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Mood at the boat show in general you ask . . . my gut says . . . gloomy, depressed, funereal.  Bonus prospects have fizzled months ago, and Santa and his storm-tossed proxies need to deliver a lot of coal.

However, in my humble opinion, one exhibit effervesces, though, overflowing with excitement, restless to see completion, launch, and return in less than a year.

Water spray on the left and a flame on the right?  So what’s this?


Try seventeenth-century fire bending of planks for the ship’s boat


before assembly.  What’s done small scale here was done larger scale on the Onrust.


Ashwood sawdust gets created here


in quest of the hundred or so blocks of various sizes.  Linger too long at this table and you could just fizz with excitement to be an apprentice, or


you might be impressed into spritsail work.


The figurehead is gradually being liberated from this piece of cottonwood, which will


blend hindways onto


this massive piece of oak that has assumed this shape already at the Boat Show.


But don’t take my word for any of this.  If you can, treat yourself and come down to the Show.  Your enthusiasm might spill over as you sniff the pine tar in the morning, listen for carver’s mallets, buoy the spirits of the merchants.  You might even catch the waterskiing squirrel show.

Unrelated . . .  Zhenhua 4, one of the crane ships, was unsuccessfully attacked in Gulf of Aden by pirates today.

Photos, WVD.

As a down river denizen, I’ve followed the Onrust story for only about a year now, chancing upriver to see progress whenever I could.  The project is aiming for a late summer 2009 rendezvous with Manhattan . . . the ship will ply the sixth boro waters then, we all hope.  Yesterday though I saw their major display right at the entrance to the Javits Center (inland east of Pier 76) and a “even-more major” demonstration area farther inside.  Be forewarned of my prejudices here, Onrust‘s demo area was the only place at the show where you could smell the pine tar, see a small traditional wooden tender being built sur place using 17th century fire-bending techniques, hear a master sailmaker’s palm shove a needle pulling beeswaxed thread through heavy sail cloth . . . I could go on.


Here the figurehead is taking shape.  Come see the chips fly to release the tree’s inner-lion and wood-perfume.


Here a volunteer has just completed his first ever rope fender.


Here the sail maker does a warm-up project –a drogue–before taking on the main spritsail sewing later this week.  His fingers flew as he regaled me with stories of ships‘ sails he has known.


The rigger serves shrouds and stays with a serving mallet.  Notice the pine tar drips on the plastic-covered floor.


Granted, my head got turned a time or two especially seeing friends at the show but also seeing a “cute”–and that’s a word I rarely use–Ranger (a “tuglet” from the Pacific Northwest) and a new Hacker (a beaut from way upstate New York) . . .  but where Onrust is coming together, restless to meet the appointment as an integral vessel, that’s where I spent most of my time.  And I’m headed back for more.

All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.

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December 2021