On Practice Wherries

A friend of mine, Bill, sent me an e-mail regarding yesterday’s entry. Bill also visited the WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport Museum and he mentions how much he enjoyed the show again this year. Bill writes “As usual, I got sidetracked talking with all sorts of vendors, including Steve Ferlauto and now I’m toying with the idea of building a practice wherry to add to my fleet of small boats.” Bill continues “Steve Ferlauto had a practice wherry on display that looked to me like a much more attractive alternative to the Aldens for beginners as well as a boat that would enjoy being out in open water. He said that it was a prototype […]. I’m thinking that the Seaport must have some practice wherries in its collection that have been measured and documented. Do you know?”

I agree with Bill about Steve’s beautiful wherry (see above), it is a much more appealing boat than the Aldens. To be really honest, I have always felt that sculling in an Alden was like sculling in a tub.

Regarding Bill’s question if the Seaport has any practice wherries in its collection, I am aware of a couple. To be on the safe side I had a look in Mystic Seaport Watercraft Catalogue by Maynard Bray, Benjamin Fuller, and Peter Vermilya. On pages 260-263 you will find the following wherries:

Union Boat Club Practice Wherry (ca. 1920) 19’ 6” x 2’ 1”
Accession No. 1985.17.1

Pocock Practice Wherry (1960s?) 21’ 5” x 2’ 2”
Accession No. 1999.19.1

2 Union Boat Club Cruising Sculls (ca. 1920) 23’ 0” x 2’ 7”
Accession No. 1985.17.2 & No. 1985.17.3

Practice Wherry (?) 22’ 2” x 2’ 3”
Accession No. 1972.1112

Practice Wherry by Williams (ca. 1934) 20’ 0” x 2’ 0”
Accession No. 1975.313

Williams Wherry (1932) 17’ 0” x 2’ 0”
Accession No. 2000.136.3

More information on these wherries may be obtained by calling the museum’s Collection & Research Center, 860-572-5367 (Thursdays & Fridays only), or by sending an e-mail to: collections@mysticseaport.

Bill, good luck building your own practice wherry!

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