Saturday, September 4, 2010

Maine Quickie Part 1

The Landing School

I have been visiting Kennebunk for decades and have watched this institution in adjacent Arundel ME grow from rather modest beginnings in the barn behind this sign in 1978...

Into the diverse and modern facility you see today.

The design classroom

This is one of many rooms devoted to building, I believe this to be the wood shop

The spar room

In the foreground are two ama for a trimaran build, the largest objects in this bay by far, but this room is spiritually dominated by a collection of wooden Peapods, traditionally built.

This peapod in particular, caught my eye as the one with the most workmanlike finish, clean and minimal.

Here's a rudder detail on one of her sisters

Back to the white boat, the details are elegant,

And a high degree of craftsmanship is quite evident. The absence of brightwork or other fussy details on this particular boat allowed me to see it more clearly. Naked in it's relative simplicity, it brought to mind Thoreau and Shaker architecture.

The Landing School today is a diverse institution , offering instruction in traditional wooden construction, composite construction and marine systems.

The boat in the middle is a Landing School 2o, a state of the art composite racing class boat.

And here her exquisite derriere.

another production boat offered by the school is this center console cold molded Flyfisher 22, designed by Michael Berryer at Van Dam Custom Boats in Boyne City, MI

Clint Chase, boatbuilder

Christophe and Clint arriving at Portland's East End Yacht Basin


GIS snugged down for towing in the lot

Clint's Drake at the WoodenBoat Fest in Mystic, where the boat took top honors
in the Concours d'Elegance for the Man Powered Professional Class

Back at Clint's house in Portland, Christophe and Clint discuss Drake

Clint's building his own Goat Island Skiff in his shop

Clint likes to build 1/4 models of anything he's about to build,
this is his own design, the Deblois Street Dory

And here's a cnc cut 1/4 model of the Echo Bay Dory Skiff

I recently made good a brief but pleasant escape to Maine last week. I was able to visit a couple of boatbuilders, very different, and visit friends and some old haunts.
First up in the visits was a long overdue stop at the Landing School in Arundel ME. I've been a fan and for decades and have seen this school progress from humble beginnings in a cow barn to the successful enterprise it is today. I checked in at the office and was given free reign to explore the school, and the fact that the school was on break meant I could wander around and poke into anything that interested me without disrupting students or classes. There was lots to investigate, as you can see. The Landing School now offers a breadth of learning not commonly found, and includes instruction in design, wooden and composite boatbuilding, and marine systems. For an education in small boats, this looks like the place to be, with ample and sumptuous facilities. Naturally I was taken by the sweet little peapods they offer, but equally impressed by their other production boats, in particular a very up to date racing class boat, the LandingSchool 20 and their center console power craft, the Flyfisher. If youre looking for education as a boat builder, designer or systems expert, I doubt you'd go wrong here.

Clint Chase
is a paradox. He's a fledgling professional builder who only put out his shingle last November, but who is an accomplished boatsmith and designer. He took the award for best human powered professional build with his beautiful Drake at the Concours D'Elegance at the WoodenBoat show art Mystic in 2009. I can attest to the impeccable finish and craftsmanship of this Norwegian Faering inspired design, and she sails as well. I had a little trouble tracking Clint down, and two visits to his house in Portland both resulted in my visiting the East End yacht basin in Portland, about ten minutes away. On the second visit I met briefly his charming other half, Ellie. I was about to leave the park/marina when I saw a lug rig headed into port. Intrigued, I hung out a little longer, and indeed it proved to be Clint and the owner/builder of the boat, a Michael Storer Goat Island Skiff. Christophe Matson turned out to be quite interesting as well, and Clint and Christophe were busy comparing note on the boats performance and setup with rather clumsy interjections by myself. We soon retired to Clint's house where the conversation continued, and an inspection of Drake followed. Christophe the set out for his home inNH and Clint gave me a brief tour of his shop. Clint hopes to expand into a larger, more commercial space soon. He has connections for CNC cutting and is a huge proponent ofkit boats. He's also the east coast agent for CNC kits for Francois Vivier!!
Clint, a graduate of the Landing School, is in my estimation a competent, passionate, committed young boatbuilder carving out his niche with elegance and attention.


Enter Miles said...

Thanks for the great pictures on this nice post. I loved the part about the Landing School. Open, small wooden boatsare just so attractive.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tom!

For other interest I am doing kits for:

Francois Vivier (France)
Michael Storer (Australia)
Eric Risch (US)
Bruce Elfstrom (US)
Suomen Puuvenepiste (Finland)
+ my own designs and kits
and in talks with other internationally acclaimed designers

Anonymous said...

LBS was a great education for me in many ways, I try to stay connected there by doing an occasional visit and annual chat with students about making birdsmouth masts, etc. One of the chase boats at this years Small Reach Regatta was one of the last Arundel 27s we built at the School.