeting to coincide with the Seaports' Wooden Boat Festival, this Saturday, June 20, 1-4 pm. See you there.

And a big thanks to the owners of this boat, Peter and Cynthia Kellogg and Jane and Shepard Ellenberg, for making all of this possible.

postscript: Gavin Atkin of intheboatshed today (6/19) posted this piece on Edwin Shoettle's classic book from 1928, Sailing Craft, and has included some of his own musings on the catboat. There are picture's and plans of the original Silent Maid along with other catboats of the day. Don't miss this.