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SHAVINGS Volume

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August-September

The " b i g boats" l i n e the Naval Reserve's s e a w a l l . Behind them you can see some of the 20,000 v i s i t o r s who spent t h e i r day s i g h t s e e i n g , l e a r n i n g , and enjoying the good weather. Good winds made t h i s years races particularly exciting. Photo by P h i l Webber BOAT SHOW SETS ATTENDANCE MARK Success is often a hard thing to measure, but by any y a r d s t i c k the C e n t e r ' s Fourth Annual Wooden Boat Show qualifies. Our D i r e c t o r estimated the three-day attendance at 20,000 and our Guest Book had e n t r i e s from England, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Belgium and France - good s e a f a r i n g nations a l l and one from Switzerland which, though landlocked, has a large l a k e . West coast states had good representation but midwestern attendance was e c l i p s e d by a healthy contingent from Maine. More than 80 new members were added and the stock of T - s h i r t s at the Center Store was exhausted by Saturday

afternoon. The Northwest Indian Canoe e x h i b i t would have been an asset to any museum. Colleen Wagner and Mary Ford had gathered a c a r e f u l l y - c h o s e n c o l l e c t i o n of authentic canoes, photographs, models, and s i g n i f i c a n t a r t i f a c t s that i l l u s t r a t e d the s o p h i s t i c a t i o n of these b e a u t i f u l craft. With the a s s i s t a n c e of a c o n s t a n t l y changing crew of volunteers, the two " c u r a t o r s " put together the burlap-covered d i s p l a y panels that they had designed, mounted d i s p l a y s and t h e i r e x p l a n a t i o n s , arranged l i v e (continued on page 2)

A PUBLICATION OF THE CENTER FOR WOODEN BOATS 2770 Westlake Ave. N. S e a t t l e , WA. 98109


BOAT SHOW

(continued from page 1 )

evergreens they had borrowed from a l o c a l nursery, and in the end produced a s e t t i n g as impressive as the canoes themselves. B i l l Holm's personal c o l l e c t i o n of canoe-building t o o l s , many of them carved with P a c i f i c Northwest Indian designs and a l l of them dark with the patina of heavy use, would have proclaimed him as the expert on dugouts without his academic c r e d e n t i a l s . Better y e t , they proclaimed him an e n t h u s i a s t , someone not content to study h i s subject from a distance but someone who had to dive in and experience i t h i m s e l f . His lecture Saturday evening added the f i n a l dimension to our canoe e x h i b i t as he explained not only the b u i l d e r ' s techniques, but the s o c i a l structure and customs that surrounded them. The Marine Photography competition, another new feature of t h i s y e a r ' s show, had more than 60 entrants and a good number of s a l e s . These kinds of a c t i v i t i e s are important to the Center, a t t r a c t i n g wider p u b l i c support and p a r t i c i p a t i o n while g i v i n g us another way to enjoy good boats. The r a c e s , the boats on water and landbound, the crowds and the demonstrations, were as s t i m u l a t i n g as ever, but as always, a few d e t a i l s stood out: Master caulker Clarence Dirks always gathered an e n t h u s i a s t i c crowd, a t t r a c t e d p a r t l y by h i s l i t t l e known c r a f t and p a r t l y by h i s quiet humor and h i s seemingly bottomless store of anecdotes. Brion Toss the r i g g e r met Malcolm Wehncke the sailmaker who had j u s t a r r i v e d from Maine in time f o r the show. As a r e s u l t , they have j u s t opened a cooperative shop in Anacortes complete with 2,000 square f e e t of varnished f l o o r . E r i c Rasmussen, deckhand on the Stimson, sat down at the toy

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boatbuilding bench and while hordes of kids watched f a i t h f u l l y , b u i l t a t i n y model of the Havorn using t o o l s borrowed a l t e r n a t e l y from Alan Del Rey and Deb H a r r i n g t o n . Alan Del Rey had t o o l s a v a i l a b l e because he had set up h i s boat shop in the t r a i n i n g c e n t e r . Two of h i s miniature boats - models is too demeaning a word f o r what Alan builds were on the water under s a i l and r a d i o c o n t r o l whenever the weather permitted. Bernice Fadden had a success t o o , winning t h i s y e a r ' s r a f f l e boat, a 12 foot Bolger design b u i l t by John B a t t a i l e of Olge, Washington. This was B e r n i c e ' s t h i r d t r y a t our r a f f l e . With a l l t h i s going o n , is it any wonder that a l o c a l TV s t a t i o n , recapping the f o u r t h ' s a c t i v i t i e s said that our Wooden Boat Show was the thing to see on the h o l i d a y weekend?

FALL REGATTA The Center For Wooden Boats Autumn Regatta is scheduled f o r October 4 at Lake Union's Gasworks Park. While the l a s t issue of Shavings and the J u l y issue of S a i l gave those of you who've never attended one of our on-the-water sessions a look at what goes on, here's your chance to j o i n i n . The f a i t h f u l w i l l gather around noon at the Park. Racing w i l l s t a r t with the rowing event at one, followed by s a i l i n g at two. Then comes the potluck supper. These have become i n c r e a s i n g l y elaborate over the years and at each one someone always asks if we're boating enthusiasts who l i k e to e a t , or eating enthusiasts who l i k e small boats. Come and form your own o p i n i o n , get a chance to t r y out some d i f f e r e n t boats, spin a few yarns and j u s t g e n e r a l l y enjoy. C a l l C o l l e e n Wagner to s i g n up f o r the potluck and bring your boat!


DIRECTORS' In the process of putting together the Northwest Canoe E x h i b i t , Mary Ford and Colleen Wagner found it was hard to get a grant of money (they were turned down) but easy to get a loan of educational m a t e r i a l s . They borrowed from a wonderful system of information banks - the museums of the Northwest. The Center For Wooden Boats, being the new k i d on the b l o c k , found a healthy s p i r i t of cooperation. We received i n f o r m a t i o n , a d v i c e , e x h i b i t equipment and d i s p l a y items from: The Burke Museum Columbia River Maritime Museum Marymoor Museum Museum of H i s t o r y and Industry Northwest Seaport P r o v i n c i a l Museum of V i c t o r i a B.C. U n i v e r s i t y of Washington L i b r a r y (Special C o l l e c t i o n ) We see ourselves as a museum with a special focus on our maritime h i s t o r y small boats. Each h i s t o r i c a l organization has a d i f f e r e n t message but a common denominator - the o b l i g a t i o n to spread knowledge of our heritage. No one museum can do it

CORNER all. No one museum can a t t r a c t a l l the p o t e n t i a l supporters. Each w i l l have i t s own cadre who w i l l wave t h e i r banner.

Photo by Dennis Corum As long as we can a l l f r e e l y share our deposits of h i s t o r i c information, the public w i l l be b e n e f i t t i n g from a m u l t i - v i t a m i n enriched cereal of history. We w i l l a l l grow strong. Vive l a d i f f e r e n c e .

THE SPIRIT OF THE VOLUNTEER The volunteers did it again. The C.W.B. t h r i v e s on the ideas and energy of a v i t a l membership. My guess is about 100 of us donated time to get our Wooden Boat Show together and taken apart. Endless vignettes of munchkins working on various p r o j e c t s f l a s h in my mind. P o s s i b l y the essence of the volunteer experience was expressed by Curt A b e l . Curt c a l l e d from Wisconsin a few weeks before the show and asked if he could help out, if he came e a r l y . I s a i d sure. Curt and h i s daughter Becky showed up at our houseboat headquarters

s h o r t l y a f t e r dawn, 3 days before the show. We immediately rented a truck and gave Curt a l i s t of things to pick up. Becky was assigned to take phone messages. The pace picked up each day, s t a r t i n g at a frenzy and ending in the complete panic stage. Curt stayed in the truck from morning t i l l a f t e r dark f o r three days, u n t i l the show s t a r t e d . A f t e r the show closed 3 days l a t e r , Curt climbed back in the truck and spent 2 more long days, hauling things back. At the end of it a l l , as we sat on our deck, with f e e t propped up and gin and t o n i c s in hand, Curt smiled and said "you c o u l d n ' t pay me f o r t h i s work". 3


LETTERS AND MORE LETTERS What did other people think about that boat show? Some sample l e t t e r s should explain. . . Congratulations on a super show, and thanks f o r a l l your h o s p i t a l i t y on Saturday and Sunday evenings. I enjoyed the weekend immensely. Enclosed is a small vote of confidence f o r the C e n t e r . With kindest regards to a l l , Sincerely, Michael Naab Associate D i r e c t o r Columbia River Maritime Museum I'd l i k e you to know we were glad to be in the show and we think it was the best y e t . It seems as though the p u b l i c is i n t e r e s t e d , a p p r e c i a t i v e and understanding of the values of our boat. Thanks again Karl & Gwen Sebastian P . S . Lets have a slow boat race next year. Ahoy, as they say, Your show made f o r the best Fourth of J u l y I have ever had, which is to say it topped the previous two. Nowhere e l s e - the annual Gathering of True B e l i e v e r s in Port Townsend not w i t h s t a n d i n g - have I known such o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r f u n , l e a r n i n g , and p r o f i t , a l l mixed up together so as to be i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e . A c t u a l l y , the c l o s e s t I've come to it before was running a numbers racket in the t h i r d grade. Brion Toss

VOLUNTEERS ALWAYS WELCOMED There are always an endless number of tasks needing the e f f o r t and a t t e n t i o n of our members. We can find one to s u i t almost anyone's i n t e r e s t s ! For example, we could use volunteers in the f o l l o w i n g areas, j u s t to mention a very few: Help with the layout and p u b l i c a t i o n of SHAVINGS. Write a r t i c l e s f o r SHAVINGS. We r e l y on the c o n t r i b u t i o n s of many f o l k to keep t h i s newsletter i n t e r e s t i n g and informative. Don't worry about p o l i s h and neat typewritten submissions w e ' l l p o l i s h them as needed. Help with the Boatbuilders Directory. This is a monumental and ongoing task that can e a s i l y be broken down i n t o small pieces to allow many assistants. I f t h i s b r i e f l i s t doesn't have what you are looking f o r , j u s t ask! SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS Our regular meetings with speakers are the 3rd F r i d a y of each month, at our headquarters, 2770 Westlake N . , at 8 PM. September. Brian Toss, r i g g e r , and Malcom Wehncke, s a i l m a k e r . On s a i l s , r i g g i n g and how they i n t e r a c t . October. Dan Dygert on the aspect of seamanship which a l o t of us are weak on - using l i n e s to get vessels in and out of t i g h t spaces, and l i n e techniques in towing. November. Robert Wing, author of Peter Puget, and Ben Dennis, smuggler. This w i l l be a t a l k about Puget's s u r v e y i n g , with s l i d e s of the r e - c r e a t i o n in a rowing gig of t h i s South Sound voyage.


TWO VIEWS ON HOW WE SHOULD GET WHERE WE'RE GOING At our J u l y meeting, Marty Langland of Skookum Fastenings presented a s l i d e show on the Mystic Seaport Small Craft Workshop, spiced with strong opinions about how to spread the small boat gospel. He gave Shavinqs a copy of h i s s c r i p t and sent another one back to M y s t i c . Benjamin F u l l e r , the Seaport's C u r a t o r , responded, w r i t i n g a l e t t e r to Marty e x p l a i n i n g the Workshop's philosophy and sending a copy to us. The controversy is an interesting one, so we decided to p r i n t both s i d e s , abridging them some f o r space's sake. SOME NOTES ON FINDING THE CHANNEL Presented to the Center For Wooden Boats on J u l y 18, 1980 By Marty Langeland Diana and I, on a t r a v e l grant from her p a r e n t s , attended the Small C r a f t Conference at Mystic Seaport t h i s past June to give a workshop on Fastenings. The conference's set is the S e a p o r t ' s North Green, on the land side of which was a t e n t . Several of the smaller boats and canoes were dotted before the tent leading to the f l o a t s and the greater number of boats in the r i v e r , here about as wide as Lake Union before the Naval Reserve Center. The conference l a s t s a day and a h a l f however, while the Wooden Boat Show l a s t s three days. Attendance at the conference is l i m i t e d . The f i g u r e s I heard were between 200 and 400. It was not p o s s i b l e f o r me to avoid noting s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s among the Conference, shows and f e s t i v a l s I have attended. In the f i v e years I have been associated with Skookum Fastenings I have observed a dichotomy among us. My r e f l e c t i o n s on the Conference and the Fourth S e a t t l e Wooden Boat Show seemed to o f f e r i l l u s t r a t i o n s of t h i s dichotomy, and t h i s is what I would l i k e to d i s c u s s . It w i l l soon become apparent that I am p a r t i s a n , and I w i l l leave it to the other side to e x t o l and defend t h e i r position. But f o r t h i s reason, some of my remarks are c r i t i c a l . I hope they w i l l be c o n s t r u c t i v e . In arguing from the

p a r t i c u l a r to

the general I have four main heads: Focus, A c t i v i t y , Commerce and Reverence. Focus may be sharp or d i f f u s e . One aim of events l i k e the Conference and the Wooden Boat Show is to have people t a l k to one another: both to experts and f e l l o w e n t h u s i a s t s . The Conference used a d i f f u s e focus to achieve t h i s while the Show put it i n t o sharp focus. At the conference everyone wore a tag with t h e i r name on i t . Except when g i v i n g workshops, no one had any props, or a set l o c a t i o n . So there was no easy way to s t r i k e up a conversation with a s t r a n g e r . This approach requires e i t h e r a surrender to s e r e n d i p i t y , or p r i o r knowledge; a mental score card to t e l l the p l a y e r s , before it works. I noticed that those who were best known, were u s u a l l y surrounded by a knot of people while other p r o f e s s i o n a l s were ignored. The m a j o r i t y of people at the conference passed t h e i r time watching, not t a l k i n g . A d i f f u s e approach t h e n , appears to discourage the newcomer, while c a t e r i n g to the c o g n o s c e n t i . In c o n t r a s t , only e x h i b i t o r s had name tags at the Wooden Boat Show. Most of them had a boat or booth to l o c a t e themselves with an array of props to f a c i l i t a t e the asking of questions and encourage conversation. A c t i v i t i e s may be defined of e x t e n s i v e , or amorphous and l i m i t e d . Surely people were allowed to get i n t o the boats at the Conference, but there were no races and the parade was only on Sunday. So those who did get into the boats hacked around. The opportunity f o r hacking around (continued on page 6 ) 5


(continued from page 5 ) was a v a i l a b l e at the Show as w e l l , but a v a r i e t y of races s h i f t e d a t t e n t i o n to the boats and t h e i r q u a l i t i e s , underscoring the basic point that these boats are to have fun with in many ways. A l l demonstrations and workshops at the conference were compressed into a three hour p e r i o d . At the Show, demonstrations were more or less continuous while l e c t u r e s and workshops occurred s e q u e n t i a l l y rather than simultaneously. Thus v i s i t o r s explored them at t h e i r l e i s u r e , and yet had a more i n t e n s i v e experience of each. At the end of my workshop somebody asked me to compare the conference with West Coast events. I began by saying that ours were more commercial. The reaction was as immediate and negative as if I had cussed in church. At the conference there was a b u l l e t i n board where b u i l d e r s could post a sheet d e s c r i b i n g t h e i r boats, but no one had a For Sale s i g n . No one offered c a t a l o g s , brochures, books, p l a n s , or tools for s a l e . Consider the impact t h i s has on the q u a l i t y and depth of i n f o r m a t i o n . When such items are not a v a i l a b l e , the information gleaned must be c a r r i e d away in one's head: f r e q u e n t l y a leaky v e s s e l . The more t a n g i b l e catalog or book w i l l allow f u l l e r access to the information. P r o h i b i t i n g commerce complicates a simple process; another b a r r i e r to the free flow of information and t o o l s . F i n a l l y there is a point on very shaky ground. It is that of our reverence f o r the p a s t . This is the most emotional of my heads, as it is one we a l l share to some degree. It is that matter of degree which is important. B l i n d reverence generates an overwhelming awe. In the face of the products of the Golden Age, how dare we mere mortals d i s p l a y our puny c r a f t ? Such an a t t i t u d e engenders e l i t i s m both as a r e s u l t and a response. As a r e s u l t because only a few masterpieces are a v a i l a b l e , only a few may have 6

them. As a response because one must create and master academic complexities to demonstrate the s u p e r i o r i t y of one's own b i t of the Golden Age. If we can never hope to meet the standards of the p a s t , then our only options are to preserve that past, and, as a poor second c h o i c e , r e p l i c a t e what we cannot save. The i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s , both f o r the present and the future are very bleak indeed. We approach e x t i n c t i o n . We can equal the design q u a l i t y of c l a s s i c boats today. But only by designing new boats, using the past as a foundation to t r y new i d e a s , prepared to d i s c a r d those s o l u t i o n s which do not work and improve those that do. That is how those c l a s s i c designs came about i n the f i r s t p l a c e . We can equal the craftsmanship of the past. But only by b u i l d i n g a l o t of boats so that our b u i l d e r s may gain the experience required to achieve mastery. We can obtain the high q u a l i t y m a t e r i a l s needed. But only by creating a market large enough to j u s t i f y t h e i r s e l e c t i o n and p r o d u c t i o n . So t h i s is the dichotomy I see: On the one hand a c o t e r i e of devotees p r e f e r r i n g a knowing smile to an open answer as they deny the e f f o r t s of the present in t h e i r worship of the past. Those who prefer to mourn rather than take the r i s k of f a i l u r e . On the other hand are those who seek to use the past as a guide to the present so that there may be a f u t u r e . They make a l o t of mistakes. But success is compounded of many f a i l u r e s . We are l i k e a band of youngsters a d r i f t on a magnificent d e r e l i c t among s h o a l s . Some wish to beach her now while something may be saved, while others with to keep her going, learn what she can do, and f i n d the channel again to keep on s a i l i n g . We who are concerned with wooden boats are few in number, we need to i n c r e a s e . Those who have no boats should be encouraged to get them. And new faces should be welcomed to our


ranks so that e v e n t u a l l y they too can get t h e i r f e e t wet in t h e i r own wooden boat. Thus w i l l the f u t u r e be able to look to us f o r examples as well as to our f o r e b e a r s . I suggest that the process w i l l be more r a p i d in an open, a c t i v e , sharply focused, e x c i t i n g set than i t w i l l i n one that is l a c k i n g in these q u a l i t i e s . Dear Marty: I thought I might point out the reasons behind the way we've been running the workshop f o r the l a s t ten years. F i r s t , i t s t i t l e i s not Conference or Show, but Workshop -deliberately. It is not designed to showcase b u i l d e r s or manufacturers. It is designed to l e t people have a good time on an equal b a s i s . Hence name tags f o r everyone, not j u s t the " e x p e r t s . " It's not a show f o r p r o f e s s i o n a l s to put the "word" out. Hacking around, as you r e f e r to i t , or messing around in boats is p r e c i s e l y the intent of the on-the-water a c t i v i t y . We encourage those with boats to t r y o t h e r s , so they can decide what next to b u i l d , or those who come boatless to experience the fun of rowing, paddling or s a i l i n g a t r a d i t i o n a l boat and to go home with the idea "how can I get one?" We've not ever done any r a c i n g at a Seaport workshop, f o r the simple reason that unless i t i s c l o s e l y c o n t r o l l e d , i t gives you l i t t l e u s e f u l information. To get accurate performance d a t a , you need to make sure a l l rowers or s a i l o r s are of equal ability. I am q u i t e i n t e r e s t e d in performance, but need to c o n t r o l t e s t it to get data. Thus we avoid ego trips: " I ' v e the f a s t e s t boat at the workshop." As f a r as modern designs are concerned, you must have f a i l e d to notice the many. Canoes, from century old paddling t y p e s , to the l a t e s t in Class " C " canoe t h i n k i n g . Rowing c r a f t

from f l a t iron s k i f f s t o s l i d i n g seat machines. Kayaks, from a 15-pound a i r c r a f t s k i n over spruce to Bart Hauthaway's nice l i t t l e f i b e r g l a s s Rob Roys and ocean s t y l e s . Only engine-powered c r a f t are p r o h i b i t e d . In s h o r t , I f a i l to see how our approach discourages the newcomer and c a t e r s to e l i t i s m . I do see how it f a i l s to encourage the p r o f e s s i o n a l or e x h i b i t o r , s i n c e we do not l i n e them up in booths l i k e a boat show. P a r t i c i p a n t s seem to l i k e i t . R e g i s t r a t i o n s t h i s year ran to about over 500, with over 100 c r a f t entered. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , because we're not a show we c a n ' t open it to a l l ; but we r a r e l y turn anyone away. Many attendees come f o r the f i r s t t i m e , a f t e r hearing o f i t through our boat shop e x h i b i t or in the press. When they r e t u r n , they often have boats. I do not see how t h i s denies the e f f o r t s of the present in worshiping the past. F i n a l l y , I should mention the Sunday a c t i v i t i e s : a downriver c r u i s e f o r a l l f o r breakfast on a deserted beach. If you don't have a boat, you r i d e with someone who does, or get experience p u l l i n g a big boat -- a seine boat or whaleboat. Perhaps the most important aspect of the workshop occurs in the afternoon: guided tours of the c o l l e c t i o n . Looking at a large c o l l e c t i o n of unrestored c r a f t gives you d i r e c t information as to which of the o l d ways work, and which do not. I appreciate your p a r t i c i p a t i o n ; perhaps the next time you can come as an "attender" rather than a " p r e s e n t e r " . Sincerely Benjamin A. G. F u l l e r Curator Mystic Seaport Museum


SITE PROGRESS The Boat Show absorbed the bulk of our energies f o r the past few months, but with that behind u s , a c t i v i t y is heating up on our a p p l i c a t i o n f o r the use of waterway 4 on Lake Union as the home of The Center For Wooden Boats. Director Dick Wagner and a number of other keenly i n t e r e s t e d and supportive people attended the August 20 hearing of the C i t y of S e a t t l e ' s Board of P u b l i c Works regarding our application. The issues involved are complex and w i l l be explained further in the next issue of SHAVINGS, but we presently are seeking a favorable c l a r i f i c a t i o n of a 1908 Washington

State s t a t u t e which reserves the waterways and s t r e e t ends on Lake Union and Portage Bay f o r "temporary Moorage". The next hearing w i l l probably take place around the middle of September and we w i l l have one weeks notice of the exact date. These hearings take place Wednesday mornings in the Municipal b u i l d i n g in downtown Seattle and are open to anyone i n t e r e s t e d . Your support and attendance w i l l help g r e a t l y in what promises to be an extended s e r i e s of h e a r i n g s . For more information and/or to learn the time and place of f u t u r e h e a r i n g s , c a l l Dick Wagner at 283-9166 or Dave Cox at 453-9682 (762-2100 Ext 366 during weekdays).

You c a n ' t t e l l the o l d from the new. Dick Waqner's Coolidge - built Sinbad t i e s up next to Jack Day's Blue Jacket at the Fourth Annual Wooden Boat Show. Photo by P h i l Webber 8

Shavings Volume 2 Number 4 (August-September 1980)  
Shavings Volume 2 Number 4 (August-September 1980)  

The Center for Wooden Boats membership newsletter

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