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Your Turn: Guest Posts

Your turn to postYour Turn is an area of our website where we invite guest writers to submit their stories about wooden boats. This area IS moderated, which means we will only approve those posts which we find most compelling. We invite you to post your stories, or to comment on others. (You must be a member of, the website. But that is free and easy.)

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Put some work in on this! Boats are my drug of choice, 65 boats, 4 wives. Surfing the net a month ago I spotted a boat name that rang a bell. Walking off the dock at Skyline marina 11 years (and 22 boats) ago I admired a wood fishboat named BEYONDA . I told my wife that if I ever saw a “for sale” sign on that boat I would buy her in an instant. Fast forward 11 years and my weekly surf for the next boat. BANG! There she was. Flew out from Saskatchewan, viewed her without going aboard, talked to owner, agreed to pay asking price (far too low) and bought her on the spot.

Rat Island Rowing - restoring racing history one shell at a time.

Before there were 80 channels of sports, rowing was a major event in Washington State. When the Huskies beat Cal, 2nd Avenue erupted with paper confetti. And when the UW crew wrested the Olympic gold medal from Hitler’s iron fist, Seattle was hoisted atop the shoulders of the entire free world.

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Norway’s constitution and building on classic yacht regattas held in 1914 and 2000, the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS) and the Norwegian Classic Yacht Club (KTK) organized Europe Week 2014 which concluded earlier this week. 81 magnificent boats from all over Europe took part: 14 in racing classes, 67 in cruising classes.

A couple years ago while reading WoodenBoat Relaunchings section I noticed a Thompson Runabout that had been beautifully restored. The restorer was Ron Fortucci from Easton MD. Back in 1972 I was stationed with a Ron Fortucci on the CGcutter Vigilant in New Bedford. We were drinking buddies as well as shipmates but due to transfers lost track of each other. When researching websites about boat building his name appeared on the CBMM website as a volunteer in the youth boat building program. I sent a email inquiry that got no response.

I have to confess that I'm a Woodenboat Show Stalker. After having attended many of the shows as a visitor, my wife asked “Why don’t you enter Redwing in the show next summer?” The year was 1995 and the show was in Southwest Harbor. I and the boat reside on Cape Cod. Since I can’t trailer her, that left sailing her there. My buddy Pete who was to accompany me had to back out five days before shoving off, so that meant a solo voyage.


Aside from what I learned at the TRYC sailing program and sailing at camp in New England as a youngster, I’ve learned that there is simply an indescribable degree of spiritual peace and the ultimate respect for nature that can be reached while sailing any vessel, large or small.

What a fabulous time we had in Brooklin a couple of weeks ago! Two visitors from Adelaide, South Australia, blew in un-announced to several of the wooden boat builders and received the warmest of welcomes from every one. Brooklin Boatyard, Brion Rieff, Doug Hylan, and Eric Dow allowed us full rein to talk, sketch, and paint on-the-spot. Rosemary in the WoodenBoat magazine office and Rich Hilsinger in the WoodenBoat School were also generous with their time. Thank you to every one of you. You made a special visit even better. Vee and Denis Noble

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.

This is a blog space open to readers of

This is a curated site, which means we will only publish select posts.  Please confine your posts to those that concern wooden boats in some fashion:  building, designing, repairing, using, history, stories, etc.

You must be a member of in order to post — that is a free and easy process.

I look forward to reading what you contribute.  Thanks, Carl 

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