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February sail will mean vastly different things to different folks.  For some, it’ll mean curling up with an inspiring sailing story like this one from Small Boats Magazine written by a retired USN sailor and partner rowing and sailing the 17′ dory he built down the Mississippi, camping on sand bars along the way.  

For others, February sail means celebrating the completion of a 8.75″ model of a 12′ 6″ cat boat, approximately 1/22 scale.  Steve Turi writes as follows:

“Finally done!   In the early 1990s Lynn and I visited a Beetle Cat boat shop in SE MA.  We smelled the cedar sawn for the planks. We saw them steaming oak to bend into ribs.  I tried lifting a used boat onto the car roof with no success. I had to settle for promotional literature and plan sketches.

When we got home I used the sketches and cut out a boat-shaped block of balsa on the band saw.  I meant to use the block as a form to shape individual ribs and then planks to shape the hull.   Far too ambitious I realized and put the project aside……for thirty years.”

Note:  Steve’s models have appeared on this blog previously here.

“In 2019 I took that balsa block out and began tinkering. Here I am, finished tinkering. At last!   I didn’t intentionally “weather” the model but in the course of building it got beat up enough to make it look like it was sailed long and hard.”

I think it’s a beauty, a work of love.

And an aptly named one also.





Then again, February sail might mean basking in a location where February is warm, like the Bahamas.  Don M wrote recently as follows:  “I am anchored in Mayaguana as we get pummelled by 20 knots of wind in an anchorage that is open but for a reef keeping most of the sea at bay. I looked up this beautiful boat I saw here and found your posts about the schooner.  She is a beautiful boat.  Interestingly she has three masts now.  Haven’t seen sails up so don’t know if the third mast is functional or just pretty. “

Thanks to Steve and Don for sending along these photos and stories, and to David for the story about his Mississippi adventure.

For everything and more you ever hoped to know about Beetle cats–named for the Beetle family–click here.

For model ships in bottles, click here. For RC models of tugboats click here and .. oops!  looks like ..  I’ll have to complete that one soon, like for tomorrow. 


Since we’re at models, recall this post from two years ago with photos of a diorama in France depicting the sixth boro with a model of a Moran tugboat, the Statue, and a liner.

These photos come from Steve Munoz, who tells this story: “model schooner Evelyn, about 3 feet long, built in early 1900s by a merchant seaman from Maine, Bill Kunze.  The hull is of a hard black rubber-like material and sails made at Ratsey‘s on City Island.  Bill sometimes lived with my grandparents in Brooklyn. The model is named after my grandmother Evelyn Mae.”

“Here the boat in Lake Champlain off Velez Marine in Port Henry NY with my father and I chasing it in a motorboat. The deck gear allowed the sails to be set depending on the strength of the wind.  The year is 1962.”  So this is not an RC controlled boat.  As an aside, I love the lines on that nearest white-hulled cruiser.

“Around 1930 Bill would take my father (who was the general manager of Tickle Engineering when it closed) and his brother (who was the tug captain and pilot for Dalzell and McAllister) on a motor boat in Jamaica Bay and to sail the schooner Evelyn for a sail. Once, Evelyn boat headed for a tug towing several barges and at every gap between the barges it sailed faster toward the tow. Thankfully the sailboat survived.”

“Today Evelyn is in my home residing on a china closet in foyer. The sails are disintegrating and are very fragile.

As to Bill, the model maker, “He would stay in Brooklyn with my grandparents when he was not at sea in the 1930s. Apparently his family owned a number of merchant sailing ships until President FDR passed some law that essentially putting cargo sailing ships out of business. Bill was not very fond of the president after that, but in retrospect the law probably more prepared the US for WW II. One day in the early 1940s he told my grandmother that he was going to the store and never returned. It was assumed by my grandparents that he was seriously ill and committed suicide. I have his personal and ID information and his cedar sea chest here, dating around 1900. I also have pics of him with my father and uncle as boys. ”

Many thanks to Steve for these photos and stories.

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