Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Look at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard

The old saying of "a picture is worth a thousand words" can be multiplied when there is a video available. You may not have the chance to come to the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard in person, so we will save you gas and give you a personal tour before you ask us to build you a new ship/yacht/boat or bring yours here for a re-fit.

Our shipyard has been building ships since 1869. With over twenty experienced and dedicated shipwrights, two large shipsaws, one with state-of-the-art temperature and humidity control, two marine railways (a 700-ton and a 150-ton) and well-equipped wood and metal shops, Boothbay Harbor Shipyard has the ideal setup for new building, restoration and repair. Our versatile crew has a depth of experience that ranges from building large sawn-frame working craft to restoring varnished mahogany yachts. Our services include all aspects of traditional wood construction and repair, welding, machine work, engine and mechanical work, painting, varnishing and storage. We also, work on metal framed boats and ships.

Check the VIDEO below for your personal tour.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Update on the Ernestina Re-fit

The historical Ernestina is heading toward completion of her major re-fit here at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard. With two months left before the launching of the Ernestina in April, the crew is working very hard to meet the deadline.

The planking covering the bow and midship is complete with the exception of one plank on the starboard side. With the completion of the planking, the chalking has begun on the hull. After the chalking is the sealing.

The building of the deck frame is nearly finished and the laying of the deck will begin shortly.

A template of the covering boards above the planking has been developed and the completion of the covering boards will be the next step toward wrapping up the Ernestina re-fit. Watch the VIDEO below showing the latest progress on the Ernestina

Monday, February 9, 2009

Progress of Belle Aventure

The two-year refit and refastening of Belle Aventure is less than three months from completion. The enormous task of refastening is 95% finished. The keel rabbet and stern post are left to be fastened.

The hull topside is being faired and the final coats of primer are being added.

The interior joinery (woodwork and cabinetry) in the cabins is near completion except for the paint and varnish.

A new engine bed for the new engine was built along with the cabin soles in all three heads and the shower drains, which have been rebuilt. Both the mechanical and electrical systems are in their final stages.

Nat Wilson is in the process of finishing the sails. The three new jibs and mizzen are completed with only the mainsail still to be sewn.

For the launching, we will wait for a very high tide in April.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Nautical Idioms

During the winter months there seems to be more time for reading and reflection. Thinking about where the words “Shipyard Log” came from, I started digging into expressions or idioms that came from nautical roots.

In the early days of sailing ships, the ship's records were written on shingles cut from logs. These shingles were hinged and opened like a book. The record was called the log book. Later on, when paper was readily available and bound into books, the record maintained it’s name.

Today to show your true colors is to reveal your true character or intentions. Pirate ships would approach their intended victim showing a false flag to lure them into a false sense of security. When it was too late for the victim to escape they would then show their true colors or flag.

Food and drinks are always a topic of interest. One common expression is: Down the Hatch. This is a drinking expression, but has its origins in loading cargo onto boats as you might expect. As the cargo is put into the hold, it travels down the hatch, and appears to be consumed by the ship.

In today’s economy we are ever mindful of our finances. We may have money set aside to use for fun and entertainment expenses, which we call our slush fund. So where does this phrase slush fund come from? This nautical expression has been around since 1939. It refers to the waste fat or grease left over from meat boiled down on board the boat. Sailors boiled down and stored the fat remains of their salted beef rations; this was then sold to soap and candle makers. The money received from the sale of the slush' was used for the crew's comfort and entertainment.

So, use some of your slush fund to celebrate the new year and keep warm with a drink down the hatch.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Women Sailors

Two avid women sailors have continually amazed the shipyard over the last 20-30 years. Susan Sproul has been coming to Boothbay Harbor from the Chicago area, every year for at least 20 years. We at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard have been caring for Ku’uipo, (a Hawaiian word meaning sweetheart), her 12 1/2 ft. Herreshoff, (actually 16-17 ft) for 20 years. Her focus for 2-3 weeks each summer is sailing Ku'uipo. She and her husband book a room at Linekin Bay Resort in Boothbay Harbor and we deliver her boat to greet her on her arrival. For the following weeks, she usually sails three times a day: morning, afternoon and evening. She takes time off for her meals in between. She will go out with friends or by herself, but she almost always goes out.

Barbara Lockwood, another avid sailor has given Boothbay Harbor Shipyard the care of her Herreshoff 28, Ariel for the last 30 years. Being a teacher in a suburb of Boston, Barbara has time in the summer to enjoy a great deal of sailing. She moors Ariel on one of the 24 moorings in the harbor belonging to Boothbay Harbor Shipyard. Often she will come up to Maine and take Ariel out for a couple to 10 days followed by Ariel resting for week or so on the mooring. Along with friends and family, Barbara takes her beautiful wooden dingy, Louise, which was a gift to her from her father. She repeats this sail plan often from Memorial Day to November.

We would like to toast these two extraordinary women sailors for their continued love of sailing.