Craftsmanship with wood

lizkat

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Now here's a video (it's about 40 minutes long) to watch if you're at all interested in woodworking at elevated levels of craftmanship, in particular as applied to restoration of a racing class sailboat.



This is the restoration story of the Marilee, a Nathaneal Herreshoff designed NY40 class sloop from 1926 (one of only four extant, two now in the USA and two in Europe), restored in Belfast, Maine by French & Webb in 2015 and further in 2016. They had access to the MIT archives of all the old Herreshoff designs and underpinnings (models, plans, hardware specs) and through some connections of a French and Webb guy, even making use of rare materials like some lengths of cypress stored under water in the south for 140 years.

The project was a cost-no-object endeavor, as the owner wished to be able to race the boat hard in international competitions. So we're talking stuff like having 3,000 screws custom-made to rejoin planking to the hull more securely, and finding a way to move the power system 14 feet forward because the older boats didn't last so long with weight of that sort back at the stern. The engineering challenges were off the charts even with the original plans and a scan of the boat itself. For one thing they decided to make the rigging changeable from gaff style to marconi with some extraordinary custom bronze support structures at the bow once they saw a Herreshoff-signed drawing of the marconi rig.

Anyway don't ever let anyone tell you Americans don't know how to build stuff, fix stuff, re-invent stuff. What a fascinating little documentary. I thought building a grand piano was pretty complex but these boats, wow. I didn't even know you could do with wood some of what I saw happening in that film.
 

Edd

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I stayed at a house in Islesboro, Maine this past fall. You take a ferry there from very close to Belfast. I can attest to the boat culture in that area. I saw all kinds of sailboats and the like that you never see even down in my area of coastal NH. Incredible region. Good sea food.
 

AG_PhamD

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Now here's a video (it's about 40 minutes long) to watch if you're at all interested in woodworking at elevated levels of craftmanship, in particular as applied to restoration of a racing class sailboat.



This is the restoration story of the Marilee, a Nathaneal Herreshoff designed NY40 class sloop from 1926 (one of only four extant, two now in the USA and two in Europe), restored in Belfast, Maine by French & Webb in 2015 and further in 2016. They had access to the MIT archives of all the old Herreshoff designs and underpinnings (models, plans, hardware specs) and through some connections of a French and Webb guy, even making use of rare materials like some lengths of cypress stored under water in the south for 140 years.

The project was a cost-no-object endeavor, as the owner wished to be able to race the boat hard in international competitions. So we're talking stuff like having 3,000 screws custom-made to rejoin planking to the hull more securely, and finding a way to move the power system 14 feet forward because the older boats didn't last so long with weight of that sort back at the stern. The engineering challenges were off the charts even with the original plans and a scan of the boat itself. For one thing they decided to make the rigging changeable from gaff style to marconi with some extraordinary custom bronze support structures at the bow once they saw a Herreshoff-signed drawing of the marconi rig.

Anyway don't ever let anyone tell you Americans don't know how to build stuff, fix stuff, re-invent stuff. What a fascinating little documentary. I thought building a grand piano was pretty complex but these boats, wow. I didn't even know you could do with wood some of what I saw happening in that film.

I just came across this thread posting my boat thread in The Garage section.

I would also suggest you look into the Mystic Shipyard in Mystic, CT. They are into building tall ships using the methods and most of the materials used hundreds of years ago. As far as I’m aware, this is the only place on earth that does this and that is keeping this art alive.

Also, in Newport RI there is a wooden shipbuilding school called IYRS that you can tour for free. If you go during the week you can see the students hand building wooden boats- very impressive stuff.

America has a long history of building very impressive sailboats. Unfortunately, a lot of stuff today are high production and built to a price point- and with interior space and comfort at dock favored over actual ocean going abilities and comfort.

A lot of the more expensive, custom or semi-custom yachts are built in Asia due to much lower labor costs. That said, the craftsmanship skills are phenomenal.
 
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