It's been way too long since I last wrote about what is happening in the Watercraft Center. So I thought I'd update what's been happening. 2020 Raffle Boat We've completed and installed our new 2020 raffle boat, and tickets are on sale for $5 at the museum gift shop. The new boat is a traditionally built dinghy called a "Catspaw," and the plans are available from Wooden Boat Magazine. The 13-foot rowing/sailboat was originally drawn and built by Nat Herreshoff and updated by Joel White. We built the boat in the traditional style using white oak for the backbone and steam-bent frames, Atlantic white cedar (aka Juniper} for the lapstrake planking and mahogany for the sheer plank, transom and seats and thwarts. The boat also comes with a beautiful set of handmade fir oars. The mast and sprit are also fir. This is a sweet boat that would be perfect for rowing or sailing...

So we're fully engulfed in the summer season here at the Watercraft Center. Aside from trying to keep cool, we are also working on several projects. We have been developing a new mini sharpie that can be a child's row boat, a beer cooler for the backyard barbecue when filled with Ice or even a raw bar for serving oysters and shrimp. Or maybe a yard planter or even a book shelf. This 7-foot-8-inch row boat is the product of my "Introduction to Boat Building Class" which I run every month. In this weekend-long, two-day class we learn about building boats in the stitch and glue method; and we put together these mini sharpies. After the class is over, our volunteers and staff finish and paint these boats off as small boats or bookshelves; and we are offering them up for sale at the annual Boat Shop Bash in November — or sooner...

Like any nonprofit, we could not accomplish nearly all that we do without the help of a team of dedicated volunteers. All those awesome boat building projects? Completed with the help of our skilled volunteers. Our ability to showcase a working watercraft center? Impossible without the volunteers here working on projects. Even the plaques we gave out today to recognize the Volunteers of the Year from the Watercraft Center, Maritime Museum, our Friends group, the Junior Sailing Program and Bonehenge Whale Center? Built by a volunteer — a volunteer who, coincidentally, was our top volunteer of the year. William Shrader was named the Watercraft Center Volunteer of the Year. He was recognized by center Manager Grant Caraway for not just helping out but helping out on the less glamorous parts of boat building and restorations: painting and scraping and sharpening tools. Congratulations, Will! A second volunteer was recognized with an award specific to...

We are in mid winter-mode in the Watercraft Center and working on several interesting projects. One is the restoration of our old 28-foot Barbour Work Boat, circa 1937. We are Several months into the restoration of the boat, which is new to our collection. We started work in October. Right off the bat it was evident that the stem and several planks on the forward starboard side below the waterline needed replacement. It looked as though the boat had been damaged in that area at some point and the repair was less then adequate. So our first plan of attack was to replace the stem and several planks on both sides forward below the water line. We also refastened the whole boat as best we could. And we removed the cabin house, which was obviously not original (or correct).  [gallery columns="2" ids="2690,2686,2689,2691"] Currently, we have completed that work and are in the process of...