The Whiskey Plank

The whiskey plank, traditionally, is the last plank fastened into the hull. The occasion is typically marked by a party to celebrate.

The views expressed are those of the authors and may not necessarily reflect those of WoodenBoat.

 

  • by Reuel Parker

    Transiting the Panama Canal in FISHERS HORNPIPE in late 1980 with crew Tage With, and line-handlers Cal and Janet from INDIAN PRINCESS. I sailed FISHERS HORNPIPE, my first cruising sailboat, from California to Florida in 1979/1980, through the Panama Canal. On the Caribbean side of the Canal, I was told that one of the prime places to visit was Portobelo, site of a historic Spanish fort, from...
  • by Reuel Parker

    A Bahamian Fishing Sloop beached for painting in Rolleville, Great Exuma, in 1987. In the foreground is a class of school children on a field trip. In my last blog I wrote about Bahamian sloops as Regatta race boats. The Regatta, initiated in the mid-1950s, did wonders for preserving the sloops—but it also transformed them from humble, pragmatic work boats into hotrod racing machines. No Bahamian...
  • by Reuel Parker

    Class A sloops racing in 2005—photo by Delfine (Reuel’s Angel #1). I first sailed to the Bahamas in March/April of 1981. I had sailed my cutter FISHERS HORNPIPE from California, via the Panama Canal. I immediately fell in love with the Bahamas, and have been visiting them every opportunity since. That first trip, we were in George Town, Great Exuma for the Family Island Regatta—native sloop races...
  • By Reuel Parker

    Tapered wooden stanchions on the schooner LEOPARD. Around thirty-five years ago, I was at sea on a sailboat with conventional stainless steel stanchions and plastic-coated stainless steel wire-rope lifelines. This was off the California coast, and one of those big northwest rollers heeled the vessel suddenly and sharply, throwing me bodily against a stanchion. The top of it caught me in the ribs...
  • by Reuel Parker

    Chesapeake Bay brogans circa 1901 from Chesapeake Bay Log Canoes and Bugeyes by M. V. Brewerton (photo by George Barrie Jr.). The missing link in the well-known evolution of Chesapeake Bay oyster fishermen is the Brogan. First came sailing log canoes, which are still extant on the Bay, and are raced very competitively to this day. Last came the bugeye and the skipjack—bugeyes are getting scarce,...
  • by Reuel Parker

    Hurricane Georges, September 25, 1998, over the Florida Keys I recently read Jim Carrier’s excellent book: THE SHIP AND THE STORM—Hurricane Mitch and the loss of the FANTOME . This is a very sobering non-fiction book, published in 2001 by International Marine (my original publisher), and re-published by Harcourt/Harvest in 2002. Hurricane Mitch, of October 1998, was one of the most powerful and...
  • by Reuel Parker

    I just read Dudley Dix’s excellent analytical account of his capsize in BLACK CAT during the 2014 Cape to Rio Race in the current issue (#149) of Professional Boatbuilder . Dudley Dix is a South African Yacht designer now living in the US (Virginia). BLACK CAT is a 1995 cold-molded plywood/epoxy racer/cruiser, about 38 feet long, sloop-rigged with a fin keel and spade rudder. Her construction...
  • by Reuel Parker

    Hurricane Gloria, Sept 25, 1985. I don’t know how many hurricanes I have been through—certainly several dozen if I include my childhood years on the south shore of Long Island. But I have also been through quite a few while living on board one or another of my six cruising sailboat homes over the past 35 years. Most memorable of these was Hurricane Gloria, which struck Connecticut on September 27...
  • by Reuel Parker

    Steam boxes seem to have drifted into the realm of anachronisms. About once every ten years someone asks me how the devil you make one in a hurry… so here’s how. I start by cruising around middle-class neighborhoods on trash day. Or you can check the local dump. What I am looking for is a discarded hot water heater, of average size. It seems plumbers tell their clients they need a new one, and...
  • by Reuel Parker

    Weighing anchor on LEOPARD using a traditional Lunenburg windlass. Boats that leave the dock and go somewhere (other than to another dock) need ground tackle. I briefly discussed ground tackle for cruising boats in Choosing Anchors And Rodes . Boats much over 10,000 lbs in displacement generally need a windlass to weigh anchor, and the subject of windlasses can bring otherwise mellow cruisers...