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Inside This Festival Issue of Shavings WELCOME TO THE FESTIVAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-3 NEWS FROM SOUTH LAKE UNION AND CAMA BEACH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-5 HAIDA CANOE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 THE COLLECTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 THE LADY RETURNS HOME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 THE BOATS THAT SALMON BUILT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 THE THUNDERBIRD SAILBOAT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 UPCOMING CWB EVENTS AND MARITIME SKILLS PROGRAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11-13 MARITIME HERITAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

THE MYSTERY OF HISTORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 SIZE DOESN’T MATTER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 ALL ABOARD: YOUTH PROGRAMS AT CWB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 COMMUNICATING WITH AN EX-CWB INTERN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 THE WAWONA, ICON OF NORTHWEST HISTORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 NOTHING TYPICAL ABOUT A DAY AT THE LOCKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 WORLD WAR II MILITARY BOATS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 ROWING IN CLASSIC CEDAR SHELLS – A NORTHWEST TRADITION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

W The Center for WOODEN BOATS
















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1010 Valley St., Seattle, WA 98109-4468 206.382.2628 e-mail:

Our Mission To provide a community center where maritime history comes alive and our small craft heritage is preserved and passed along to future generations. CWB Staff Betsy Davis Executive Director Dick Wagner Founding Director Jake Beattie Waterfront Programs Director Nita Chambers Business Relations & Facility Rental Manager Patrick Gould Boat Sales Manager & Instructor Lauren Kuehne Volunteer Coordinator & Office Manager Jean Scarboro Bookkeeper and Membership Edel O’Connor Boatwright & Workshop Coordinator Katie Kelso Visitor Services Manager & Registrar Heron Scott Lead Boatwright Greg Reed Livery Manager, Dockmaster & Youth Sailing Tom Baltzell Youth Field Trip Coordinator Bud Rickets Custodian

Board of Trustees Alex Bennett Caren Crandell David Dolson Brandt Faatz Ken Greff Gary Hammons David Kennedy Andrea Kinnaman Stephen Kinnaman

Robert Merikle Lori O’Tool Pike Powers Barbara Sacerdote Chuck Shigley Denise Snow Eric Sorensen Bill Van Vlack Joe Spengler,Intern

Design and production of Shavings by CWB volunteer Heidi Hackler of Dolphin Design,

The Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival program is a special edition of Shavings, the newsletter produced by the Center for Wooden Boats. Shavings is published six times a year and is one of the many benefits of membership. The Center for Wooden Boats encourages members to contribute to Shavings. Text for articles can be sent either in the body of an email message or as a Microsoft Word file (or delivered on a disk). Photos can be sent in the mail or as email attachments in jpg or tif format, minimum 300 dpi. Photos need captions (naming people and places) and photo credits. Phone Shavings Editor Dick Wagner at 206.382.2628 to discuss your ideas or send email to



Dick Wagner, Founding Director Betsy Davis, Executive Director

Festival Shavings Contributors Jake Beattie

Charlie Moore

Chas Dowd can find character in the hair of a dog and from that concoct the most delightful and enlightening shaggy dog stories.

Wayne Palsson is a Board Member for Northwest Seaport and a professional fisheries scientist. He has worked on all sizes and types of vessels from a 16’ submersible to 800’ fishing and research ships. His recent focus has been on preserving the Wawona and the other historic ships in the Northwest Seaport collection.

Eric Sorensen is the Mistral steward and boating columnist for the Seattle Times. Jeff Douthwaite. Skipper of Luard, a 1945 wooden 37’ ex troller. Yes complete, with small leaks, of course. Melissa Koch is an artist who is devoted to supporting the crafts of the Pacific Northwest native people. Rich Kolin is a master boat builder and he teaches at CWB, NW School of Wooden Boatbuilding and the Wooden Boat School. Mary Loken

Larry Roth - photographs. Heron Scott is CWB’s lead Boatwright and runs the boatshop. He’s a graduate of NW School of Boatbuilding and apprenticed on the restoration of skipjacks at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

Colleen Wagner is the co-founder of the Center for Wooden Boats and founder of Discovery Modelers. Not bad for a kid from a Montana wheat ranch. Dick Wagner is addicted to wooden boats and the people involved with boats. There is no hope that he will ever stop writing about them. John M. Watkins Larry Westlake


Terry Scott Philip Thiel

Special THANKS to our Festival Sponsors!

Port Townsend Foundry




News from South Lake Union B Y

Back in 1980 the Center for Wooden Boats was charmed by Mayor Charley Royer and Parks Superintendent Walter Hundley into applying for Waterway 4 as our home base. How could we resist this opportunity to occupy the most abused waterfront site on Lake Union? You don’t know what 100 years of wear and tear as a sawmill and then asphalt plant can do to a property unless you saw Waterway 4 before we moved in. Not even noxious weeds were growing there. After rain there would be standing water. The cleaning of the asphalt trucks on the site left a clumpy membrane under the surface of oil, grit, grime and gravel. In summer heat spells, the asphalt would bubble to the top. “Do you really think you can do something to this” was the query from a donor who was a model of precision planning and management. He had already decided to fund our Boat Shop before he saw our future location. “Of course the site looks rough” I replied, “but we will dig up the asphalt, add topsoil and plant grass and trees”. I said that, dipping into my reservoir of faith and with fingers crossed. To the south and east were early 1900’s vernacular warehouses and a concrete plant topped with a perpetual mushroom cloud of sand and limestone dust. Immediately east, between Waterway 4 & 5 was the Henry Pier. This was the elephants graveyard of surplus military and older vessels hoping to become fishing and crabbing Highliners. Springtime brought the fire trucks to squelch the flames



when the hopeful owners came forth with a welding and steel cutting torches to get their boats ready for the BIG season. Otherwise all was quiet at the Henry Pier, with an environment of scrap wood shacks for ship work, puddles of diesel, lubricating and hydraulic oil, rusty steel cables, rotting nets and relic engine parts. In May, 1983 we received our use permit, towed in our floating Boat Shop, a 100’ float



and 10 restored traditional boats. For the first time since 1976 when we began planning CWB, we had our livery and workshops in one location. With grants from The Seattle Foundation and donations from Board members and Committee of 33 we were ready to break through the crust of asphalt and plant the grass and trees Getting topsoil was one of our memorable triumphs against all odds. I called the topsoil

operators listed in the phone book and asked for donations. They all laughed. Next I began to chase dump trucks with construction excavation soil, but I soon realized their free dirt was barren sand and clay. Out of desperation or boredom, I flipped through the Yellow Pages again – under “C” and I found cemeteries. Well, why not? They do dig dirt, don’t they? I called the nearest one, Mount Pleasant on Queen Anne hill, just above the north end of Lake Union. They said,”We’ll send a truck load right now.” Besides the coup of getting the good stuff free, Mount Pleasant is one of the oldest cemeteries in Seattle. Walk through and read the headstones of Seattle’s founding families. CWB’s dirt is our enduring link to our city’s birth. From the day we decided to apply for Waterway 4, we were planning a bigger, more comprehensive maritime heritage operation at South Lake Union. Our mole at the Naval Reserve Base, just west of us, tipped us off that the base would close in the near future. In the fall of 1983 we gathered the leaders of Seattle’s maritime heritage organizations around the wood stove in our Boatshop. We discussed the potential of the Naval Reserve Base as the future Maritime Heritage Center. It’s been an uphill climb for CWB and the other heritage groups. Even though the Reserve Center became a city park with heritage theme in 2000, we still don’t have all the diverse, rich and colorful elements of maritime culture connected to the park and each other. But triumph against all odds is not unheard of at South Lake Union.

Dick Wagner Recognized by AKCHO seaton’s photo of Dick accepting award

Students from Seattle Central Community College’s Wood Construction Center are building adf ;klja

Dick Wagner accepts AKCHO award ...

New ! Text about the new brochures for exploring CWB and SLU Park .......



News from Cama Beach Open the Store! B Y





Camano Island made a 180 degree tack since 1991 when I was sent by State Parks to check out Cama Beach’s potential as an on-water activities park. Not a compass tack but an intellectual tack. In the beginning of CWB’s connection the interior was forest and range land for sheep and horses. The perimeter was ringed with modest cabins averaging 70 years old for summer use. The population was 6000, quiet, homebody people. Today the ranches have morphed to trophy estates and the seaside cabins have been replaced by year round homes with picture windows and 3 car garages. The population now is 13,000 and they look beyond their property lines. The intellectual changes reflect the physical changes. The Camano Island population was invigorated by a wave of settlers who are cultish about preserving its natural and cultural resources. Through the new settlers the Stanwood-Camano Historical Society restored an historic fraternal lodge as an active public gathering place for their programs. CWB presented a session on maritime heritage of the region in the historic hall. The community also raised funds to purchase and preserve a heron rookery. The community used their voices to preserve and restore the island’s only salmon stream and to acquire and preserve the delta of the Stillaguamish River. The Camano folk are national leaders in restoring their backyards as native plant and animal habitats. Back in 1991 there were no schools on Camano. Now there are two spanking new elementary schools. CWB’s Board thought Cama Beach was an opportunity we couldn’t afford to miss back then. Today there is a community which can’t wait to get involved with the programs of CWB at Cama. The schools will wrap their learning goals around CWB’s resources. Visiting grandchildren will be brought down to CWB to have a ride in a traditional boat or get-enrolled in a sailing program. State Parks calls us their Enduring Partners, contributing our dynamic educational programs to the park. We have been partners from day one in the planning the facilities of the park and will continue as partners in planning the park’s programs. As a partner we will also share in coordinating and marketing the programs at Cama, interpreting the site and building and providing site security. The Parks staff will maximize the features of Cama Beach and minimize salaries of CWB.

Mother’s Day Sail 2006 at Camano Island State Park B Y





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The cabins, dining hall and conference building at Cama will allow CWB to do a lot of things we can’t on Lake Union. We can host conferences in the off season and participate with conferences that Parks sponsors by offering our boats and shop skills instruction for break-out sessions. Our sailing instruction and skills programs will be popular because of the cabins and dining facilities. Folks from the east coast Ivy League strip will make reservations as soon as we advertise opening day. They look for educational vacation destinations. Other special events we can offer only at Cama are canoe tours of the Stillaguamish and Skagit River deltas during migration times. The Auduboners consider those sites living heaven. We can offer an annual wooden boat fishing derby during the fall – blackmouth run. We can host the teenager maritime historic skills event – Pacific Challenge. We can host annual meets of Wooden Canoes. We can participate in the spring time Grey Whale arrival. We can operate a launch between Camano Island and Cama Beach State Parks, give historic boat tours of the 16 other waterfront resort sites on the West side of Camano. We can offer youth maritime ecology programs in which the students monitor their own site on Saratoga Passage using CWB’s historically significant boats. There are a lot of folk, who will find good reasons to visit CWB/Cama year-round because of the site’s long and complex history, the historic buildings, the attractive environment of forest and beach and CWB’s fun, adventurous and educational programs. When the store opens there will be a swarm arriving like desert travelers spotting an oasis.



H a i d a

C a n o e

Kayak Rentals on Lake Union Sales, Classes, Rentals 10am - 8pm Mon-Fri 9am - 6pm Sat & Sun Call 206.281.9694 for reservations or a catalog of Classes/Tours or Retail Items Northwest Outdoor Center Inc. 2100 Westlake Ave. N., Ste #1 Seattle, WA 98109 Your Everyday, On-the-Water Kayak Shop Paddle 30+ different models from our docks!



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C o l l e c t i o n

Update from the Boatshop B Y





3801 Latona Avenue N.E. Seattle, Washington 98105 206.632.2129



Northwest Seaport and It’s Historic Fleet B Y





Northwest Seaport displays four of its five vessels around the wharfs and shores of South Lake Union Park. These include the 1889 tugboat Arthur Foss, the 1897 schooner Wawona, the 1904 Lightship No. 83, currently labeled “Swiftsure”, and the 1933 troller Twilight. Each vessel has a significant history and tells a story of the Northwest’s past and how our economy depended on the water bounty and waterways for transportation. For over forty years Northwest Seaport has maintained a presence on the Seattle waterfront, completing preservation and restoration, conducting public programs, and providing opportunities for citizens to experience the ships first hand. The stories the ships represent are more real when you hear them while standing on a deck that is over 100 years old. Northwest Seaport’s mission is to preserve this ability for many generations to come. The schooner Wawona was built in northern California for the coastal lumber trade: carrying the green gold of trees from Washington to California and points south and west. She carried lumber on deck and in her holds from 1897 to 1913 and then was converted to a fishing vessel and braved the brutal Bering Sea for 29 seasons interrupted by WWII when she was an army barge carrying lumber to Boeing’s needy military aircraft manufacturing plant. After retiring in 1947, she has transitioned into a heritage ship, telling the Northwest’s story to young and old. Deterioration has overcome the stabilization and preservation projects that have been conducted on the Wawona. Last December, Northwest Seaport hosted the Wawona Summit where experts in heritage vessels and maritime heritage were drawn from across the nation and locally to identify future options for the vessel. The main recommendation was to implement important short-term actions to protect the vessel and the public and then to preserve the vessel on shore and undercover until a permanent venue and plan can be developed for her longterm future. That might include full restoration, keeping her on shore as a museum, or breaking the vessel apart and displaying the most intact pieces onshore. Northwest Seaport is working with maritime heritage partners and the City of Seattle to implement these recommendations. The Tugboat Arthur Foss is interwoven in the fabric of the Northwest’s History and is one of Washington’s 13 National Historic Landmarks. Built in 1889 as a steam tug on the Willamette, she towed ships across the Columbia River bar during her early history and then took up towing logs around Puget Sound when purchased by the Foss Tugboat Company. She was Tugboat Annie’s tugboat in the film by that name and was converted to a Washington diesel engine after a damaging fire. The Arthur was one of two Foss tugs at Wake Island just before the invasion by the Japanese during WWII. She escaped and towed her barges back to Hawaii. Coming back to the Northwest, she was a working tug until 1970. She came to Northwest Seaport and has had a cruising career for some time. Now she is undergoing various preservation efforts including the refurbishing of most of her main deck, refinishing her outer house, and the restoration of her engine. Students can enroll in classes to work the engine and learn about the workings of diesel engines under the tutelage of Adrian Lipp, our engine specialist. The big red boat is the Lightship No. 83 and is another National Historic Landmark. Presently named “Swiftsure” one of her last assignments, the No. 83 is a floating lighthouse that was one of only five that warned mariners of offshore hazards from California to Washington. She was built in New Jersey in 1904 and is the only lightship that retains her original compound steam engine of the dozen or so remaining lightships in the United States. She has saved many ships from running aground and is credited with saving 155 people who were shipwrecked when the steamer Bear ran aground off Cape Mendocino. Her houses and decks are in poor condition now but will soon be refurbished after Northwest Seaport executes a Department of Transportation TEA-21 Grant during the next few months. Sometimes moored alongside Lightship No. 83 is the small fishing troller Twilight. She fished from the 1930’s to the 1960s around Washington by trailing many hooks and lines to catch fresh king and coho salmon. This boat is an excellent example of an almost bygone fleet and fishery that was a mainstay along the Pacific coast. Volunteers at Northwest Seaport have refurbished the decks and hull of the Twilight and are continuing to restore the original fishing hardware and equipment. Northwest Seaport has another wooden boat, the halibut schooner Yakutat that is moored in Deer Harbor, Orcas Island. Recently acquired in the collection, this 1913 schooner is an excellent example of strongly built fishing vessels that targeted halibut off the US and Canadian coast. Northwest Seaport is refurbishing this boat and will use it for at sea educational programming. Much thanks for the ship’s still being here is owed to the hard work of the many Northwest Seaport volunteers, paid staff, and board members that have helped make this possible, and to the many private and corporate donors that support the work. A little bit of work from a lot of people coupled with a few very dedicated folks has been a successful combination. Many volunteer opportunities exist at Northwest Seaport. If you would like to help keep these ships here for all to experience you may want to consider being a docent, writing a grant, or helping with preservation work. Northwest Seaport is also expanding its school tours, is developing young adult training opportunities, and conducts many other great activities, such as the Maritime Concert Series and Chantey sings. The programs are fun, the work is gratifying, and the people are great to be around (they’re all boat people, after all), so come and join us!



Why sail wooden boats? B Why wood? We live in a world of mass-produced, disposable items, a world of virtual things that have no existence in real time or real space, a world of paper empires and electronic marvels. Contrast a wooden boat to this: Trees grow from the soil and reach up toward the sun, and their wood is shaped by that hand of a person according to their notion of what is beautiful and what is right. A wooden boat isn’t better than something popped out of a mold because it is more efficient. Perhaps it isn’t better at all. The point is, it means something different. We like wooden boats not just because of what they are, but because of how they make us feel. It’s a bit like how we relate to people. My love affair with wooden boats started in Maine. We had been sailing when we lived in northern France, in a land sailer that looked like a wood-framed buggy with a cotton sail, so my love affair with sailing started when I was four. We moved to Maine when I was five. When I was eight, my father bought our first boat, a MerryMac built by Ned McIntosh. She was a 13½-foot plywood catboat, simple, stable, and forgiving. We named her the Blue Heron. My father bought sailing lessons from the previous owner with the boat. He joined the Kittery Point Yacht Club, which had only one physical asset, a small, ugly dinghy members could use to row out to their moored boats. You would then sail back to the dock to drop it off for the other members to use. Soon we were in our first race. I dropped the bailing bucket overboard before the start, and when we went back to get it, the wind quit as the fog rolled in. After that, the conversation went something like this: “Dad?” “Shhh.” “Dad?” “Quiet, I’m racing!” “Dad, that lobster pot just passed us.” Eventually the fog lifted and the land appeared from an entirely unexpected location. The wind increased enough so that we could stem the current. We could see the startfinish line, and the leaders approaching it in




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brilliant sunshine on water lightly rippled by the wind. I was hooked. My own first boat wasn’t a sailboat. My father was an Air Force navigator. He flew into Thailand when we were stationed on Okinawa, and toured a boatyard when he was there. One of the stock boats was an eightfoot sampoa, a paddle boat made with three planks cleverly shaped to produce a graceful and efficient hull. It was made of camphor wood, hammered together with steel nails and sealed with pitch. It weighed about 20 pounds. With a 100-pound 14-year-old boy in it, the boat had about four inches of freeboard, mainly provided by the coaming. I can still smell the camphor wood when I think of that boat. I remember one day while we were living on Okinawa telling my mother I would paddle down the beach a couple miles and meet her at the next town. I had thought to go between an island and the shore, but on arriving at the “island” found that it was a headland I would have to paddle around. Soon I found myself close to a sheer cliff, paddling a boat intended for the quiet waters of the Thai canals. The wind was blowing on shore and the water got choppy where the waves hit the cliff and were reflected back. In those short, sharp seas, as a wave moved along the boat its crest would overtop both sides of the boat. I realized I could find myself swamped and pushed against the cliff. Following established maritime custom, I cursed and prayed and bent the paddle in my efforts to get far enough from the cliff that the waves would be longer. I got to where the waves weren’t slopping over the sides, then found a little beach where I could dump out the water that had reduced my freeboard to about two inches. Eventually I got to the fishing village where my mother was sketching the scene. I didn’t worry her with an account of my trip. I did learn that good seamanship consists not so much of the ability to get out of bad situations as it does of having the sense not to get in them. People talk about kids’ self esteem. Some think this means liking yourself. It doesn’t. It consists of knowing you can do things.



Helping my dad build a rowboat, making trips in my sampoa, sailing a dinghy out of sight of land on the East China Sea, all gave me confidence. It seems to me that I have always had an unwavering and unreasonable belief that I was good at sailing. If this was not immediately John is a regular skipper of CWB’s free public sails on Sunday evident, that was be-afternoons. cause there was just something I didn’t yet know. Once I learned Wooden Boats. whatever it was, it would become evident that One of the joys of the Center for Wooden I was good at sailing. Eventually I was. My Boats is the opportunity to use boats of the father and I came to agree that he could be sort you would normally only see pictures the captain if I could be the sailing master. of in books. For those of us addicted to He is a more practical man than I, so his last the romance of sail, this has given CWB a two boats were glass. I never mastered prac- distinctive place in the world that no other ticality and instead have owned a sharpie, a organization I can think of has tried to ocswampscot dory, a second sampoa, a Yankee cupy. To rent out boats is one thing; any One Design and a Snipe, all made of wood. number of commercial enterprises have done Some were types of boats most people had so. To rent out museum exhibits is quixotic never heard of. to say the least. Those of us who have owned a series of I think it is that very impracticality that wooden boats have all at some point said attracts volunteers determined to protect and “never again,” or perhaps even “next time, nurture the organization. Paradoxically, this Tupperware.” And we have all been seduced has given the organization greater strength again by some beauty made of wood. A than any outfit renting rubber duckies. wooden boat engages you in a way a glass The best thing about this alliance of one never will. Like a small child or an ag- wooden boat enthusiasts is that you can ing parent, its very survival depends on your contribute to it what you are best at. I like willingness to care for it, and like a living introducing people to the joy of sailing, so I thing it has been created. A wooden boat teach sailing and take out people on our free can fill your heart or break it, cause you to public sails. Some people like to man the spend your money in completely impractical nerve center of the organization and be the ways and monopolize your time and atten- contact person at the front desk, or be the tion. Like any boat, they can make you the person who organizes others. Some prefer possessor of a small fortune, provided you the pleasure of craftsmanship; boats are the start with a large one. We know in our hearts ultimate wood project, without a square it’s worth it, but is it wise? If we are not to corner on them. A psychologist once told loose our treasure, our minds and our lives to me that for happiness, we need someone or such a relationship, we must band together something to love, someone or something with others for support, advice and commis- to hate, and something to belong to. CWB eration. Thus the creation of the Center for has never declared war on anyone, so when it comes to hate, you’re on you’re own. Aside from that, it’s a great help to happiness.



Swift, a great small sailboat with a hefty pedigree B R









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Swift is the latest iteration of a project that started with the design and building of the 9’ sailing boat, “Scout”, which was inspired by the Columbia Lifeboat Model designed by Nathaniel Herreshoff. I first heard of the Columbia Lifeboat Model when I read L. Francis Herreshoff’s book, The Common Sense of Yacht Design. In the early 1970’s, I was a budding boat builder/designer of traditional small craft and it was inevitable that I try to learn as much as I could about Captain Nate Herreshoff, designer and builder of many of the great sailing yachts built during the golden age of yachting. His son, L. Francis was a noted designer in his own right and his opinions and insight are invaluable to any student of small craft. In Common Sense of Yacht Design, L. Francis describes how Nathaniel and his brother John developed their yacht tenders over the second half of the 19th and early 20th Century. John was the boatbuilder and Nathaniel was a MIT trained designer. Their early yacht tenders were fashioned after the Whitehall Boats, which were used as water taxis in all of the major harbors in the country in the last half of the 19th century. The Whitehall Boats were a major design influence on small craft, characterized by a straight keel, moderate dead rise, a plumb stem and transom, and a wineglass transom. The Herreshoffs improved on this design with the Coquina Model which added rocker to the keel, rake to the stern, and rounded out the shape of the transom. The final iteration was the Columbia lifeboat model, which was designed as the tender for the America’s Cup defender, Columbia. This design added the curved stem reminiscent of the surfing lifeboats in common use in every life saving station along the cost until the early 20th Century. This stem shape is descended from the New Bedford Whaleboats, which rates along with the Whitehall Boat as a primary small craft design model. This final design was a fast, seaworthy sailing and rowing boat and added the ability to tow. I was impressed by the abilities of this type and sought further information about it. I discovered that The Hart Museum at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was the repository of the records of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company. The curator at that time, c. 1976, William A. Baker, was kind enough to send me copies of some of the construction plans of the various models and their construction details. The drawings were a marvel and I knew that someday I would like to experience what these boats were like. In the early 1990’s I worked out a set of lines for a 9’ yacht tender which I called “Scout”. This boat was based on a boat that was designed in 1909 and the finished boat was everything that was advertised. She was launched in winds of 25-30 knots and stood up and tore through the water with ease and an amazing composure. After two seasons of use, I sold the Scout and built a stretched version of this boat. I felt that Scout was too small for full size adults and I hoped to add displacement and waterline without compromising her abilities as a portable boat. The result was “Ranger”, an 11’ boat with a 4’ beam. The raked transom of the original Herreshoff design was reduced which added displacement aft of center, which helped balance crew weight. The boat was built of western red cedar on white oak and Honduras mahogany, and is cat rigged, as was Scout. She weighs 85 pounds and is easily car topped or stowed in a pickup or SUV. I have built three of these boats in classes that I taught for the Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) in Seattle, Wa, and all have proved to be amazing little boats. Dick Wagner, the Founding Director of the CWB, and I were discussing the attributes of “Ranger” and the possibility of incorporating it’s characteristics into a larger, sloop rigged boat to be used as a sail trainer at the CWB. I drafted a set of lines and built the Swift as project in a CWB class. The boat is 13’ long by 4’ 8”, is carvel planked of western red cedar, and weighed 160 lbs dry. In order to develop a complete a set of plans, The Traditional Small Craft Association gave the CWB a grant to draw up the plans which will be available to the public through it’s small craft plans collection. Plans for the Swift and information about boat building classes are available from the CWB, Attention: Boat Plans, 1010 Valley Street, Seattle, Wa. For more information about plans for “Scout” or “Ranger” or anything else, contact Rich Kolin at or 4107 77th Pl NW, Marysville, Wa 98271. Suggested reading: The Boatbuilders of Bristol, The Story of the Amazing Herreshoff Family of Rhode Island ? Inventors, Individualists, Yacht Designers, and America’s Cup Defenders, Samuel Carter III, Doubleday & Company, Inc. Garden City, New York, 1970. 2. The Common Sense of Yacht Design, L. Francis Herreshoff, Caravan – Maritime Books, Jamaica, New York, 1973.

10-1/2 foot sailboat, Rich Kolin design based on Nathanial Herreshoff Columbia lifeboat model. 90 lbs, 4 foot beam, two part mast, kickup rudder, spruce oars, carved nameboard (ranger). Fast under sail or oars, cedar on oar with Honduras Mahogany. $3800 360-659-5591












Welcome Aboard! We invite you to navigate through our website and drop anchor to discover the many ways we can be of service to you. Heres what you will find on our website: • Home Port • Map and Directions • Boatyard & Regulations • Navy Building • Boat Brokerage • Haul-out and Repair • Storage • About Us 419 Jackson St. Pt. Townsend, WA 98368 (800) 952-6962



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HVALSOE D E S I G N Boat Design/Construction Renovation/Repair Residential Woodwork Eric D. Hvalsoe 104 NW 189th Street Shoreline WA 98177 T/F (206) 533-9138



Mermaid B Reprinted by permission from Wood and water, Spring 2005.

In the winter of 2001 a major storm caught a tug towing over a million cubic feet of hardwood logs in the middle of Georgia Strait, and tore the boom to shreds. The low pressure system of the storm raised sea levels several feet, and high tides combined with onshore winds of over 40 mph sent loose individual hardwood logs and huge cabledtogether bundles crashing into beaches, seaside, homes, and wharves along a 15-mile stretch of the Sunshine Coast, scouring the shore far above normal high-water and doing extensive damage to property of all kinds. Some waterfront houses had their seaward lawns and decks battered and swept away, and a few ended up with logs in their living rooms. Among the victims of this combined assault was a small wooden pram dinghy. I first saw it as I was surveying the havoc the morning after the logs came ashore. The wind and seas were still high, and the dinghy’s green paint and once smoothly rounded sides appeared and disappeared intermittently in the mangling, chewing crush of logs thrashing in the surf. I could see that it had been a pretty boat, but there was no way to get to it, and it was already too late to save it anyway. The next day, with winds down and the sun shining brightly, I walked the beach, clambering over logs, steel dabbles, and jetsam, looking for chunks of the dinghy. When I see the remains of a wooden boat cast ashore, I always feel a conflict between sadness and intense curiosity, like I would if I’d found, say, a dead mermaid. Despite regrets about the demise of a thing of beauty, I usually enjoy the autopsy, and this instance




was no different. I gathered up the transoms, knees, several big sections of planking and ribs, a notched keelson, a nearly whole sheer strake, an oarlock chock on a fractured gunwale, a thwart, and several smaller shattered chunks, and made of them a cairn above the high water mark before taking notes. You can see a lot of things about a boat when it is torn to shreds, that you can’t know for sure when it is still together and under several layers of paint. It’s fun to try to decide whether a boat was built by an amateur or by a professional, and how old it might be. This one had several interesting features. The thwarts were braced with nicely shaped knees cast of zinc, an odd choice to say the least, given the trouble it would be to mold them, the weight they add to a boat that was otherwise fairly lightly built, and the design peculiarity of making a structural component into a sacrificial anode. They were heavily corroded and deeply pocked, and why there were not made of wood, I cannot imagine. There was a keelson notched over the ribs and crudely spiked to the keel plank for no apparent reason – perhaps it was to brace a weak spot, because it was a late add-on, not up to the workmanship of the rest of the boat. The transoms had been glued-up out of 6” boards witout splines or dowels, and were held together now only by bolts to their reinforcing knees. The fastenings were clenched galvanized iron boat-nails, and ¼” galvanized carriage bolts held the transoms, backbone, and reinforcing knees together. The planking was only 3/8” red cedar, thinner than is usually recommended for carvel planking, and laid in quite narrow strakes – not\ne but the sheer strake was over 3 ¼” wide.

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There was a slight outgage cut on the plank edges to create a seam that was tight inside and open about 3/32 outside, puttied but not caulked. Perhaps the edge of the plank was bruised down before hanging it, and clamped tight against its neighbor so that the bruises would swell the boat tight after launching. Maybe that scheme worked at first, but the boat had been glassed over at some time in its life. The ploanks were fastened very closely to the edges, only ¼” from the seam, but surprisingly few planks had split their edges off. Several had split through the middle, and been held shut with additional clench nails. The ½” X 1” bent oak ribs were moderately spaced, 4 to 4 ½” apart. There was no rabbet on the keel, it was just a plank thicker than the rest, and the ribs ran flush across the top of it and the planking. The boat had looked pretty enough when I saw it being chewed to pieces, and the transoms in the bone—pile were so shapely, that I drew up lines of the thing from these and memory, and filled out the structural details from the autopsy. Most of the individual compoents are dimensionally accurate, since I had many of them in a pile for convenient

measurement, and the structural detail is correct. I had no completely intact components that I could deduce exact length and bema from, and no measurements of the boat whole, so the lines should be considered as a sketch of the original. However, I have a fine arts background and can paint recognizable portraits of both humans and boats, so it was no trouble to get the plan to look the way I remembered the boat shape looking. I like the veed ends much more than the ewed ends of LFH’s pram. When it was all drawn out, it seemed familiar, and a quick check with Howard Chapelle’s “Boatbuilding” confirmed that it bore a strong resemblance to the pram on page 466, but 15% smaller. If I was building it, there are things I would do differently with the construction, but since this article is intended more as a requiem than as an engrance evaluation for boat heaven, we will not dwell on the faults of the dear departed. I present it as it was, but is no more. Perhaps, like the “Mary-Ellen Carter” in Stan Rogers’ song, or like a soggy phoenix, it will rise again.

Three Advantages of a Leaky Bottom B Y







‘Tis not always recognized, but there are some advantages from having a leaky bottom.. I can think of several. (from small leaks, that is). First, is that the salt water constantly coming in and being pumped out will retard the rotting process. Salt water is well known as a rot retardant. Second, and even better, is the safety factor, especially with a boat having a gasoline engine; there is inevitably some spillage of gas into the bilge, and a leaking hull is periodically being pumped out. This provides a continuing flushing and cleansing action which clears out the gas as well as the water. Thus, a (small) leak is a valuable safety factor! I am thinking of going into business. For a very small fee I will personally guarantee a continual flushing of your boat with nice fresh or salt water which will retard the rot and reduce the probability of an explosion. The only tool I need is a small waterproof electric drill. Maybe after I explain this to the insurance companies they will reduce your premiums too. If so, that makes three advantages. For the above reasons even a fresh water leak is probably better than none. And yes, in my LUARD I have a second automatic electric pump always at the ready. Hard wired in there with no manual switches or fuses between it and the ship’s main battery, i.e., no one can inadvertently turn it off. Bertha, my first pump has been remarkably reliable. That may even be a fourth advantage; frequent exercise of the bilge pump with fresh clean bilge water may enhance her longevity. I almost forgot the most obvious advantage of all; getting all the leaks out of there is expensive. Thus a leaky boat is doubtless more economical in the long run. That makes five advantages. But knowing how terribly conservative and unimaginative, (not to mention downright dull), is the insurance industry, I doubt that they will understand. So I will settle for only three advantages. Q.E.D.

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It’s hard to comprehend the wooden boat thing, the fascination with so much varnish, sawdust and weird words, if you’re just walking the docks. You can try, and most visitors to the Center for Wooden Boats give it a game effort, but the effort often stops at the water’s edge. Funny thing is, most of the boats in the Center’s extensive collection actually float. With the right combination of oar or sail, they even move. This may be the most pleasant surprise of the Center. Most fun of all, the Center serves this surprise up regularly in Sunday public sales, livery rentals, festival rides and the occasional query, sometimes to a complete stranger, of, “Hey, want to go for a sail?” Mistral, the 31-foot Ben Seaborn sloop, has been happily in the service of such serendipity since being donated to the Center last year. She has taken several come-as-you are crews through the Duck Dodge, pulled



some slack on Sunday sails and treated all sorts of guests to pick-up rides off the dock whenever, chancing by as the skipper prepared to shove off. Crystal, a University of Washington staffer, had never been on a sailboat until last summer when she wandered down to the docks and caught a two-hour Lake Union cruise. The Center attracts lots of people in the summer. If you like to loiter around the docks, an activity that is openly encouraged, you start to see a recurring pattern among those dropping in to walk the planks. They tend to travel in groups. They’re often locals, drawn by the Center’s local reputation as a Seattle institution. Or they’re out-of-towners, drawn by the Center’s national reputation as a hub of wooden-boat preservation and general obsession. But quite often they’re a mix, with one particularly eager member of the party leading three or four others who are relatively new to the wooden boat world.



Sometime around the middle of last summer, on one of those velvet evenings right before sundown, a family of four from Chicago wandered by in just such a mode. They were clearly following Dad, who was all excited after reading about the Center. I think it might have been in Chris Solomon’s travel piece in the Sunday New York Times. Dad’s excitement notwithstanding, the boy and girl wore the look of two kids being dragged along. They were pleasant enough, though, so I arranged to meet them the next night for a sail, wind willing. Willing it was. We parked Mom on the house, the kids in the cockpit and had Dad stand on the afterdeck holding the main sheet. The wind was in the upper teens, where the Beaufort scale starts talking about wavelets and whitecaps. Mistral, of the full, fat keel, loves this stuff and chases after it like a dog after a squirrel.

Yes! I Want to become a Member of CWB! Remember, it’s tax deductible! Our Mission: To provide a community center where maritime history comes alive and our small craft heritage is preserved and passed along to future generations. CWB offers an opportunity to experience the dimensions of an earlier time, to put your hands on the oars of a graceful pulling boat or the tiller of a traditional wooden catboat. Your membership plays an important role in helping us offer these experiences to everyone in our community. In exchange, we offer you discounts on livery rates and workshop fees, a 10% discount on CWB merchandise, discounts at several Seattle-area stores, our monthly newsletters, and library borrowing privileges. Name ___________________________________________________________Date _________________________

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She heels hard, sets the rail just above the waterline, and canters away with a steady, firm gait. The heel had Dad straddling the afterdeck, wedging his foot below the toe rail, clutching the mainsheet like the reins of a hell-bound stagecoach. Every few minutes he would make the following sound: “Whaow-uh,” which said quickly enough translates as, “Wow.” The kids uttered unexpected lines like, “this is cool.” I asked if they were being sarcastic. They weren’t. Mom was just glad to be part of this great organization. It was a good night to be out on Lake Union. You might get the same thrill on a Six Flags roller coaster or a Harley or, yes, even a big plastic sailboat. But this was on a museum piece, and guests on the Mistral get a fleeting glimpse of what it meant for Ben Seaborn’s genius to pencil out such a fast form, and how the Blanchard boat yard built it to last 67 years, and what it might have been like when a Mistral skipper like Bill Baillargeon rode her to victory in the Swiftsure Yacht Race. There are surprising stories in these boats. The Center has a lot of them to tell. And row. And sail.

My View of The Center B






Words can’t say how thrilled I was recently to get a note from Dick Wagner. Dick is too modest to tell you this, but in the early days I saw him make some major sacrifices in his efforts to save our lake and our history, and I’ve always considered him to be one of the people I would like to resemble. Of course, it’s not just Dick, it’s everyone who’s been involved with CWB, but I’ve seen a lot of efforts come and go because there was nobody like Dick Wagner involved. And the CWB is about a lot more than wood boats. I used to be waist-deep in wood boats, and, to be honest, you can learn pretty much all you need to know about wood boats by building a few models. Models won’t teach you how to sail or row, but if you didn’t have access to the lake, or if it was too polluted to venture out on, a wood boat wouldn’t teach you that either. And that’s how Lake Union was in 1970, when I moved there and met Dick. The street ends had been appropriated by businesses, the city policy was to get rid of the houseboats, there were no parks, the lake was often covered with oil, and I actually watched a man die from swimming into a loose power cable. Wood boats were piled on the shore, a dime a dozen because nobody cared much to use them. So that’s a long road a’winding, with the community members reclaiming the streetends, the houseboaters building a new community, everyone in the city supporting clean water and shoreline management, and everyone, really, motivated by the romance of a wooden boat, or ducks and ducklings, or a fresh breeze and a bit of a thrash to windward. Somehow, the CWB became a sort of ‘lead agency’ in going beyond even this miraculous transformation. Somehow, the dream of messing about in boats, as Mr. Toad would say, became the dream of children learning how to build and sail boats, of the best parts of our history coming alive again, because, by ‘children’, I mean all of us. We’re all children when we open a history book we haven’t read, or pick up a tool we haven’t used. Lord knows we’re children compared with the greybeard boats we pass from generation to generation. Even all of this might not mean much to me now, as for the past 15 years I’ve spent a lot of time dealing with disability, and the big questions about life seems to change if you spend your days surrounded by people with real problems. But, lo and behold!, the CWB actually DOES stuff to deal with disabilities- to be honest, more than some of the “professionals” I deal with in a nursing home. Somebody donated a large--about 36” long- sailboat model to Martha and Mary, a nursing home I visit regularly. They’ve mounted it on a shelf in the dining room. I can’t believe how well this works -- almost everyone can see it at meals, it takes no maintenance from the staff, and, unlike a television, it makes you feel good every time you look at it and never makes you want to turn it off. One of my few pleasures now is to grow, by my standards, a lot of trees. One thing I’ve learned from this is that you really need a lot of trees. A tree might grow for 20 years and then a beetle will eat it, or a storm will blow it down. So, when it comes to trees, there’s safety in numbers, and you should have different kinds, so one pest won’t wipe out all of them. When you have a lot of different kinds you get more than just the trees, you get squirrels and deer and butterflies and shade, and it all adds up to a lot more than just how many trees there are. That’s why CWB is getting this love letter from me- you guys are “a lot of trees”- and like I said, we need a lot of trees. I don’t need to tell you how grand it feels to shape wood, but I do need to tell you how much it means to us when you bail those boats in the winter. And part of why I’m saying it is to persuade anyone who’s bashful or new to the game to step forward and get involved somehow. It’s all important and you’ll never regret it. Terry Scott was born in Seattle before the Viaduct was built, and lived on Lake Union from 1970 to 1987. Now semi-retired on the banks of the Tahuya, he looks back on a varied career as a baker, flour miller, woodworker, nurse, advocate for the disabled, and general Gadfly About Town, and hopes to complete his appointed span without absent-mindedly chopping off a finger or toe.


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To the Ipswich Station B






My father’s business as a marine freight forwarder occasionally took him to the piers on the Brooklyn and Staten Island waterfronts, and sometimes on a Saturday I would accompany him. My memories of these visits are of dark cavernous sheds looming with mountains of sorted bales of raw rubber, sacks of castor and cocoa beans, and cases of tea, fragrant wth sarp foreign odors and trepidatious underfoot with rough wooden planks. Visible close-up through the large shed doors were the rust-streaked salt-stained sides of the deept-sea freighters. Outside on the stringpiece between the shed and the ship was the swaying gangway by which we ascended to the deck. There, in those casual tort-free days I would roam through the clutter of stacked hatch covers and watch the stevedores loading slings in the depths of the holds to the accompaniment of the syncopated clatter of the leaky steam winches. Occasional visits to my Aunt’s in Staten Island involved ferry rides from Brooklyn across the Narrows, in wooden side-wheel paddle-boats powered by “walking beam” engines. These impressive machines were visible in the space bwtween the team gangways (whose wooden decks were redolent of horse urine), and the ballet of the elaborate engine-starting procedures were open to view by all. Thus came about my lifelong interest in ships and shipbuilding. Later, while we were living at my aunt’s house on Staten Island my father arranged for me to spend Saturdays on the Dalzell steam tugs, mostly servicing tankers on the Kill Van Kull, the narrow waterway between the north shore of Staten Island and New Jersey. The DALZELLACE, DALZELLANCE, DALZELLAIRD, and DALZELLEA were WW I wooden Shipping Board boats with coal-fired Scotch boilers and condensing compound steam engines; and the JOHN J. TIMMESN, a smaller and older vessel which had a singular non-condensing “steeple” compound engine (and whose engineer, I remember, was for some reason in a continual rage at the captain). Usually I would meet the tug early in the morning at some pier in St George, Staten Island (by arrangements mady by myfather with the dispatcher) , and spend most of the day aboard it along the Kill Van Kull, as the tug assisted with the movements of the many tankers on that waterway. Once we made a trip across the harbor to Red Hook, in Brooklyn. The professional skill of the crews was spectacular. Coming alongside a huge moving tanker to put the skipper aboard to direct the docking required the use of a long wooden ladder steadied by the deckhand and was no mean feat, but these men could handle their several hundred tons of tug with the delicacy of a knife and fork. One instance is engraved ion my memory (luckily not my tombstone): when a tug made a bow-on landing at a pier to pick me up. The procedure was for the boat to just touch the pier and immediately back off, but this time for some reason I was a bit slow in stepping aboard via the bow fender, and found myself starting a “split” with one foot on the pier and other on the retreating tug. Incredibly, the captain with severalbells and a jingle in signal to the engineer was able to stop and reverse the direction of this massive object in what must have been a fraction of a second and save me from a very nasty ducking. Another sort of skill was demonstrated by the cook, and much appreciated by a growing adolescent. This culinary master in the forward end of the deckhouse served multi-



course meals of roasts, vegetables, potatoes, breads, pies, and coffee at the L-shaped seating around the table across from his big black coal stove. The aromas of all this combined with those of soft-coal smoke, hot oil, wet steam, and brackish water is unforgettable. But the summer after this I got a job as a shipfitter’s helper at one of the shipyards on the Kill Van Kull. This was arranged with the help of Martin Kindlund, a naval architect (Webb, ’01) who lived near my aunt. The yard, in industrial Port Richmond, was a 30-minute bus ride from upper middle-class Westerleigh, and I commuted daily in my working clothes. At first I was assigned to the plate shop were I worked with thin strips of soapstone and light wood patterns to mark out the irregular shapes of the large heavy stell plates, and with hammer and centerpunch to locate the position of the many rivet holes: then with the heavy-duty shears that cut the plates to shape, and the presses which punched or drilled the holes. This was light and interesting work, carried out in the open yard and airy shed, and my boss was a gentle and forgiving man. These plates were destined as replacements for the worn and corroded bottom of the saddle-back coal bunker over the boilers of one of the coast-wise colliers of the Tracy fleet, then under repair at the yard. The procedures for fitting the new plates was to position them over their supporting frames and fasten them thereto with temporary bolts at intervals along the line of punched holes. The intentionally undersized holes would then be reamed out to proper size for the subsequent insertion and heading-up of hot rivets. My part in this operation was to crawl over the curved top of the boiler, under the slanting bottom of the bunker, and to insert the temporary bolts in the positions indicated by my new boss, whose job was the installation of the plates. His indication was made by jabbing motions of the pointed end of a spud wrench through ah ole at the intended location. What made this procedure particularly interesting was the fact that the space between the boiler and the bunker was about 18 inches, requiring me to lay on my back; that the top of the boiler was covered with a thick coat of fine coal dust; that the only illumination in this black and narrow space was an inadequate extension light; and that my box, an impatient man, had a complete lack of empathetic awareness of or sympathy for my newness to the operation and communicated by hammering on the plates a few inches above my ear. It will be enough to say that this was a period of accelerating maturity in the realities of the working world. I should also say that the possibility that the shipyard might have a locer and wash room for its employees never occurred to me; and that, thoroughly begrimed with coal dust as I was, I enjoyed much personal space on the crowded bus rides home. After my graduation from high school in 1938 my father arranged a two-month summer ocean voyage for me on a small Danish freighter, on an out-and-back return trip to the west coast of South America, between New York and ports in Columnbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. The ship was the LAILA, and every since this little sweetheart, of 2,900 tons cargo capacity, has been the standard by which I measured all others. With two Scotch oil-fired boilers, she was powered by the somewhat unconventional Bauer-Wach system with a three-cylinder compound reciprocating engine to which was coupled an exhaust steam turbine with single reducation gearing and a chain drive. She also had a moderately-raked stem with a cut-away forefoot and a bumble-home cruiser stern. We left on a bright Saturday morning from a pier in Brooklyn, down to the marks with a full cargo that included a 15-ton bulldozer, and returned eight weeks later with a cargo of sacks of raw sugar and ingots of

copper. I was signed on the ship’s articles as a “supercargo” but in reality was a passenger, paying $1 a day for my food. After the first day’s assignment of futiley trying to type a manifest while the ship was rolling 30 degrees port and starboard, I had no duties but to enjoy myself. This included getting stuck in the shaft alley escape, where I could have been trapped for weeks before anyone thought of looking there, and courting sunstroke in the formast cross-trees while transiting the Panama Canal; to say nothing of photographing the ship’s wake hanging over the stern—if I’d slipped I would have been 40 miles astern before my absence was noted. But it also included the midnight scrounging of an oven-fresh loaf of bread once a week from Harry the cook, and eating the who crust while watching the phosphorescence in the ship’s wake, and exploring small seaport towns while the ship was moored offshore to buoys, discharing cargo into barges alongside. I left the ship briefly at Valpariso, Chile, and traveled inland to Santiago to xspend a few days with a friend of my sister living there. From there I took the train to San Antonio to await the arrival of the ship on its way northbound. I think I must have been a bother at times, because in a sort of atonement I made a little model of the ship and presented it to the Captain before the voyage ended. Later that year I discovered Howard Chapelle’s Yacht Designing and Planning (first published in 1936) and that changed me from a ship-struck teen-ager into an avid naval architect. I even ordered a set of the Dixon Kemp pear-wood ship curves he recommended, from England, and with them taught myself how to fair a set of lines. When I learned that he was associated with the new W. A. Robinson boatyard in Ipswich, thirty miles north of Boston, building yachts in the style of early American sailing vessels I arranged to visit it with a firend, and thus discovered msall-town New England: village greens, austere clapboard building,s ancient telm trees, winding roads and granite outcorppings, and a tidal river that ran through broad salt-marshes down to the sea: now known as John Updyke country, but then a refreshing counter-part to the New York of a city-bred boy. Several years later, as a student at Webb Institute, I spent a summer working in the Robinson yard: now occupied with producing 50-foot steel landing barges, composite mine-sweppers (steel frames, wooden planking), and bent-frame sub-chasers. I worked part of the time as a shipfirtter under the guidance of Sid Stamp, aretired British master, and later in the drawing office, run by Geerd Hendel, the naval architect from Maine. Here my companion was Dana Story, a local boy from the neighboring town of Essex, where his family had been bui9lding ships for six generations. Upon graduation from Webb I went to work in Boston with a firm specializing in fishing-vessel design. I arranged to live in Ipswich, with a one-hour commute by steam train (4-6-2 Pacifics, coal burning, pulling a string of six open vestibule wooden coaches-the last ones in service in main-line operation). A few years later the untimely death of the owner caused the closure of the firm, but coincided with Dana’s decision to re-open his family’s yard with contracts for several wooden draggers for Gloucester interests. I joined this operation as a partner (you can read all about it in Dana’s book Growing Up In a Shipyard) and designed our first hull; along with a cantilevered-roof on a shed for the large tilting-frame bandsaw used for cutting varying bevels on the sawn-frame futtocks. To expand my practical experience I helped with the lofting, and lined the plan in the yard. A letter from Howard Chapelle added a footnote to the story of Dana’s father Arthur Dana Story: “I am glad to hear you are do-

ing a story of Arthur “Dany” for he wa the last of the prolific wooden shipbuilders who built a hundred or more vessels in a lifetime. He was an old rascal between us but still a historical character. I had the pleasure of knowing him well after he had turned the yard over to “Jake” his son…Jake thought he was not only a builder but a designer: he turned out some vessels that were practically spindles in model. I was a t a launch of one othese, standing with Arthur Dany, when Jake came up and said “Well, father, what do you think of that vessel?” The old man grunted and said, ‘Jake, let’s make the next vessel something we can be proud of.’ It was quite a squelch I thought.” I lived in Ipswich as the resident care-taker of the ancient 11-room Emerson-Howard House, on Turkey Shore Road. My landlord was the Society for the Preservation of new England Antiquities. The rent was chea, but during the winter I nearly froze to death in this spacious and venerable uninsulated and unheatable historical artifact. However, summers were another matter, and during one I built a 16-foot catboat in the extensive property in the rear and moored it across the street in the tidal part of the Ipswich River. I did not have much opportunity to use it, however, and an autumnal storm and frehet carried it away downstream to destruction on a marsh. But several years later a resident of Essex built a duplicate, and it provided exhilarating experiences on the Essex marsh waterways. Another aspect of the Ipswich adventure was my acquaintance with the J--- family and their three remarkable daughters, who homesteaded in an isolated bungalow in the fields north fo the town. They were responsible for a massive acceleration in my then-minimal liberal education, which had significant subsequent consequences. But that is another story. However, one result relevant here is that I next got a degree in architecture from MIT, and then with some prize money left for a tour of Europe for as long as my funds would last. Now qualified as both a “wet” and a “dry” architect I soon took the opportunity to spend an idyllic week on the Thames between Oxford and the source at Lechlade, rowing and camping in a traditional twoplace wooden skiff; exploring water-related rural environments. One later consequence of this was the design of the Serendipitous Snail: a pedal-powered screw-propelled cruising-camper for similar experiences providing a fore-taste of Heaven… Access to the inland waterways within Seattle’s city limits prompted the design and construction of a series of similar humanpowered small craft. The procedure is to build and evaluate each new design and then sell it to provide funding for the next idea. The Serendititous Snail was embodied as a rental boat for Seattle’s Center for Wooden Boats. Escargot and a sister were and are used on local waterways; built as a demonstrator on Britain’s canal system recreational waterways by the Environmental Agency; and several are being used as week-end rental boats on the Ruhr in Germany. The Dorycycle featured a do-it-yourself v-belt drive system and wooden propeller, adapted to amateur construction. The Skiffcycle, a light-weight single, makes hull speed at an easy 60 pedal rpm. As a consequence of nin annual two-week September canal-cruises in France, with compabable friends interested in the serendipitous discovery of deep rural town and country delights, I have sketched a scheme for a dram-boat ideally adapted to these heavenly delights. (Funding awaits).

Nothing lasts forever B




An Ancient Mariner’s dead albatross diminishes to a sick parakeet After the success of his gallery show, Wembly – now r. otterman Wembly, marine artist (not to be confused with an artistic Marine) – disappeared from the haunts of man and the CWB Dock Committee. “He’s like a carnivore,” suggested Archer, still stunned by Wembly’s conversion of adversity into creativity. “He’s just sleeping after a big kill.” For those of you who don’t know about Wembly, he’s is a man laboring under a maritime curse so dire the captain of the Titanic looks like a man searching for ice cubes. His boats have sunk beneath his feet (2), been destroyed before launch (1), offhandedly bankrupted him (1), capsized (1), or drifted off into the sunset without him (1). Notwithstanding that, he looks slightly saltier than Sea of Azov beachfront and is definitely one of the world’s greatest ex-sailors. Then one Spring during the forenoon watch, the Dock Committee sighted a schooner with topsails (not to be confused with a topsail schooner) coming down the lake. It was of a beauty unseen since Monongahela was towed through the uncompleted Aurora Bridge. Poetry in wood, canvas, and varnish Even as it approached, topsails gathering neatly to the topmasts; flying jib, spindle jib, and jib-of-jibs coming down in clouds; and fore and mainsail luffing lightly, it was obvious that her polished brass, brightwork, and paint were in precisely the right proportions. This vision crept slowly toward our longest finger pier and at precisely the right moment, the sails came down with a rush, a youngster hopped onto pier with a spring line and another brought the stern line home. With only a quiet creak, all way came off and it snugged up against series of hand-tied hemp fenders. Even Captain Dan was impressed. Under the crisp commands of the skipper, sails were furled, lines were re-coiled and flemished down, and the deck crew began priddying everything in sight. And even more amazing than this display of maritime perfection was the commander. Clad in a spotless blue blazer with enough brass buttons for the Phillip Morris bellboy, it was no other than r. otterman, Jonah-to-the-World, our Wembly himself! “Aegir’s beard,” Ole Svendson breathed into the silence, “he’s gone and done it again.” The curse isn’t lifted, it’s just sidestepped “It all began at the art show,” Wembly explained. “The art lover who bought my model of the Maine sinking in Havana Harbor asked how I came to pick marine disaster as my métier. I told him. Well it turned out that he was an investment trust officer, used to solving abstruse problems for corporations, the wealthy, and the superannuated that make sailing under a curse sound like pottering around the Serpentine in a swan boat.” He was dealing with the trust of an aged shipping magnate who dearly loved the Lillian Russell – here Wemb gestured at the schooner – and wanted it held for his grandboys. He knew that even with ship-keepers aboard, she would sink into desuetude unless she was used. But staffed with a professional crew, a schoolmaster, and a shipwise master, Lillian would make a great school ship. How could Wembly refuse? Looking at the Lillian we could only say how indeed. And shipwise was a good description of Wemb. He knew more about ship handling than Jack Aubrey, Horatio Hornblower, and Richard Bolitho spliced together, could read the weather like an Innuit, and knew more about knots than Houdini’s bos’un if he had one. The only ship he couldn’t handle was ownership. “But I don’t own the Lillian,” Wembly cackled. “I’m her steward. Not her husband, but her steady date. Marat, Sadie, and Fiona share the master’s quarters with me. My job is to sail the very sticks out of her in the service of education and character-building. We’re leaving here for Tahiti as soon as my French chef lays in stores. We don’t live out of the harness cask and on hardtack aboard Lillian,” he said, patting his girth. Wembly in apotheosis



The entire Dock Committee was on hand at the locks to bid our own Flying Dutchman farewell. Marat and Sadie barked a happy goodbye to us, Wemb barked orders, and the last we saw of Lillian, she was actually sailing into the sunset. Afloat. “Do you think this is going to present us with a problem?” asked Archer. “Every time Wemb had something go wrong, you recall that someone had something go right? Like the time Wembly’s Dream III sank on launch and you, Ole, located the persistent leak in Brunhilde’s bilge? Or when Wembly’s Dream IV stripped his bank account and you, McCallister, found that what you assumed was dry rot was a collection of mouse droppings? Was Wemb a lightning rod for the rest of us?” The next day, the Dock Committee received notice that Harrison, a new wooden boat owner and a fresh fish for our consideration had been pulling ballast out of the bilges of his newly-restored ketch. He was hoisting it out, block by block, using the mainmast halliards. Since he was an Owner, he had two men from the Casual Labor Office supplying the Muscle. They had lifted out all but the last block when Harrison noticed that the bitter end of the halliard seemed caught on something. Though the block was almost at the top of the mast, ready to swing onto the pier, Harrison yelled “ ‘Vast heaving.” Unable to understand maritime English and having a minimal command of English of any kind, his coadjutors came to see what the shouting was about. It turned out the halliard was fouled around Harrison’s ankle and when they came over, loosing their hold on the line, the block came down with a rush, popping neatly through the garboard and hoisting Harrison to the masthead. That much weight that high in a nearly unballasted ship caused what Higgin, an ex-submariner called its “equilibrium polygon” to go outside its “envelope” and the ketch turned gracefully on her side. Harrison was half-drowned before the watchers, weak with laughter, finally hauled him out. “There’s the garboard to repair,” Higgin reported, “and the new rosewood interior Umberto Macchione had turned into something very like Yo-yo Ma’s cello will need extensive refurbishing.” We considered this for a while, mulling it over in our minds before Archer put it into words for all of us: “The torch has been passed to a new generation. We can only pray he’ll be as good at it as Wembly was.” Ya har.


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Get out on the Water

Festival ‘06 Features Family Boatbuilding

Try out rowing with the Pocock Foundation. Demo a traditionally built kayak. Umiak rides all three days.

Family Fun

Music Stage, Crew’s Mess (festive food), and Pewter Pig Pub And naturally, we offer folksy music, festive food and a beer garden. Music Stage on the stern of the historic tug Arthur Foss.

Build a boat with your family, or just sit back and watch the boats come together.

Boat Races

Walk the Docks Kids and their parents and grandparents and friends work together to build toy boats. Knot tying for kids of all ages.

Model Boat Pond

Lieutenant Peter Puget

Watch elegant wooden boats race against the backdrop of a summer day and the Seattle skyline

Some 150 classic wooden boats, ranging from schooners to rowboats to elegant sedan cruisers converge once a year for the Festival…View them, talk to their owners, you may be invited aboard.

Maritime Product Mart

Discovery Modelers Education Center introduces Lt. Peter Puget (as portrayed by Andrew Loviska) who presents stories of his fourand-a-half-year voyage of Northwest exploration with Capt. George Vancouver aboard HMS Discovery (see the 14’ model of Discovery in the Armory Build at South Lake Union). Sign on for history! DMEC offers performances or ship model classes or a combination history presentation and a row in a replica 1790’s longboat. For info and schedules, call Colleen, 206-282-0985, or e-mail

Working Exhibits & Skil s Demo’s

Quick and Daring Looking for a unique tool? Shopping for a tender? Wood for your next boatbuilding project? Handmade hats from Australia? A particular book? You’ll find a unique range of products at the Festival. Don’t miss the yard sale.

Watch vintage model pond boats (Northwest designed!) or sail or launch one yourself!

The Quick & Daring contestants have one day in which to build a boat at the festival…Then they have to race it, sailing on one leg of the race, paddling on another, and anything goes on the final leg.

Revised CWB Livery for Summer 2005 Hours During Concerts Pier 59’s Concerts at the Pier has moved to South Lake Union Park for the 2005 concert series. Due to an anticipated increase in boat traffic in the lake, CWB boat rentals will be operating on a modified schedule on concert nights. Before you drop in for a sail, give us a call to check on the night’s schedule.

During the Festival you can view demonstrations including: traditional Bronze Casting, lapstrake planking, wood canvas canoe building, lofting, paddle making, sail assessment and repair, rope fender making, nameboard carving, knot tying, caulking and brightwork.

The Center for WOODEN BOATS 2005 Festival Edition of Shavings Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Seattle, WA Permit No. 1583 1010 Valley Street, Seattle, WA 98109-4468 • 206.382.2628

Volume XXVI Number 3 Summer 2005 ISSN 0734-0680 1992 CWB

Shavings Volume 26 Festival (2006)  

The Center for Wooden Boats membership newsletter