Page 1

S H A V I N G S V O L U M E X I I , N U M B E R 1 P u b l i s h e d for members of the C e n t e r for Wooden B o a t s

J a n u a r y - F e b r u a r y 1990

SALISH SKILLS SEMINAR, OCTOBER 1989

This crew was as sunny as the weather. (Some thought we'd pushed it a bit to cruise in October.) Seated from left: Merideth Means, Anna Manildi (cook), Caryl Chaplin, Warren Callahan, Dorothy Philipp, Jim Graeser, Frank Von Culin. Standing from left: Rollie Wulff, Skipper George Hall, Steve Philipp. Cruise with us this year May 11-14. This opportunity to learn from Steve and Dorothy Philipp should not be missed. Hands-on activities included making halibut line from nettle fiber in the Salish tradition and making a mat of tule reed sewn with split and softened cattail leaves.

AWARDS

Steve and Dorothy Philipp on deck of Crusader. When they weren't sharing their knowledge of the daily living skills of the Salish people or the wealth of their own personal lives they were serenading us on mandolin and guitar before we were tucked in each night, (photos by Faye Kendall)

AHOY, AUCTION HOUNDS, GARAGE SAILORS, AND FRIENDS OF CWB

The Seattle Design C o m m i s s i o n has chosen the C W B as one of 11 w i n n e r s i n the 1989 " N e i g h b o r h o o d D e s i g n s T h a t W o r k " p r o g r a m . It was selected for "its picnic shelter, docks, floating w o r k s h o p , m u s e u m , a n d boathouse, a n d because the project encourages h i s toric preservation, c u l t u r a l a n d recreat i o n a l use." E a c h w i n n e r provided a "sense of place," anchored redevelopment, or otherwise benefited the public.

P l a n s are now afloat for the 1990 Wooden Boat F e s t i v a l J u l y 6, 7, a n d 8. The A u c t i o n Committee has an ambitious goal of r a i s i n g $10,000 to fund boat restorations, a n d we need your help. C a n you provide a n y of the following?

C W B also received a $2,600 g r a n t from N o r t h w e s t M a r i n e Trade A s s o c i a tion for a t r a d i t i o n a l b o a t b u i l d i n g display at the 1990 Seattle boat show. The Seattle F o u n d a t i o n has granted $4,000 from the N o r t o n C l a p p F u n d t o w a r d restoration of our historic s a i l ing gillnetter.

A l l gifts, services, merchandise, a n d cash donated to C W B , a nonprofit organizat i o n , are tax deductible. If y o u can help w i t h any of these i t e m s , ideas, introductions, or w o u l d l i k e to serve on the A u c t i o n Committee, please contact D i c k W a g n e r or F a y e K e n d a l l , 206-3822628. T h a n k you, smooth seas, a n d a steady w i n d abaft abeam. - J e f f Pintar

• • • • • •

G i f t certificate from your place of business V a c a t i o n home use for a week Boat, equipment, a r t or a n y other salable items to be auctioned off Introduction to someone who m i g h t contribute a service or m e r c h a n dise as an auction i t e m Service as a volunteer on the A u c t i o n Committee Ideas

1


SMALL BOAT MAINTENANCE THAT MOTHER NEVER TAUGHT YOU There's a mangled proverb that people who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones. T h a t p r o h i b i tion extends to a p a r t m e n t dwellers a n d boat gear. As I have often pointed out, if we h a d a larger boat, a s m a l l cutter for example, only t w o — w e l l , maybe three—feet longer than our rowboat, we could leave some of the gear locked securely in her c a b i n . B u t it isn't stowage that's the probl e m ; it's maintenance. If we h a d the l i t t l e 22- or 23- (or possibly 25-) foot cutter, maintenance w o u l d be a twice yearly h a u l o u t on the ways of a s m a l l b o a t y a r d . B u t every time I t h i n k of t u c k i n g The Lady Deb into a corner of a n y boatyard, I t h i n k of W e m b l y , who spent four months r e s t o r i n g a T h a m e s G e n t l e m a n ' s G i g . He sent to S p a i n to get true cedar a n d to eastern C a n a d a for l a r c h . At an estate sale, he was h i g h bidder for two tins of select carriage v a r n i s h . J u s t t a l k i n g to the o a r m a k e r cost roughly four times the per-minute rate of a Romance H o t l i n e . Imagine W e m b l y when he brought several friends to v i e w h i s completed craft a n d found somebody u s i n g i t ! The owner of a P l a s t i f o r m M a l i b u G a r g a n tuacraft was s t a n d i n g precariously on one of the newly caned seats as he bobbed in the oily waters of the hoist dock scrubbing off m a r i n e g r o w t h w i t h a stiff b r u s h a n d m u r i a t i c a c i d . T h o u g h we've been pushed to some strange shifts to keep our h u l l s h i p s h a p e , we've a l w a y s b e e n a b l e t o r e f i n i s h our oars i n the apartment, d i s covering some i n t e r e s t i n g techniques. S a n d i n g . In a proper shop, s a n d i n g means sweeping up after. In an a p a r t ment w i t h champagne blonde wall-tow a l l m e d i u m pile, sweeping up doesn't cut i t . We've found t h a t the best place to s a n d is in the shower w i t h the c u r t a i n d r a w n . If you've decided to "wood down" w i t h a scraper, just stick h a l f an oar at a time over the tub edge. T h i s is even better t h a n a shop if y o u want to wet s a n d between coats. T h e only question t h e n is one of style: does one or does one not wear a swimsuit?

newspapers. (Varnish drips h i t t i n g plastic garbage bags spatter—also an expensive discovery. T h e garbage bags keep the p r i n t e r ' s i n k from being smeared i n t o the champagne blonde every time you step on the newspaper. A c t u a l v a r n i s h i n g . T h i s is a team effort, one person v a r n i s h i n g , the other steadying the oar a n d m a n i p u l a t i n g it under the directions of the v a r n i s h e r . It is in the best interests of domestic peace to alternate t a s k s . If your l i v i n g room is l i k e ours, l i g h t i n g is a tap d i m for t r u l y perfect v a r n i s h work, b u t checking for holidays and dry spots by s h i n i n g a flashlight down the length of the blades helps a lot. We suggest that during the week it takes to varnish a pair of oars that you plan to eat out.

clever cantilever w i t h h i m s e l f as counterweight, fashioned out of long four by fours a n d r a i l w a y sleepers. It was too big for the s t a i r w e l l , and besides, A r p i n g t o n h a d not discussed h i s project w i t h the owner, who l i v e d in the terrace a p a r t m e n t . So the crane was designed to be collapsible a n d , if not concealable, at least unobtrusive. C a m e the day a n d we a l l pitched i n , removing windowpanes and win¬ dowframes. A n o t h e r crew assembled a n d rigged T h e C r a n e . The dinghy was h a u l e d into the side y a r d a n d the slings secured. A r p i n g t o n took h i s place as operator a n d counterweight a n d h a d the dinghy h a l f w a y up when the owner, the sheriff, a n d a temporary r e s t r a i n i n g order a r r i v e d i n q u i c k succession.

I t h i n k oars are about the l i m i t of a p a r t m e n t boat maintenance, b u t some people, l i k e A r p i n g t o n , get c a r r i e d away. A r p i n g t o n seemed to have just what would end my problems, a 26-foot cutter height Sam'l Pepys. He also h a d a l i t t l e b r i g h t l y v a r n i s h e d dink. H e h a d been at Wembly's G r e a t E p i p h a n y . So he didn't want to r i s k the dink in the boatyard. T h e n one day w h e n w a s h i n g the windows of h i s third-floor apartment, he r e a l i z e d that not only were the panes secured i n t h e i r m u l l i o n s b y metal screw-in m o u l d i n g s , b u t t h a t the entire window, eight feet wide, could be completely removed. H i s dink was only four feet wide!

Arpington's arguments were hindered by the necessity of s t a y i n g at the controls of The C r a n e . An onlooker went to f i n d a cleat so A r p i n g t o n could accompany the sheriff to the station. U n t i l the m a t t e r could be decided in court, the operation was to be halted m i d w a y . T h a t night i t r a i n e d a n d A r pington used sails from the Sam'l Pepys to cover h i s front window.

Of course you can't j u s t h a u l a d i n ghy up three floors of a b u i l d i n g on the e n d of a s t r i n g . So A r p i n g t o n b u i l t slings a n d padded them w i t h fire hose. K e e p i n g the boat clear of the R o m a n brick meant a crane, but it couldn't be permanently fastened into the ceiling, w a l l s , or floor. A r p i n g t o n designed a

R a i n continued through the night, w h i c h wouldn't have bothered a n y t h i n g i f h e h a d n ' t h a d t o disconnect the d o w n s p o u t before p o s i t i o n i n g T h e C r a n e . A l l the r a i n f a l l on h i s side of the b u i l d i n g r a n into h i s h a n g i n g boat. In a few hours, the r i g g i n g was c r e a k i n g and s h i f t i n g ominously as the dink grew ever h e a v i e r . F i n a l l y , to relieve the pressure, A r p i n g t o n l a s h e d h i s 1/4horse electric power d r i l l to an oar and used it to d r i l l a drainhole in the garboard. T h e strategy was an unqualified success, the only damage being h i s sixfoot h a n g i n g m i r r o r which was broken when the gush of freed water shorted out the d r i l l , f i r i n g the unconscious A r pington 45 feet down the front h a l l w a y . T w o days l a t e r , a city inspector came to examine The C r a n e a n d pronounced it unsafe. A r p i n g t o n was cited. Zoning inspectors v i s i t e d a n d gave h i m forms to be presented at a rezoning h e a r i n g . " N o single problem seemed too h a r d to solve," A r p i n g t o n r e p o r t e d to the referee in b a n k r u p t c y . "There was a l ways j u s t one more of them."

Varnishing.—I have a student's drafting desk w i t h a foot r a i l . We tie m a r l i n e a r o u n d the oarhandles, a n d after b a l a n c i n g the oars on their leathers across the seat of a folding chair we tie the handle pendants to the foot r a i l so t h a t the oars fan out h o r i z o n t a l l y . N e x t we p u t down plastic garbage bags, taped together. ( V a r n i s h soaks through mere newspaper. It was an expensive discovery.) We cover the garbage bags with taped-together

The referee asked h i m why he "just didn't give the project up," not r e a l i z i n g that what A r p i n g t o n was reciting was just the basic t r u t h about boating. So Sam'l Pepys is up for sale. Boy, b u y i n g a cutter would solve so m a n y of our stowage a n d maintenance problems. —© Chas. Dowd 2


TRAVELS TO TAHITI, THE HARD WAY-PART 2 I took the buckets to a scrap steel y a r d . Drove the o l d F o r d over the scale, t h e n o u t i n t o the y a r d . T h e c r a n e operator s w u n g h i s huge pie-shaped magnet over the t r u c k bed a n d t u r n e d on the juice. I watched out the back window. E i g h t f u l l buckets shot, l i k e Cape C a n a v e r a l , to the underside of the disc. Simple things amuse. . . M e a n w h i l e , back to the pour. The tubs, w h i c h were fitted out w i t h gate valves, were each about 4/5 f u l l — a b o u t 8,000 lbs. m e l t e d — w h e n Dee brought to my a t t e n t i o n a b a d l y s p l i t support beam at the lower back of the gravel box the tubs were elevated on. The gravel was being p u s h e d out, c a u s i n g the tubs to tip a w a y from the m o l d . T h i s s i t u a t i o n r e q u i r e d emergency action. I opened both gate valves and each tub started to empty its 4,000 lbs. of molten l e a d . I a s k e d everybody to clear out except C h a d . He a n d I did some very r a p i d s h o r i n g up of the r u p t u r e d gravel box, both of us w o r k i n g directly u n d e r the s i n k i n g ends of the hot lead. I thought of B e n n i e ' s early bit of gallows h u m o r — "If you f a l l into the molten lead, the body j u s t explodes." We worked very fast. The pour, even though being done in two stages, was a success. The m o r n i n g after was quite a sight. W h a t the day before h a d been a p r i s t i n e boat shop now looked l i k e the sooty bowels of an old r o u n d house. The removal of the m o l d revealed a smooth shape. The top, however, looked l i k e the surface of the m o o n — a l l bubbles a n d craters, p l u s a few e r r a n t steel clips, w h i c h were located w i t h a magnet a n d removed w i t h torch a n d a w l . L e a d planes b e a u t i f u l l y . These endeavors were h a m p e r e d a bit by the fact t h a t I'd cast ten keel bolts in place. S o m e t h i n g I wouldn't do a g a i n . T h e holes in the keel h a d to be d r i l l e d oversize in order to drop the keel on the b a l l a s t , t h e n f i l l e d w i t h epoxy—a technique the Gougeon's swear by, b u t I worry.

center. These were aligned against a fore a n d aft s t r i n g . M y son, D o n , who i s i n the construction business i n L . A . was v i s i t i n g j u s t after I'd f i n i s h e d erecting the nineteen station molds. He was s t a n d i n g on the keel up in the bow looking aft w i t h an odd expression on h i s face. " A n y t h i n g wrong?" I asked. He smiled in a w a r m sort of way a n d s a i d , " N o , I've j u s t never seen a w a l l t h i s straight before." F i l l e d w i t h great pride I shrugged it off, but I was pleased. He's a real pro in h i s w o r l d , a n d t h i s was closer to his w o r l d t h a n mine. As well as h a v i n g the centerlines on the center, each m o l d m u s t be level a t h w a r t s h i p (port to starboard) a n d , of course, be 90° to the centerline—the l a t t e r being done w i t h a n a i l on the center top of the stem from w h i c h to hook your 50'-or-longer tape measure so as to get the port side exactly the same distance as the starboard is from the n a i l . A f t e r w h i c h , they are a l l encased in a cage of fore a n d aft ribbands—one every foot or so from the keel to j u s t above the sheer. M i n e were constructed from 2" X 4"s t h a t h a d been scarphed together—three sixteenfooters g i v i n g me about a forty-four-foot l e n g t h , d e d u c t i n g for the s c a r p h s . F i n a l l y , I could see the boat shape. She was ready to frame up. T w o friends h a d offered to h e l p w i t h t h i s p r o j e c t — s t e a m i n g 82 frames of white oak 2" X 2-1/4" X 14'. J a c k D a y , who h a d recently finished h i s schooner Blue Jacket a n d Tom P r y o r , who was j u s t s t a r t i n g a 42' cutter of h i s own design. Tom a n d I h a d met in '61, when we were w o r k i n g together on the C h e v rolet account. Tom's a n a d v e r t i s i n g copy w r i t e r . We worked together a g a i n a r o u n d '71.I was s t i l l at the same shop. He h a d r e t u r n e d as creative director on the t r u c k account. One afternoon I was

G r a d u a l l y the mess d i s a p p e a r e d , a n d the shop started to look l i k e a boat m i g h t h a p p e n . A l l the prefabbed p i e c e s — k e e l , s t e m , deadwood, gripe (don't you love the names?), assorted knees a n d rudderpost—got together. The backbone—like some prehistoric fossil. M y " A " frame tower, made for the pour, was reused to block a n d tackle the stem i n t o position. P u t t i n g up the stat i o n m o l d s w a s p r o b a b l y the most r e w a r d i n g project to date. T h e y h a d been constructed w i t h the center v e r t i cal member, a 2" X 4", a l l on the s t a r board side—the port side f o r m i n g dead

3

over in Tom's office c h a t t i n g about the m e r i t s of wood as a b u i l d i n g m a t e r i a l . He asked me if I'd ever been to Seattle. "It's a great place to b u i l d a wood boat. I've got a f r i e n d out t h e r e — J a c k D a y , a fireman—who's building a wood schooner. Y o u ought to go out a n d meet h i m . " I went back to my office a n d called A m b e r M c C o y , our l i b r a r i a n . " A m b e r , Roy J a c k s o n . H a v e y o u ever been to Seattle?" " N o . I grew up in Vancouver though." "I'd l i k e to do an ad out there, a n y suggestions?" " W e l l , they've got a lot of car ferries." " H e y , great. Do you have any reference on them?" An hour l a t e r a Manila folder f u l l of photos of ferry boats was on my desk. O u r client h a d requested a n a d c a m p a i g n o n station wagons a n d off-road vehicles, and t h i s looked p r o m i s i n g . I sketched the r e q u i r e d p r o d u c t s a r o u n d the open deck of a s m a l l ferry called the W h a t com C h i e f a n d c o l l a b o r a t e d w i t h a w r i t e r for a n a p p r o p r i a t e h e a d l i n e . Three weeks l a t e r I was s i t t i n g next to Dee, f l y i n g out to Seattle. J a c k D a y was everything Tom had promised. We looked him up after the shoot. He and h i s wife A r l e n e were l i v i n g in a stately home t h a t J a c k h a d b u i l t before b u i l d i n g the m a t c h i n g clapboard boat shop b e h i n d . H i s schooner was framed up a n d p a r t i a l l y p l a n k e d . She was i n s p i r a t i o n a l . M e e t i n g J a c k convinced me that wood should be my m e d i u m . We h a d come i n t o the k i t c h e n , w h i c h h a d a fieldstone fireplace in which Jack proceeded to s t a r t a fire. "Excuse me, is that teak k i n d l i n g you're t h r o w i n g i n there?" J a c k s m i l e d . "There's a lot of exotic scrap w h e n you b u i l d a boat." B u t back nine years ago to the f r a m i n g of my schooner. I h a d a fire going in front of the shop under the old hot water t a n k . T h i s was attached to a borrowed steam box, the frames stacked neatly nearby. " E v e r y t h i n g in order," I thought. It was almost time for Tom a n d J a c k to a r r i v e . I was excited a n d a b i t nervous. My mentors were about to a r r i v e . I t was c h i l l y a n d s t i l l early m o r n i n g grey. Dee brought out another coffee, a n d up the h i l l came J a c k ' s pickup. He h a d a really pleased look on his face after s u r v e y i n g the fire under the t a n k . Steambox at the ready, frames, gloves, e v e r y t h i n g i n order. Good m o r n ings s a i d a l l a r o u n d . We gloved up and decided to start. J a c k grabbed about four frames a n d shoved t h e m into the box. T h e y h i t the other end w i t h a resounding t h u d a n d stuck out beyond the opening two inches. I h a d not tried the d a m n things before. Or h a d the bloody sense to measure the box. It had


looked long enough. The expressions on Tom's a n d J a c k ' s faces were s o m e t h i n g I was not soon to forget. A monel t a n k I h a d b o u g h t f r o m a r e t i r e d boat builder, open on the top, was q u i c k l y h a u l e d i n t o position over the fire and filled w i t h water. It w o u l d h o l d nine to twelve ribs at a time a n d took about an h o u r or so to boil t h e m into a malleable state. T h e two hours it took to get t h i s water b o i l i n g were spent erecting scaffolding—another oversight on my part. At the e n d of a long day, a q u a r t e r or less of the boat was framed. My friends h a d d e p a r t e d w i t h f a r l e s s accomplished t h a n they'd p l a n n e d . I sat in the quiet shop contemplating the day in general. Besides not m e a s u r i n g the steambox or erecting scaffolding, I h a d not p l a n e d off the upper a n d lower edges of ribbands at the t u r n of the bilges—an omission, if not discovered by T o m , that w o u l d have changed her lines by 1/4" or more, a lot when you're t r y i n g to b u i l d a fine boat. A n d if that weren't enough, I didn't have enough nails on h a n d to secure the frames to the r i b b a n d s after the c l a m p s were removed. M y m i n d t h a t evening was w a l l o w i n g in self doubt. The following weekends, the f r a m i n g up proceeded. J a c k h a d suggested early on that I cut the station molds away, i n b o a r d , s t a r t i n g j u s t below the bilge stringers, up to j u s t above the sheer clamp. T h i s w o u l d allow me to put the sheer clamp a n d bilge stringer on over the molds. I n f i n i t e l y easier t h a n i n s t a l l i n g t h e m into the p l a n k e d up h u l l , he assured me. T h i s cut a w a y m o l d a r r a n g e m e n t worked t h u s l y : the frame was i n s e r t e d i n b o a r d of the r i b b a n d s below the bilge s t r i n g e r a n d thwacked s m a r t l y into i t s socket in the keel a n d then i t s bent over the outboard side of the bilge stringer a n d over the outboard side of the sheer c l a m p . T h i s necessitated that the m a n inside, after pressing his foot against the lower end of the hot frame to guide it into the socket, then clamber on up r i b b a n d s to h a n g way out over the sheer in order to h a u l in on the top end of the frame. One of my f r a m i n g helpers, G a r n i e

Q u i t s l u n d , offered to assist in the b u i l d i n g on a regular basis for a fee, one day a week. S a t u r d a y s . T h i s arrangement h a d consequences I hadn't expected. B a c k in '72, a year after Dee and I h a d met J a c k D a y i n Seattle, w e were i n N o v a S c o t i a w i t h T o m P r y o r . I was w o r k i n g at the agency in Toronto on the N o v a Scotia Tourist Association a n d had heard of an A t k i n s "Princess" schooner t h a t was a l m o s t complete. The insides needed f i n i s h i n g . Tom h a d joined us from Detroit. He was going to survey her for us. She h a d been b u i l t on beach. U n f o r t u n a t e l y there were a lot of wood shavings in her bilge, a n d these were wet from m e l t i n g snow a n d r a i n . D r y rot h a d started i n h e r frame sockets. Probably j u s t as w e l l for us. The price was so good we w o u l d have bought her even though she was too s m a l l for what we wanted. None of us h a v i n g been to N o v a Scotia before, we decided to v i s i t a few boat y a r d s . O u r first stop was not far from the A t k i n s schooner, on the B a y of F u n d y . A schooner w i t h the t r a d i t i o n a l spoon bow of C a n a d i a n " B l u e Nose" types was s i t t i n g h i g h a n d dry on h e r k e e l , l e a n i n g on her starboard side against the piles of a long dock, a good e i g h t feet above deck. L a t e r that day we were to come back to this boat a n d go aboard when she was floating. The thirty-foot tides of the B a y of F u n d y are something to behold. T h i s schooner was about 60' on deck w i t h a draught of nine or so feet. She was now floating i n plenty o f water. We decided to drive on to L u n e n b u r g . T o m w a n t e d to see the shop where the duplicate of the " B o u n t y " used in the B r a n d o f i l m h a d been constructed. L u n e n b u r g , it seems, was one of the l a s t places on earth with s h i p w r i g h t s able to follow eighteenthcentury p l a n s . T o m h a d sailed on her d u r i n g the f i l m i n g . H i s T a h i t i a n g i r l f r i e n d was the next door neighbor of the woman who played the princess in the film. She a n d B r a n d o d i d the neighborly t h i n g a n d i n v i t e d T o m to be an extra. A n o t h e r closed-but-must-stop-andpeer-through-the-windows was the " A . Dauphinee & Sons L t d . " shop, an old manufacturer of ship's blocks. E i g h t e e n years later they were to b u i l d a l l of my blocks. T h e f i n a l stop was to be at D a u p h i n e e ' s b r o t h e r - i n - l a w ' s place, D a v i d Stevens. N e i t h e r o f u s k n e w h i m . J u s t of h i m . He had constructed a schooner at M o n t r e a l ' s E x p o '67, and h i s schooners c o n t i n u a l l y beat the U . S . boats in the m a n y encounters over the years. We headed for the Second P e n i n s u l a . U n i n v i t e d , w e drove i n t o h i s d r i v e — a long gravel drive that wound 4

a r o u n d as it approached the house, several barns, gardens, cows g r a z i n g , a n d , of course, the bay. Two of Steven's schooners l a y at anchor. He as in a s m a l l group of f a m i l y as we piled out of my VW bus. I broke into an apology for the i n t r u s i o n as soon as he w a l k e d into earshot, s t r e s s i n g the fact that we were from Toronto a n d D e t r o i t in hope, I guess, t h a t t h i s w o u l d somehow excuse our unexpected appearance. Tom added t h a t we had h e a r d wonderful things about h i s schooners. Dee introduced herself, a n d n a m e s were exc h a n g e d a l l a r o u n d . T h e m a n was a p p a r e n t l y not displeased. He spent the next two h o u r s or so s h o w i n g us the construction b a r n , the sail loft, and w r a p p e d up the tour by a s k i n g us if we w o u l d l i k e to go for a s a i l on the just l a u n c h e d Kathi Anne. Because of Tom's flight schedule we h a d to regretfully decline. W a l k i n g back to the VW we passed a pile of l u m b e r stacked up on sticks, a i r d r y i n g . I hoped this wouldn't produce the same reaction from Tom t h a t another pile h a d earlier that day. It was after l e a v i n g the 60' schooner that T o m h a d stepped off the path to press h i s nose against the end of a board p r o t r u d i n g s l i g h t l y from a neat stack of l u m b e r . He t u r n e d to Dee and me w i t h an expression on h i s face not u n l i k e someone n e a r i n g n i r v a n a . " S m e l l t h i s ! " Dee a n d I pressed our noses to the specified board in a parody


of Tom's example. If one could make an aftershave for boat b u i l d e r s , t h i s w o u l d b e w h a t i t w o u l d s m e l l l i k e . "Wow! W h a t i s it?" " P o r t Orford cedar. Comes from w a y out in Oregon. A b o u t the best t h i n g y o u could p l a n k a boat w i t h . P r e t ty rare now." T h a t was my first e n counter w i t h P o r t Orford cedar u n t i l a S a t u r d a y , seven years l a t e r .

on screws?" She was very unders t a n d i n g through i t a l l . F o r that wasn't the t o t a l , only an addition to a substantial quantity already on hand. A n d these were a l l purchased wholesale or better. T h e project has taught me to finagle and bargain hunt. Get it as cheap as possible. Q u a l i t y yes, but get a good price.

O n G a r n i e ' s f i r s t day a t w o r k , d u r i n g our first coffee b r e a k , l o o k i n g out over the almost completed f r a m i n g , he turned to me and asked, "What ya gonna p l a n k h e r up with?" "I'm not sure. I've got enough red cedar, but it's a w f u l l y soft. A n d I k n o w where I can get some pretty good f i r . " G a r n i e nodded, took a d r i n k of coffee a n d then s a i d , " W o u l d you be interested in P o r t Orford cedar? I've got an uncle in Coos B a y who may k n o w the whereabouts of some." M y m i n d went back t o N o v a Scotia and T o m w i t h t h a t ecstatic look on h i s face. " C a l l your uncle. T h i n k he'd be home r i g h t now?" G a r n i e g r i n n e d and meandered over to the phone. A m o n t h or so l a t e r I h a d my own stack of P o r t O r f o r d cedar up on sticks. A h a p p y boat b u i l d e r indeed.

B u i l d i n g a boat is a constant series of p l a t e a u s . F i n i s h i n g the lofting. F o r m i n g the backbone. C a s t i n g the b a l last. S e t t i n g up the molds. A d d i n g the r i b b a n d s . F i n a l l y g e t t i n g the sheer strake on. If you have a comfortable old chair or two, set t h e m out in the shop for a place to sit at the end of the day w h e n the s u n has set e n d i n g a beautiful day that you haven't been out p l a y i n g i n , so you can sit down a n d contemplate what you've accomplished. Look along the sheer for the first t i m e . H a v e a beer, if you're into t h a t , and l e a n back a n d enjoy the f r u i t s of your labor a n d dream about the f u t u r e .

P l a n k i n g up could now begin. I'd l i k e to stress one t h i n g at this time t h a t I t h i n k is of p a r a m o u n t importance. If I h a d the proverbial dime for every time I r e a d i t . . . b u t I s t i l l d i d n ' t do it enough. T r a n s f e r all the lines off the loft; w a t e r l i n e s , buttocks, station m a r k s a n d diagonals on a l l station molds. E v e r y t h i n g on the loft s h o u l d be on the molds. T r y i n g to find the exact point for a sheer s t r a k e , or a n y t h i n g else for t h a t matter, inside or outside a t h r e e - d i m e n s i o n a l c u r v e d form w i l l make y o u r u e any omissions. M a r k m y words. H a v i n g m e a s u r e d from the sheer to the k e e l m i d s h i p s a t the s t e m a n d s t e r n , I d i v i d e d my m i d s h i p figure by five, the n u m b e r of inches t h a t I wanted my widest p l a n k to be. I w o u l d have 21 s t r a k e s . A s t r a k e , for the novice, is the area occupied by a p l a n k from stem to s t e r n . In a s m a l l boat it m a y well be one p l a n k . On a large vessel it w o u l d consist of two or more, called a strake. These p l a n k s are u s u a l l y h e l d together b y butt blocks, often oak, t h a t are screwed and/or through-bolted to the ends of two p l a n k s where they b u t t together. H e n c e , b u t t block. A t t h i s t i m e b y c o u n t i n g the strakes a n d the n u m b e r of frames they cross, the a m o u n t of butt blocks and m u l t i p l y i n g by two, if there w i l l be two screws at each frame, you'll a r r i v e at the n u m b e r of screws per side. O r , added together, the g r a n d t o t a l . O h , the stunned look on Dee's face a n d the incredulous tone in her voice w h e n she s a i d , " Y o u spent two t h o u s a n d dollars

The i m m e d i a t e future is more of the same. There are twenty more strakes to cut, shape, a n d fasten before the h u l l is p l a n k e d completely. A f t e r w h i c h o r d u r i n g construction a l l the screw holes need plugging. C y l i n d e r s of wood called bungs, cut w i t h a p l u g cutter on a d r i l l press. E n o u g h for a l l two o r three t h o u s a n d screw holes. Dee w o u l d stand for h o u r s — h o u r s , h e l l , d a y s — c u t t i n g plugs a n d filling Mother's Oats cont a i n e r s w i t h t h e m . T h e n t h e y were boiled in linseed oil for an hour or so. No garlic. A f t e r cooling they w o u l d be dipped into a m i x t u r e of white lead and shellac, a n d then they were a i m e d into the screw hole, whereupon Dee would a d m i n i s t e r some p e r s u a s i o n i n the form of a s m a r t thwack to their backsides h o p e f u l l y h a v i n g the g r a i n aligned in the same direction as the p l a n k . T h i s t h w a c k i n g action frequently spatters the wielder of the m a l l e t w i t h poisonous snow-like freckles. It also m a k e s for very messy fingers. N o t the most joyous job for a woman who, as a l i t t l e g i r l , abhorred s t i c k y fingers. A b o u t the fourth strake down, B e n nie M c C a s k i l l replaced G a r n i e , freeing h i m up for more lucrative cabinet work. B e n n i e , a f r i e n d from Detroit, r e a l l y our son's f r i e n d , was a total a m a t e u r . I had an apprentice. Fortunately he learned fast. O u r son D o n came up from C a l i f o r n i a a n d l i v e d w i t h us for a while d u r i n g the p l a n k i n g . W h e n the three of us were w o r k i n g together, t h i n g s progressed at an i n s p i r i n g rate. One trouble w i t h b u i l d i n g a boat of t h i s size, for a novice, is the apparent lack of progress. Y o u can work y o u r ass off a l l weekend a n d have almost n o t h i n g to show for i t . Don's C a l i f o r n i a construc-

5

tion experience was evident. W h e n B e n n i e a n d I h a d w o r k e d together, progress was frequently i n t e r r u p t e d to go somewhere else in the shop for a forgotten tool or c l a m p . D o n seemed to always think ahead. Bennie and I would be d r i l l i n g a n d screwing up (not l i t e r a l l y . . . w e l l , sometimes) a p l a n k a n d D o n w o u l d be l a y i n g out clamps a n d pads precisely where they w o u l d be needed for the next p l a n k . S p e a k i n g of clamps, i f y o u are h a r b o r i n g m a n i a c a l thoughts of a c t u a l l y doing a boat yourself, start collecting t h e m . Y o u can't have too m a n y . A l s o , a few good sources of p l a n k i n g information are: B u d M c i n t o s h ' s book, B o a t B u i l d i n g . S t e w a r t , Chapelle a n d Wooden Boat M a g a z i n e have a few articles on butt blocks w o r t h p e r u s i n g . A n d there is a tool, the Y a n k e e P l a n k i n g Bevel made b y C h e t Rice, t h a t , i f it's s t i l l available, is r e a l neat. H a v e a selection of good planes a n d a convenient (fast) way to keep t h e m s h a r p . O h , yes, t r a c i n g . T r y as I m i g h t to remember t h i s , it would be the t h i n g most l i k e l y forgotten. After you've got a p l a n k clamped up in place a n d i t f i t s u p against its neighbor l i k e the p r o v e r b i a l g l o v e a n d i t s been t h u n k e d forward or aft into the adjoini n g p l a n k , don't reach for your d r i l l and screw g u n . T a k e it down a n d l a y it on top of the board you're u s i n g for the p l a n k below a n d trace the bottom edge onto the top of t h a t p r i s t i n e board or boards. A s s u m i n g there w i l l be a butt somewhere in the m i d d l e of the shaped p l a n k , then, u s i n g your m a r k i n g gauge, score the l i n e top and bottom t h a t w i l l keep a l l those screws in a nice even row, a n d now put it back on the boat. C l a m p it a n d fasten it on. Seems easy enough to remember, b u t I'd hate to tell you how m a n y p l a n k s w o u l d get fastened on w i t h o u t being traced. T h i s , of course, necessitated t a k i n g the bevels off the bottom of the attached p l a n k at every frame a n d t r a n s f e r r i n g t h e m to the new board, plus u s i n g the s p i l l i n g board to pick up the l i n e you could have traced. Despite these oversights, the view from inside the boat d i m i n i s h e d u n t i l one day there was only h a l f a strake left open. T h i s is w h e n , by t r a d i t i o n , one r o u n d s up a q u a n t i t y of grog a n d numerous friends for w h a t is called shutter p a r t y . The last p l a n k to be fastened is followed by a toast to the gods that kept y o u going to t h i s point. Photos are t a k e n , a n d a s m a l l amount of s i l l i ness is tolerated. One is buoyed up by the feeling of h a v i n g finished. The feeli n g lasts about as long as a hangover. Y o u ' v e c o m p l e t e d a b o u t 1/3 of the project. "Do I smell flowers? Is T a h i t i closer?"

— s t o r y a n d sketches by Roy J a c k s o n


CALENDAR OF EVENTS M a r c h 16 (Friday) CWBM O N T H L YM E E T I N G 8 p.m., C W B Boat House To be announced. A p r i l 14 (Saturday), CWB A N N U A L M E M B E R S H I P M E E T I N G (This replaces the r e g u l a r monthly meeting.) 7:30 p.m., C W B Boat House President G r a n t D u l l w i l l introduce our B o a r d a n d report on our status in the p l a n n i n g o f South L a k e U n i o n P a r k . J e r r y Stelmok w i l l give a slide talk on " P o l i n g a n d P a d d l i n g i n the N o r t h eastern U n i t e d States." A p r i l 29 (Sunday) SPRING CRUISE 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., C W B Site Show-and-tell time for s m a l l boats— yours a n d ours. Instead of r a c i n g , we w i l l leave C W B as a f l o t i l l a at noon and cruise around L a k e U n i o n . S a i l - , oar-, a n d paddle-powered vessels w i l l keep i n close formation. On r e t u r n , a potluck l u n c h , f e a t u r i n g a c h i l i contest. M a y 5 & 6 (Saturday & Sunday) 5TH A N N U A L P E D A L POWER POTLATCH 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. each day A g a t h e r i n g of p e d a l - p o w e r e d watercraft a n d t h e i r designers and builders. A display and hands-on demonstration event, free to the public. M a y 18 (Friday) CWB M O N T H L Y M E E T I N G 8 p.m., C W B B o a t House A slide show by J a c k T o w n of C W B ' s two-week odyssey l a s t November to the famous m a r i t i m e M e c c a s from N e w Y o r k to M a i n e .

CLASSIFIED SECTION F o r sale. 30' S h a i n E x p r e s s cruiser. B e a u t i f u l design, cedar on oak, C h r y s ler C r o w n , h y d r a u l i c steering, u s u a l c r u i s i n g e q u i p m e n t . B o a t i s i n the water, under cover, a n d in sound, useable condition. Needs f i n i s h work to i n t e r i o r a n d cockpit a r e a . M u s t sell. $3,800. A l a n or C a r y s 633-5660. Wanted: to r e t u r n a classic back to sea. Interested in a 20-25' old wooden sloop (with cabin) in need of r e p a i r . Please call J a y at 781-8616. A n y o n e interested i n v a c u u m bagging projects l i k e l a m i n a t e d panels, beams, etc. I have a n d w i l l consider r e n t i n g the needed equipment. Includes v a c u u m p u m p , a c c u m u l a t o r , v a c u u m s w i t c h , f i l t e r s , check v a l v e , vacuum gauge, etc. Phone P a u l F o r d , 542-8348. C W B wish list: 35mm K o d a k carousel slide projector, tape recorder for C W B speakers, V C R , 7-ton forklift, 15 passenger v a n . Illustrated list of two dozen wooden boat designs. F r o m 11' to 68' long. Includes dinghies, dories, s a i l boats, skiff, runabout, motorboats, cruisers, sport-fisherman, sight seeing vessel, motor sailers and A r a b i a n D h o w . Price of l i s t $5 to C W B M e m b e r s ; $10 to nonmembers. A l l payments go to C W B a s tax exempt donations. M a k e c h e c k s p a y a b l e t o t h e C e n t e r for Wooden Boats. L i s t i s available from: N i l s L u c a n d e r , Designer, Dept. C , P . O . Box 7752, T a c o m a , W A 98407, U S A . Offer expires J u l y 9 , 1 9 9 0 .

J u l y 6, 7, & 8 (Friday, Saturday, & Sunday) 14TH A N N U A L L A K E U N I O N WOODENBOATFESTIVAL 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. each day A g r a n d conclave of 150 wooden watercraft p l u s t a l k s , demonstrations, toy boat b u i l d i n g , races, music, food, a n d the glorious b o a t b u i l d i n g contest.

MARINE SKILLS WORKSHOPS L E A R N T O "SAIL NOW" 12 n o o n , every S a t u r d a y C W B Boat House Fee: $75 per person (five lessons) L e a r n to s a i l our classic boats in five easy lessons. One h o u r of classroom work a n d four h o u r s hands-on instruct i o n . B e g i n a n y S a t u r d a y , space permitt i n g . M a x : 4. C a l l for reservations. TRADITIONAL RIGGING FUNDAMENTALS M a r c h 17 (Saturday) 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. F e e : $40/$45 Instructor: J a m e s White The rigger a n d captain of the barque Elissa w i l l conduct a series of t r a d i t i o n al r i g g i n g workshops. T a k e one, some, o r a l l . T h i s f i r s t one covers r i g g i n g theory, fiber a n d wire rope construction a n d care, tools, k n o t s , bends, whippings a n d hitches, r i g design a n d materials, r i g t u n i n g , a n d s e t t i n g u p deadeyes and l a n y a r d s . M a x : 12. BUILDING A MAINE PEAPOD M a r c h 17 t h r o u g h 24 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. each day ( L a u n c h i n g M a r c h 25) F e e : $500/$550 Instructor: E r i c D o w U n d e r t h e g u i d a n c e o f a n experienced M a i n e boatbuilder, b u i l d a carvel p l a n k e d Peapod. Dow has b u i l t 20 of this seaworthy type a n d has conducted m any b o a t b u i l d i n g workshops at the WoodenBoat School. Woodworking experience necessary. M a x : 8. WIRE AND FIBER SPLICING M a r c h 24 a n d M a r c h 31 (Saturdays) 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. each day F e e : $80/$90 Instructor: J a m e s White C a r e a n d construction of fiber and wire rope, safe w o r k i n g loads, wire rope L i v e r p o o l eye splice, fiber rope eye, short a n d long splices, wire-to-rope tail splice. M a x : 6. INTRODUCTION TO JAPANESE HAND TOOLS AND THEIR SHARPENING M a r c h 30 (Friday) 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. F e e : $15/$20 Instructor: Dale B r o t h e r t o n A t a l k a n d demonstration of the classic h a n d tools of J a p a n . The instructor a p p r e n t i c e d i n J a p a n e s e temple carp e n t r y a n d h a s done t r a d i t i o n a l Japanese r e s i d e n t i a l carpentry.

J u l y 7 (Saturday) CWB'S A N N U A L A U C T I O N 6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. A fresh-baked version of the old boat festival event. A sit-down, b i d - t i l - y o u drop auction w i t h some u n i q u e objects a n d adventures. See it to believe i t !

6


MARINE SKILLS WORKSHOPS

MARINE SKILLS WORKSHOPS

MARINE SKILLS WORKSHOPS

T H E JOYS OF BRIGHTWORK April 3, 4, and 5 (T, W, and Th) 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. each evening Fee: $30/$35 Instructor: Rebecca Wittman A pro tells you a l l about the do's-anddon't's of b r i g h t w o r k . Session I is about s t r i p p i n g off; session II on surface prep; session III on l a y i n g it o n .

R O P E STROPPED B L O C K S April 14 (Saturday) 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Fee: $60/$70 Instructor: James White E a c h student w i l l m a k e a block for 3/8" l i n e , i n v o l v i n g serving, seizing, a n d m a k i n g a g r o m m e t or short spliced strop. M a x i m u m of six students.

L O F T I N G WORKSHOPS 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. each day (Saturday and Sunday) April 7 & 8; or June 2 & 3; or August 4 & 5; or October 6 & 7 Fee: $115/$125 D r a f t scale l i n e d r a w i n g s of a 12-foot dinghy from a table of offsets, followed by a f u l l - s i z e d loft. Be able to r e a d p l a n s a n d u n d e r s t a n d the arcane mysteries of bevels, rabbet l i n e s , deductions, a n d construction d r a w i n g s . H i g h l y recomm e n d e d as a prerequisite for our boatb u i l d i n g workshops. M a x : 6.

INTRODUCTION TO WOODWORKING, FOR WOMEN April 21 (Saturday) 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Fee: $40/$45 Instructor: Charlie Mastro M e l t a w a y fears a n d anxieties about m a k i n g wooden things. Students w i l l l e a r n s h a r p e n i n g , maintenance, techniques of u s i n g h a n d tools, a n d basic wood j o i n i n g . M a s t r o is a professional cabinetmaker w i t h the personality of everyone's favorite uncle. M a x : 6.

BUILDING A G R E E N L A N D KAYAK May 11-20; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. ea. day Fee: $850/$900 Instructor: Svend Ulstrap B u i l d y o u r own canvas-over-bentwood classic E s k i m o k a y a k . U l s t r a p , w o r l d renowned for h i s knowledge of G r e e n l a n d k a y a k s , h a s t a u g h t over 700 people to b u i l d these boats. No woodw o r k i n g experience necessary. M a x : 6.

MARLINSPIKE SKILLS April 7 (Saturday) 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Fee: $40/$45 Instructor: James White Instruction on grommets, wire a n d fiber seizings, decorative k n o t s , a n d fancy ropework coverings. M a x : 12.

FANCY B E L L R O P E S AND LANYARDS April 21 & April 28 (Saturdays) 10 a.m. 'til 3 p.m. each day Fee: $60/$70 Instructor: James White Students w i l l m a k e a m u l t i s t r a n d bellrope, M a t t h e w Walker's, Star, W a l l , a n d C r o w n k n o t s , coachwhipping, fancy hitches, a n d T u r k ' s - H e a d . M a x i m u m of six students.

HOW TO M A K E A STRIP P L A N K E D KAYAK A p r i l 7 (Saturday) 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Fee: $25/$30 Instructor: Prof. Paul Ford The instructor has b u i l t several k a y a k s i n the s t r i p p l a n k method a n d in a s e m i n a r format w i l l give students the i n f o r m a t i o n needed to m a k e their own k a y a k .

R O P E F E N D E R S AND MATS May 5 (Saturday) 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Fee: $40/$45 Instructor: James White Students w i l l l e a r n E y e Splice, W a l l a n d C r o w n k n o t s , serving, overhand grafting, T u r k ' s - H e a d , C a r r i c k B e n d , and Ocean plait. M a x i m u m 12 students. E a c h student w i l l take home a rope fender.

BUILDING T H E MAINE GUIDE CANOE A p r i l 14 -19 (Sat. through Th.) 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily Fee: $360/$400 Instructor: Jerry Stelmok B u i l d a classic canvas-on-wood canoe & p a d d l e s . J e r r y S t e l m o k , of M a i n e , is the p r e m i e r b u i l d e r of t h i s type of canoe, which dates from 100 years ago. He has w r i t t e n the definitive book on canvas a n d wood canoe b u i l d i n g a n d h a s t a u g h t s e v e r a l classes. W o o d w o r k i n g experience required. M a x : 6.

T H E SALISH P E O P L E AND THEIR SKILLS May 11,12,13, & 14 Fee: $325 per person Seminar/cruise aboard the schooner Crusader. Steve a n d Dorothy P h i l i p p w i l l l e a d y o u i n t o the lifestyle of Puget Sound's f i r s t residents. Y o u w i l l sail on the 1926 65-foot schooner m a k i n g nettle lines a n d tule m a t , v i s i t i n g the S u quamish Museum, and learning canoeing techniques. Meals and w o r k s h o p m a t e r i a l s i n c l u d e d i n fee. Cosponsored b y C W B a n d Resource I n stitute. Contact C W B for information or to reserve your place. 7

BLTLDING A SEA CHEST June 2, 9, 16, & 23 (Sats.) 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. each day Fee: $120/$135 Instructors: White & Mastro Students b u i l d t h e i r own classic sea chest. M o r n i n g s : fancy k n o t w o r k beÂŹ ckets (handles) led by W h i t e ; afternoons: the complex carpentry of slanted sides and dovetailed joints led by Mastro. M a x : 6. LINES TAKING & DRAFTING WORKSHOP June 22*- 24,1990 (Fri. p.m.; all day Sat. & Sun.) Fee: $150 Instructor: Dave Dillion Documentation of historic watercraft. Includes "reading" the artifact, m e a s u r i n g , p l o t t i n g the notes, f a i r i n g l i n e s , a n d d r a f t i n g . Provides b a c k g r o u n d a n d t r a i n i n g for m u s e u m professionals, h i s t o r i a n s , a n d students and professionals involved with m a r i t i m e preservation. D i l l i o n is the nation's only f u l l - t i m e boat documentation specialist. M a x : 12. BUILDING A L A P S T R A K E BOAT July 14-21; launching July 22 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. each day Fee: $360/$400 Instructor: Eric Hvalsoe B u i l d a classic r o w i n g boat. Hvalsoe has wide experience in t r a d i t i o n a l boatb u i l d i n g . B a s i c w o o d w o r k i n g experience r e q u i r e d . M a x : 6. WOODCARVING Aug. 11, 18, 25, Sep. 1, 8, 15 (Sats.) 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. each day Fee:$90/$110 Instructor: Tom Parker L e a r n the A B C s of c a r v i n g from a m a s t e r of techniques a n d design. Sessions w i l l be i n c r e a s i n g l y advanced hands-on projects, w i t h m i n i m a l chalk t a l k . Some tools required. M a x : 10. N O T E : Fees represent member/nonmember cost. $100 refundable deposit required on boatbuilding classes.


IN MEMORY OF ALAN DEL REY L i f e for A l a n was a f u n n y adventure. H i s heroes were I n d i a n a J o n e s a n d H a n Solo. T h e l a s t time I saw A l a n he was s i t t i n g i n bed i n a P o r t l a n d hospice. H i s l u n g s were shot, h i s l i v e r was shot, h i s stomach was shot. He h a d a b u r n i s h e d bronze complexion. He was emaciated. H i s eyes were h i g h - i n t e n s i t y l i g h t s i n d a r k sockets. I thought of Gandhi fasti n g for freedom. My son M i k e a n d I were conducting a wake for a dear f r i e n d , except the corpse was a c t u a l l y leading the session. W e t a l k e d , joked, a n d l a u g h e d a l l night w i t h A l a n about h i s w a c k y l i f e . H e smuggled a vegetable substance from M e n d o c i n o into C a n a d a i n the h o l d o f h i s radio-controlled schooner Tahoma. He r a i s e d N o r w a y (wharf) r a t s because he a d m i r e d t h e i r intelligence—some m a y remember W i l l i e o r F r e d aboard Tahoma. T h e i r b i g treat was a F r i d a y n i g h t r u m a n d Coke h a p p y h o u r . A l a n swore they signaled h i m to be l i g h t on the Coke. A l a n spray painted the m i n i ature boats he b u i l t u s i n g h i s t r u c k ' s spare tire for the a i r supply. W e t a l k e d o f A l a n ' s "pyroclastic" c h i l i (possibly one of the reasons for h i s burnout). He gave us the address in M e x i c o for t h e n u c l e a r c h i l i e s h e

favored. There was t a l k of the days when A l a n a n d h i s rats l i v e d i n h i s waterfront garage/workshop/residence, where he fitted out 26-foot C l i p percraft wood dories for "Square D e a l McNeil." A l a n recalled f i r i n g a shot (beebee) from the cannon o f the 42-inch L O A Tahoma at a speeding j e t s k i e r . A n d stopping h i m . M i k e reported that the s i x - i n c h P o r t O r f o r d seedling that A l a n planted a t C W B i s now six feet t a l l . There was the time he r e p a i r e d a girlfriend's crown at a r e s t a u r a n t by m i x i n g a batch of five-mintue epoxy at the table. (Never leave home w i t h o u t your epoxy.) A n d then there was the u b i q u i t o u s r u m a t h i s shop. A l a n preferred to decant it into an epoxy container to discourage u n a u t h o r i z e d imbibing. By m i d n i g h t I was sure I could smell cedar shavings, pine t a r , a n d r u m a n d h e a r the boom of Tahoma's m i g h t y mite 1-1/2" cannons. A l a n began a coughing fit. T h e l a s t t h i n g he t a l k e d about was a typically D e l Rey convoluted scheme to get the codeine p i l l a n d water to h i t his mouth in a simultaneous and precisely t i m e d m a n n e r because the p i l l tasted l i k e "shit." We promised to

8

r e t u r n i n the m o r n i n g w i t h h i s m i n i a ture schooners Tahoma a n d Kahuna to decorate h i s q u a r t e r s . In the dark drizzly stillness before d a w n , J a n u a r y 27, A l a n died. Age 46. H e r e p a i r e d , r e f i n i s h e d , a n d fitted out countless vessels a n d b u i l t five of the ten-foot dory skiffs he designed. B u i l t h u n d r e d s of those skiffs at oneinch-to-the-foot scale, equipped w i t h spoon oars a n d leathers, no less. A l a n b u i l t about ten radio-controlled m i n i a ture schooners, to h i s design. H i s w o r k m a n s h i p a n d d e t a i l i n g were a l ways top q u a l i t y . On h i s workbench are three more schooners underway. The one closest to completion has locust f r a m e s , t e a k p l a n k i n g a n d decking, p u r p l e h e a r t t r a n s o m , a n d ebony cap r a i l s . There's a bottle of A l a n ' s favorite 151 proof "epoxy" on the bench. A l a n h i t life r u n n i n g . A n d laughing. He passed through w i t h h i s pedal to the floor, following h i s curiosity into the envelope's deepest creases. He earned l i t t l e i n m a t e r i a l w e a l t h , b u t h e never compromised his principles, his friends. A r t i s t , t i n k e r e r , philosopher to the l a s t b r e a t h . S m i l i n g , I ' l l bet. — D i c k Wagner

Shavings Volume 12 Number 1 (January-February 1990)  

The Center for Wooden Boats membership newsletter