East Passage Boatwrights opened its doors in September 2006 specializing in Wooden Boat construction and restoration. The company started with a partnership of three IYRS graduates and has now grown to more than ten employees. In a short amount of time they have restored a number of major projects and have earned a great reputation.
Pictured here is the S-boat Aquila #828 – which is the oldest S-Boat in Narragansett Bay. The S Class Sloops were designed almost 100 years ago in 1919 by the “Wizard of Bristol” Nat Herreshoff. There were about a hundred S-Boats built between 1919 and 1940 and amazingly many are still being raced today. S-boats carry a powerful sail plan with a self-tending jib, main and spinnaker. One of the most distinguishing attributes is the 42-foot spruce mast, which is tapered, hollowed and curved aft – giving it a rakish appearance.
Interestingly, the S-Class was the first Marconi rig that Herreshoff designed and the built-in curve may have been an attempt to emulate a gaff rig.
The team at East Passage, under the firm eye of their canine management, is refastening Aquila’s hull in preparation for the sailing season on Narragansett Bay.
East Passage Boatwrights is based just up the road from Aquila’s original boat shed at Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, RI. Franklin Street, where they are located, has become a bustling center for boat building with many a beautiful boat hidden behind the large garage doors that line the street. If you see the door up at East Passage, pop in and tell them TotalBoat Show sent you!