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Your Turn: Guest Posts

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Mother was an adventurer, at heart a Gypsy. Before our Father returned from the war (WWII) she and her best friend made a plan to go sailing in Maine. Living in New Jersey at the time Maine was a good choice. Elsie (Mom) Kidwell, on the left (picture) and her friend “Wenty” (Ruth Wentworth) decided to board passage on the Schooner James A.Webster (picture), with Captain Eaton at the helm. As I read the back of certain pictures they covered some beautiful ports; Camden, Stonington Harbor, Little Deer Isle and Belfast Harbor.

After relocating our catboat from Connecticut last year, we set a goal to get enough completed to make a respectable showing for a “project boat” at the 2013 Georgetown Wooden Boat Show. We started by “manhandling” the boat from blocks and stands to the trailer. I forgot what a chore this was!

My wife pitched in, and plugged, epoxied, and varnished the topsides. This turned out to be the most attractive aspect of the boat. Here is Valiant ready to go.

Booking my room late for the Port Townsend show put me into the Sportsman Lodge in Port Angeles. Actually, a quaint little mom and pop motor lodge. Other than the distance from the show, it suited me perfectly. As I'm sure you readers do as well, any stop to a new town makes a trip to the waterfront a necessity.

It was my beloved (wooden) Jet 14 hull #217 c. 1958 CHARCOAL that stood (I should say- floated) between me, my aforesaid 14-footer, and an adorable 5 footer named Sheryl. I sold the boat to balance my checkbook sufficiently to purchase an engagement ring, which I presented to my crew as she feigned slumber on a sagging couch in the Trophy Room at Red Bank, N.J.’s Monmouth Boat Club. There is hope for all you owners of aging wooden boats.

For a few years in the early 20th century my grandfather owned a “camp” on Honnedaga Lake, in the large private preserve managed by the Adirondack League Club, an organization dedicated to hunting, fishing, hiking and recreation on 55,000 forested acres in upstate New York. The camp was named “Kanahoya,” an Iroquois name for a red-berried shrub growing by the water.


First of all, I introduce myself: I’m from France, maried, eight children (one in Boise, Idaho), framer and other jobs on wood, only natural ones. I started the building four years ago and now she’s nearly finished (just a problem with the cooling system of the inside motor).

She’s made of oak (carpentry) and douglas pine (hull and deck).

I made the plan and all the stuffs, blacksmithing also and sails too.

I work on this “chantier” for 3500 hours and now I hope to sail first around West coast of France and after, straight to North.

I rowed my scull in September under a Harvest moon and a million stars. I rowed well through the otherworldly light of that night. It was a transcendent moment alone on a beautiful and well loved pond on Cape Cod.

Because this is a wooden boat site I will tell you about the boat. She is a single scull, 27 feel long, and 11-½ inches at her widest beam. Her name is BOANNE, named after the Celtic goddess of rivers and poets.

I set sail with a couple of old salts yesterday and am the wiser for it. Having sailed with Bob Woodruff the previous Sunday on a familial flotilla across Edgartown Great Pond to the south shore beach it occurred to Bob that an excursion in my slippery Melonseed skiff might be just the thing to draw his friend Mait Edey out after a recent bout with Lyme.

I was standing on the rear deck of a friend of mine’s boat at the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show in Georgetown, SC in October 2010, talking to this guy named Ken that owned the Owens docked just behind us, when we saw an Elco coming up the Sampit River. I made comment that I’d like to see an Elco, to which he replied, “My father has an Elco” I asked what kind and he told me a 1930 27 ft Marinette. I said to him that it sounds like one that I used to own.

The life of an impoverished young cruising yachty is occasionally spotted with unexpected bounty. This was to be my experience one late summer’s day as my boat was laid up on a disused slipway in Thursday Island.


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