All Things Wood

This 25-foot model and prototype of the Viking longship “Draken Harald Hårfagre”, which is still docked at Mystic Seaport, is in the Thompson Exhibition Building at the museum’s nord end.

30 June 2017

It‘s time again for the annual WoodenBoat Show, which starts today at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut. Göran R Buckhorn writes:

If you are like me, that is, somewhere in New England, an Atlantic Ocean away from the small town of Henley-on-Thames, where there is a famous rowing regatta going on right now, and you do not want to sit indoors staring at the Henley races on your computer – honestly, it’s never the same, however many Pimm’s you drink in front of the screen – you should instead turn your nose in the direction of the small village of Mystic, and the 26th annual WoodenBoat Show.

“Draken Harald Hårfagre” with protecting shields – ready to meet the invading visitors of the WoodenBoat Show. The Viking longship will be open for tours during the whole summer.

This three-day festival, which is produced by WoodenBoat Publications, Inc., and hosted by Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut, between Friday 30 June and Sunday 2 July, will offer all the usual things that you would expect from the largest wooden boat show in the USA. More than 100 traditional and classic wooden vessels are on display at the 19-acre Mystic Seaport, everything from small canoes and row boats to cruising yachts, and there will be workshops and demonstrations. Some 100 vendors will stand ready to sell everything you need – and don’t need – varnish, tools, boating clothes (including shoes), books, jewelry, paint, sails, prints, photographs and more. And yes, of course, boats, already built ones or building kits, if you are handy enough to pull that off (sadly, I’m not).

Take your pick! Which boat would you like to build?
Row boats to build or buy?

At the workshops and demonstrations in the museum’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard, you will get an insight into the necessary skills of blacksmithing, dory planking, caulking, Viking boatbuilding, how to work with an adze and wood-epoxy boatbuilding. In the Shipyard right now Mayflower II is being restored by the amazingly skilled shipwrights. The vessel, launched in England in 1957, belongs to Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts. She is staying at the museum for a period of 30 months and will be ready to sail back to Plymouth in 2020 to celebrate the Pilgrims arrival to the New World 400 years ago. During the WoodenBoat Show visitors will be able to tour the vessel.

The stern of the “Mayflower II”. She was built between 1955 and 1957 in England and donated to the American people as a gift in appreciation for help and cooperation during the Second World War.

Also this year, I intend to especially look for rowing related subjects at the show and an article on my finds will be published later next week.

What would a boat show be without a bric-a-brac shop that has everything you need?
A shipwright tool, maybe?
Here is a vessel that has just been added to the watercraft collection of Mystic Seaport, the 25-foot motorboat “Gramp”. She was designed by naval architect William Hand and built in 1912 by L. West and George P. P. Bonnell of Port Chester, N.Y. She ‘is an excellent example of the fast and seaworthy “Hand v-bottom” launches and runabouts that were plentiful in the decade before World War I,’ it states on the museum’s website. She is probably the only surviving example of this design and has been kept largely original by her former owners. According to the Mystic Seaport website ‘“Gramp” is powered by a 62 h.p. Westerbeke Model W-70 6-cylinder gas engine connected to a Scripps 1:1 transmission with mechanical engine controls. She has an 11”X 9” 3-blade bronze propeller on a 1 1/8” bronze shaft. She can cruise as 10-12 knots with a top speed of 20 knots. She has a 30-gallon stainless steel fuel tank.’ “Gramp” is a real beauty.

More on the WoodenBoat Show here.

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