Tuesday, October 11, 2011

4th Annual Philadelphia Wooden Boat Festival

When I arrived at the Penn' Landing yacht basin, lots of boats werre in evidence, small, medium and large.

On the promenade fronting the boatshop I found a couple of runabouts, this one from Vintage Craft.

Gina Pickton was helping organize small boat races.

And there was John Schwarzenbach's Comet, almost fully restored, just needs working out the rigging details.

The boatshop crew and student volunteers have done a good job with her.

For comparison, her state last year.

Ned Asplundh's beautiful Joel White Marsh Cat, Frankford Yellow Jacket.

Ric Carrion's Elf

Ric doing his thing.

Paul Gray back with Quitessance. Her hull is a copy of Jarvis Newman's Dictator, a Friendship Sloop, but
Quintessance is schooner rigged. Making her one of a kind.

Paul races her in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. In three outings he's placed two firsts and one third in the C class. He'll be there again this year.

Roger Pritchard was back with his sweet H-28 Gwylin.

He's packing her off this winter to the Cutts and Case yard in Oxford Md for some restorative hull work, their epoxy and kevlar cord treatment.

A rowing race, here's Ron Gibbs and Barbara Munson in the Whitehall Polaris.

Pete Byar in Pete Peter's ducker Thomas Eakins

Ann & Kate in the Whitehall Culture.

Marcus Brandt, a Gazella crew, looking very salty for the occasion.

His gear was interesting, so I asked him about it. It's all homemade and mostly scavenged. Only the marlinspike and rivets for the knife handle were purchased.

The tug Jupiter down from
Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild (along with Gazela) doing double duty as stage for the serenade.

Here are Elizabeth Crampton and the aforementioned Marcus Brandt making ready the sharpie Isabel Una McKay for a sharpie race against Fish Stix.

Ned Asplundh leading Bill Covert to the start in a Delaware Tuckup race.

Shortly after the start with Bill leading.

Some 'match' racing here.

There off! Isabel Una Mckay v Fish Stix

Ned in Marion Brewington coming in far ahead of his adversary. Marion is a local TSCA boat. Top Priorty, the boat Bill Covert was in is,I believe,an ISM boat

Someone? rowed one of the Whitehalls squarely across the AJ Meerwald's bow as she was coming in. Not quite a near miss, but WHY risk it?

The Meerwald tying up.

My turn! Chis from Gazela paddlingus out from the dock in the Isabel Una for another sharpie race. His expression was a bit unsettling.

In truth, however, it was my inexperience in such a small craft which showed. Sitting on the thwart, the boom was at my elbow. Little to no wind. The gaff throat wasn't behaving correctly. I did something stupid and banged my coccyx which is only now feeling better.

Chris proved a capable helm and we did 'win' the race. Typically we finally got some wind just as we approached the dock and landed without grace, my fault. All is well, and despite some pain I enjoyed the experience.

all photos Thomas Armstrong

This years Phladelphia Wooden Boat Show exceeded expectations. More boats, from small craft to large ships, with some lovelies in between. More people, great weather, though the wind died in the afternoon. Wen Byar was the race committee, and along with Gina Pickton organized several small craft races which I am sure will become a mainstay of the fest. Sailing these older boat types is quite interesting and, in my case at least, somewhat instructive. These boats either were, or in the case of the tuckup, evolved from, traditional working boats from the 19th C. It is beautiful to see these craft come to life. The chance to get out and sail these boats is in a small way to re-experience the past and certainly gain appreciation for the skill of our forebears in working these boats. I found sailing the little sharpie in some ways more demanding and acute than the later, larger boats I am familiar with. What a generous opportunity.
Despite certain logistical difficulties having to do with being located in a major city, the ISM, under John Brady's guidance, and with the help of dedicated staff and the TSCA is moving forward and providing a rewarding experience for Philadelphia.


Baydog said...

Chris from 'Gazela' looks familiar. Was he with 'Sultana' beforehand?

Thomas Armstrong said...

Dunno, but I'll try and check.

Ned said...

Both Tuckups—Marion and Top Priority— were built by Workshop staff and volunteers; IIRC, in the '80s. DelRiver TSCA serves as caretakers for Marion; TP was restored last year by DelRiver and Workshop folks, and is stored at the Museum.

Anonymous said...

nice reportage and great fotos. sorry i couldn't make it, though.

Thomas Armstrong said...

Will, thanks and try to make it next year, it'd be fun to see you there.

And thanks to Ned for your added info.

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