Monday, April 5, 2010

Maine Boatbuilders Show : Episode 5

While it is called the Maine Boatbuilders Show, boatbuilders and suppliers from all over come to the show. There are quite a few builders from Cape Cod, one from Northwestern Vermont, Southern Connecticut and Nova Scotia, Canada. There was a vendor of custom instrument panels who'd even come all the way from Washington State.

One of the vendors from Cape Cod was Ballentine's Boat Shop, They had one of their boats on display along with a nice display of custom brass work. I thought that their slide show was both unique and interesting - they were showing their work using the sail of the boat on display as the screen for the slides!

Steve Kaulback from Adirondack Guideboat, located in North Ferrisburgh, Vermont - not far from Burlington - had a variety of their beautiful guideboats on display. They included all-wood boats sheathed in fiberglass and the Kevlar and fiberglass hulls with wood trim. Steve's company sells a variety of designs and sizes as complete boats and as kits for the home builder.

Be sure to stop by and visit their website for some better views of their boats.

From Southern Connecticut was Nick Schade of Guillemot Kayaks had some of his beautiful and lightweight canoes and kayaks on display. Nick is an incredibly well-rounded guy. He's a mechanical engineer by training, a small boat designer and builder, an author and a teacher. At the WoodenBoat School this year, in addition to his usual classes, Nick will be picking up the Cedar Strip Canoe building class that had been taught by Ted Moores of Bear Mountain Boats. Nick has a new book out in the past year entitled, Building Strip-Planked Boats. This new book is a more general purpose book on the subject and includes information on the building of a dinghy, canoe and kayak.

Nick had four boats with him - two of his Nymph double-paddle canoes, his Aleutesque sea kayak and a stitch-and-glue Night Heron kit with puzzle cut panels. I'm always interested in getting an opportunity to talk with Nick as he's always got something new up his sleeve and usually has come across that obscure building detail that I haven't seen yet.

I should also mention that Nick's brother Eric is a talented designer and builder in his own right. Eric owns Shearwater Boats and also teaches at the WoodenBoat School among others places. Eric's plans and kits are also available through his partnership with John Harris of Chesapeake Light Craft.

From Chester Basin, Nova Scotia was Bruce Thomson of Tern Boatworks. Bruce had brought along Enigma - a stunning International One Design with a well-faired black hull. It shone like a mirror and the detail was fantastic.

Tern's platform for viewing Enigma was busy for quite some time. I came back three times before I had the opportunity to climb the platform to get a look at her and talk to Bruce. It was a good testament to their workmanship.

The aft deck was simple and clean...

The woodwork on the interior was to the same high standard as the rest of the boat...

Bruce said that this had been an interesting challenge as the plans that had arrived were in a foreign language. While this might not normally be a challenge, the terminology for boat building in different languages can be very specific. He discovered that they needed a little help to assure themselves that they'd gotten terminology correct.

A beautiful scarf joint at the rail with matched plugs. The Devil is still in the details...

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