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It was spring 1987 when I saw this boat first, a decade and a half after her retirement. She and her sister Venus were a sorry sight on the bank of the Charles near the Science Museum; if you wanted a photo that screamed “forlorn,” they were that shot. Unfortunately, I took very few photos back then. Over the years, I knew Venus was scrapped and always wondered about Luna. Here’s a chronology of steps toward the saving of Luna–and loss of Venus–in the first two/thirds of the 1990s.
All the photos in this post–and there are a lot of them–were taken less than a week ago over in Chelsea.
I don’t think you’ll argue if I say she’s a great looking 86-year-old today.
Talented and exacting volunteers were attending to details when I visited.
Of course, she’ll never push again But who imagines sending an 86-year-old out to work?
The “lights” under the tender bring light into the engine room.
Here’s from the engine room deck looking up . . at the gauge boards, with
project priorities in full view throughout.
As a result of Luna’s immersion(s), her Winton engines, exciters, and motor will likely never run again.
Here’s a finished starboard aft crew cabin. Note the stencil on the mattress for Boston Tow Boat.
Those are functioning 1930-era bulbs, and yes, Bag Balm has been around since long before 1930. My father used it in the stable.
What!? No Nescafe?
I’ll tell you more about this fishing boat in a bit, but that mud says it has been below the surface of the water, and it ain’t a submarine.
Some claim it’s the most famous fishing boat in the world, although that sounds hyperbolic. Guesses?
It’s Western Flyer, the boat chartered by John Steinbeck AND Ed Ricketts, which served as the platform for their expedition to the Sea Of Cortez aka Gulf of California. Click here for an interesting article on how marketing removed Ricketts’ name from the Log from the Sea of Cortez account. The vessel is currently undergoing a $2 million restoration.
Log from the Sea from Cortez is well-worth reading, although my favorite is Cannery Row, in which Ricketts is portrayed as the marine biologist. For a portion of Log, click here. My favorite pages in that excerpt are the second half of p. 6 and all of p. 7, and the second half of p. 14 onto top of 15.
Tangentially related: the elusive bowsprite has responded to an updated book on the Sea of Cortez here.
Many thanks to Kyle for these photos, taken in Port Townsend.
I’ve lived most of my life on one side of the Atlantic or another, which leaves me unfamiliar with the Pacific. Thanks to Mage, frequent commenter on this blog, here’s a classic Pacific vessel, one built at Manuel Goularte’s yard in San Diego in 1914. According to information on her filed with the National Register of Historical Places, “her active life of 1914 to present, Pilot has enjoyed the longest continuous career of any working watercraft in the western hemisphere.”
These photos were taken by George Bailey, Mage’s husband. Click here and scroll to see a photo of Pilot in 1916! 99 years ago. Click here for a 5-minute documentary featuring Pilot.
My “reading around” turns up Manuel Goularte in connection with another West Coast classic, Butcher Boy.”
Unrelated: Grace Quan is another classic although replica West Coast boat I’d love to see. The idea of a west coast trip is an itch I’m going to have to scratch soon!
“All ports November” has become “antique/classic December.” Defining these terms is not clear cut with vessels. The Antique and Classic Boating Society defines “antique” as built between 1919 and 1942, “classic” between 1943 and 1975, and “contemporary, are boats built from 1976 and on. Does that make a vessel built before 1919 . . . a restoration project? antediluvian?
If you take automobiles, you get another definition: 25 years old or more is antique. And for The great race, here were the rules for 2015: “Vehicle entries must have been manufactured in 1972 or before.”
According to a friend who is a lawyer and knows these things, the US Customs sets a higher standard for antiques: they must be over 100 years old, can be refinished or restored, but cannot have their “essential character” changed; nor can the restoration exceed 50% of the value. [Vague!] The counselor goes on: “So does a steamship which has been converted to diesel have its “essential character” changed? Does adding an engine to a sail training ship destroy the essential character? Customs has also wrestled with the issue of essential character vis a vis what is an American ship? Does sticking a new mid-body into a vessel in a foreign country make the ship a “foreign” ship? These are the things -trivial and boring as they may be-Customs lawyers wrestle with.”
So my NEW very accommodating definition is . . . built before 1975. Or if younger, must have already had at least five owners, and may or may not still be intact.
I stumbled upon Kensington while up in Clayton earlier this month, and she’s a stunner from 1924. The 57’4″ x 11’4″ yacht is a product of Smith and Williams Company Marine Railway in Salisbury MD. She spent most of the 20th century in the Puget Sound, but in 2003 she was trucked back to the East Coast.
The separate “rear cabin” reminds me of separation between driver and passengers in this limo of the same era.
I hope next summer to see this unique yacht plying the waters of the St. Lawrence.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
I may need some correction here, but it appears Boothbay Harbor is an entity different than Boothbay, and there’s an East and West Boothbay as well. It’s sort of like the Hamptons in NY and the Oranges in NJ, I suppose. Anyhow, I saw the scene below in Boothbay harbor and I realized I’d located one of the things I was seeking. So the connection is the gray/white/red pinky schooner at the end of the wharf:
The connection is that the person who built Ardelle and others would be–is–an excellent choice to work on . . .
the hauled out Ernestina. Watch the short video at that link if you have a minute and a half to spare.
I was just a visitor, so I left the crew alone.
The quicker the work’s done, the quicker it gets
back here to its empty dock at the New Bedford State Pier. But again, I digress.
Monitor, below, is an aptly-named state-owned Department of Marine Resources vessel, passing here near Ram Island Light.
And here I really digress, but seeing isolated lighthouses like this reminds me of the stories I heard long ago of William H. Wincapaw, also known as Flying Santa.
All photos, digressions, and faux-pas by Will Van Dorp.
If you want to share photos of a gunkhole, harbor, port, or wharf before the end of this month, send me an email. This was GHP&W 24.
Click here for many more posts I’ve done with some connection to the Boothbays.
As the lobster might suggest, this St. George is in Maine, and named for the river which is named for the English explorer/captor of Squanto who visited this area in 1607. I was confused the first time I arrived here because I was looking for Port Clyde and all the signs said was “St. George.”
But it turns out that within the town of St. George are villages like Tennants Harbor, Martinsville, and Port Clyde.
I hope to return to Port Clyde next year, in part because this is the mainland wharf for the Monhegan Boat Line. Elizabeth Ann was preparing for the passenger run, but
I didn’t get to see the “world-famous Laura B,” a repurposed 1943 Army T-boat, which after doing WW2 duty in the Pacific, ran lobsters from Maine to Boston and New York. Anyone know of old NYC sixth-boro photos of Laura B delivering Maine fruits of the sea to the city? Laura B was working, delivering freight to Monhegan. And these cargo nets filled with firewood await for the next cargo run.
A glance at a map or chart of the peninsulas of Maine is enough to explain the value of craft like Reliance and her sisters.
The work boats in the harbor represent only part of the “gear” needed to fish; the rest is on paper.
Even on rainy days, I like looking at these boats. Taking photos of paperwork . . . never so much.
From a short conversation of the wharf, I have the sense that the paperwork and regulations keep vessels like these in port many more days than they fish. And global water temperature trends make this an even harder way to earn a living.
All photos here by Will Van Dorp, who wants to get back up here soon.
Back in September 2007, I was paying attention to the green Gladding-Hearn 1966 Dragon, when a schooner with tanbark sails entered my field of view, and what
a schooner she was. I never got any nearer than to take the photo below. Twice, however, I got requests for copies of that photo. Fulfilling the more recent request led to an invitation to see the boat, which had undergone a long restoration process, and sans masts was back in the water.
So here she is, two weeks ago in Friendship Maine. Drool . . . .
I’m eager to see her masts stepped and sails bellied.
Many thanks to Don Zappone for the tour of this sweet schooner.
Here’s the index.
Since I grew up in western New York and my grandparents lived 30 or so miles off to the right of this photo, crossing this bridge happened several times a year. It was by far the biggest bridge in my world. That’s Canada to the right.
The bridge was completed in 1937, weeks ahead of schedule. Canada, which appears to have no equivalent of the US-Jones Act, uses China-built vessels like Baie Comeau. I saw a one-year-older sister here last October.
Over in Kingston, I learned this vintage but functional crane today had been mounted on a barge and used in the Thousand Island Bridge construction back in the 1930s. There are several cranes of this design along the Erie Canal, some also still functional. For one, check out the sixth photo here.
In an archipelago called “thousand islands,” there’s need for lots of boats for commuting and transport. Check out the lines of the white-hulled 25′ boat to the right. Now check photos seven and eight in this post. Spirit of Freeport is also a 25′ and it crossed the Atlantic! A few more perspectives of Spirit of Freeport can be seen here, scroll through. To hear builder Al Grover, click here.
Click here for info on Jolly Island.
The proximity of Antique Boat Museum may draw classics here, wherever they might have been built. Anyone identify the make?
Vikingbank has an interesting bow.
All photos by Will Van Dorp, who will add more photos from this watershed later.
Many thanks to Seaway Marine Group for conveyance.
and in. All new builds follow the same arc, even though the details differ. Check out the splash of Onrust here over a half decade back. Here’s how the water came up to meet Pegasus back five years ago.
To finish the dory, there’s a trip
through the Kills and
across Raritan Bay to get to Cheesequake Creek. Pam writes, “Carl Baronowshi, owner of the yard was helpful in determining the rig. Traditionally it would have been a push the boom up alongside the mast and unstep the whole business and lay it in the boat. I wasn’t strong enough to list the mast out of the step without raising havoc if it got out of the step, John help me figure out a gooseneck and track arrangement so we could lower the sail in a less cumbersome manner.”
Ibis is launched,
eager to what she was built for.
More photos follow.
The last photo of yesterday’s post here showed a dory in the beginning stages of construction. Its placement there conforms to Chekhov’s gun principle. So here’s what follows. Maybe I should call this post . . .” in the shadow of an old building and protected by the body of a Chinese laundry truck, Ibis hatches, fledges, and more . . .” but that would be rather long. So just enjoy.
Garboards in place,
planks fastened and plugs driven . . . About the clamps, Pam says “they are simple and brilliant. They have really long jaws to be able to reach across a plank to clamp the new plank to the one already in place. Wedges get tapped into the other end to tighten the grip.”
Sheer strake in place, and now
it’s time to roll her over.
“Dories are usually built on their frames which act as the mold stations – I would do it that way if I built another dory. We used the mold stations and steam bent frames to go into the boat. Steam bending is an experience, although hair-raising… handling a hot piece of wood, and maneuvering clamps quickly before wood cools… It is hugely satisfying though.”
Ibis has a beautiful bow, soon to be cutting through sixth boro waters
Again, many thanks to Pamela Hepburn for use of her photos and in some cases, her commentary.