This terrific wooden boat, designed by David Roberts, was built by my husband, David T. Bickel, for a fishing and dive boat around the Fort Myers Bay. We made a slide show of the building of, and the story of, Sarah Jane.
This dory style sailboat was built in a small wood shop in my yard. It took ten months to build and would never have happened had it not been for the folks at Chesapeake Light Craft and their assistance.
Blanket Bay was built for my granddaughter, born today, May 27th. I wanted a design that got the cradle up off the floor (my daughter has three little dogs) and this design fit the bill. It’s clinker built of 1088 Hydratec Meranti ply, with solid Maple gunwales. The plans call for copper rivets; I used glue and thickened glue instead. I painted her with non-toxic acrylic paint on the hull, raw linseed oil and beeswax on the gunwales. I hope Blanket Bay has many safe voyages.
I chose the Spira International Tillamook Pacific City dory design for my first build. Aside from the remarkable feeling of splashing a boat built with your own hands, this boat is a deeply personal accomplishment for me. One of my ancestors, Capt. Joseph Bernard, was an Arctic explorer (and boatbuilder) who spent ten years wintered over between Nome, Alaska, and Victoria Island in the Canadian Arctic in his little gas schooner TEDDY BEAR at a time when much of the region remained uncharted.
Well, it's been about two years since I started working on the boat. Like most of my projects, it sat idle in the garage while priorities shifted and free time vanished. She's finally done, though, and we launched her at a nearby lake last weekend.