Monday, March 28, 2011

Maine Boatbuiders Show 2011 : Part 1

Another year has passed and spring is around the corner again so it must be time to head to Portland for the Maine Boatbuilders Show again. Every year I encourage my students to go to the show as an opportunity to see the variety of boats that are there and the different ways that the builders approach trim and details. After spending the better part of the year building their own as-yet-unfinished boats, it is a wonderful bit of enthusiasm and encouragement to look at the beautiful boats that have been brought to the show. It is also a great opportunity to get those items from show vendors or next door at Hamilton Marine that will go into making their canoes the works of art that people will say "ooh" and "ahhh" over at the school's exhibition in June. While there are very few canoes or small boats at the show, it also seems to be a mind-expanding trip for the students in seeing the possibilities.

I usually try to do a quick trip through the first floor of the show to get an idea of the whole show in order to get an idea of the boats and booths that I want to spend more of my limited time at the show seeing. I suppose that I should mention that my students and I meet at the school at 6:00 AM to put the canoes back in the barn before getting in the car for the drive to Maine to go to the show stopping along the way for breakfast, the show, Hamilton Marine, and a late lunch before heading back home. It's quite the kamikaze run...

At any rate, I found it slightly difficult to do my usual zip through the show as I found both friends and vendors that I wound up stopping to talk to along the way. Don't get me wrong - I was very glad to see them, it just took me a bit longer than usual.

Here are a few of the sights that caught my eye on the way in - first, some traditional split ash-creels and a lovely caned seat at the Shaw and Tenney Booth. Oh yeah, they also make some of the loveliest traditional paddles and oars you'll find.

Hanging on the wall outside what must be an office space at Portland Yacht services is this single scull which has been there for many years. I'm always curious what the story is behind this particular boat. One year I'll work up the interest to find one of Phin's employees to ask what the story is.

While not being much of a power-boat fan, I could see one of these runabouts at a dock in my future. Love the pinstripe decks and the detail that went into her. I try to make my students appreciate all of the disciplines that go into making these craft.

More to come...

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