Acorn to Arabella: The Vlogging Boatbuilders

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In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock without wifi for the past few years, the hot trend for those under 70 with a boat to build, is to document it on video. Sharing the build on YouTube is the plan for most “vloggers,” (Video bloggers are called “Vloggers”) and we couldn’t be happier about this! We have a long list of these boatbuilding vloggers that we like to follow, and amongst them is the dynamic young duo from the Acorn to Arabella series.

Over on our other blogroll, at TotalBoat.com, the readers have been eating up these updates from the Arabella work shed, a backyard bimini set up (ok, fine, it’s better than a bimini, it’s a full blown, shrink-wrapped workshop) in the back yard of the builders, Alix and Steve. These motivated men have decided that despite their lack of sailing ability (as in, they have never sailed. Ever!), that they are building an Atkins Ketch from scratch.

In the most recent episode we featured, they toured us through a rotting Atkins hull that they picked up and plan to use for all the beautifully intact bronze bits and pieces. These two are into recycling at it’s very best, and you’ll know if you watched our Vela Restoration series (and you should…), that we love it any time you can recycle old parts (or old hulls, as was the case with Vela). Giving new life to old things is worthwhile, especially when boats are involved. You’re better off with the “tried and true,” as opposed to the “brand new” often times with boating. If a part or piece has been through the ringer in the marine world, most likely it’s built to last, because most parts that aren’t, are long gone by now.

Head over to TotalBoat’s blog and catch up there with our Acorn to Arabella posts and see what we’re so excited about.

 

 

Finishing Up: Waterlust’s Teardrop Camper Build

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The Waterlust team has been hard at work this summer building the Chesapeake Light Craft Teardrop Camper. It’s been fun to watch them as they have taken planks and puddles of epoxy and turned it into a real life, moving, beautiful shelter. One which we know, from watching their videos, will take them to the far reaches of the earth, to the beaches and coastlines that they will use to teach us about the ocean. Continue reading

How to Build A Boat to Sail Around the World

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Ok, maybe this video won’t show you the steps necessary or give you tips on how to actually build your own Volvo Ocean 65 sailboat. But it’s pretty cool to see a months long project condensed into minutes. Especially when you know it’s bound for a circumnavigation race – the Volvo Ocean Race starts in October – not too far off. So these boats better get built, and fast!  Continue reading

Sourcing Timbers at Mystic Seaport

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Wooden boat building can be as much about the materials you have access to, as it is about the skill and labor of building wooden boats.  If you’ve been watching our Skiff building series with Louis Sauzedde, then you know a good boatbuilder will go to great lengths to find the perfect timber. The species, grain appearance and age of each timber for your boat matters greatly as it is the heart, the core of your vessel. Build a boat from balsa wood and enjoy your handiwork for minutes, not decades. Select the right timber for the project and you’re good for a lifetime.  Continue reading

Head to the Providence Boat Show This Weekend

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Maybe you thought you would be skiing this coming weekend…but look outside – if you live anywhere near New England, you might have noticed that it appears to be more like a boating day (and week) than a winter ski week. So take that springtime energy and head over to the Providence Boat Show at the RI Convention Center. There are some very cool new boats, Paddle Boards, fishing gear and tackle and lots more to see there. Plenty of awesome vendors are packed up and moving in over the next few days and of even more interest – is the super cool “Youth Boat Build” sponsored by Jamestown Distributors.

The Youth Boat Build is a great example of how the marine industry is reaching to the youth and tomorrow’s workforce to create interest in the marine trades. Youth from the Ocean State are turning their passion for boats and building into high-tech, high-paying career paths in engineering, design, advanced composites manufacturing and the other marine trades.  Marine Trade students from programs at Chariho Career & Technical Center and Warwick Area Career & Technical Center will be doing a Live boat-build during the show near the front entry lobby. In addition, you can meet with staff from the New England Institute of Technology and from the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) School of technology and Trades. Both provide top notch marine instruction and a career path that is well grounded in Rhody and the surrounding New England community.

You can pick up tickets and  more show info at their website here, and when you get to the show, look for the TotalBoat banner and the boat under construction and tell them TotalBoat Show sent you!

 

The Boat

Bust out the kleenex, this simple video claims to be about boat building. But I beg to differ. It’s about a boy and his desire to build. His desire to work with his grandfather on a project that he spent at least 10 years hearing stories about. Grandpa builds boats. Now his grandson wants to put down the iPod and video games and use his hands and his grandfather’s expertise. Even if grandpa isn’t a shipwright or an expert – he knows it all for this project and the relationship seems so mutually beneficial to both grandson and grandfather.

It’s so nice to think that kids today can take great interest in things that are not based on a screen or an emoji. Enjoy this video. I’ll be home convincing my son to start asking his grandfather to build something together. A boat perhaps, a fishing rod – maybe. Just to let the two sit and ponder and dream sounds good enough to me!

The Art of Boat Building

Down in the Gulf of Mexico, it isn’t all shrimp boats and oil rigs. Master Boatbuilder, Bill Holland grew up in Biloxi, MS where his father served as a schooner captain. Holland grew up playing around the neighborhood boatyards, and became obsessed with watching the men build and repair the local fishing boats. He got started building model boats made from scrap wood from the yards. By the time he was twelve he had built his first boat and had begun working in the boatyards, learning the trade from the builders. During his teenage years Holland worked for a number of Biloxi’s renowned wooden boatbuilders.

After a stint in the Coast Guard, Holland learned about the construction of steel hull ships through work as a production welder and burner at the Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula. Later he purchased a piece of waterfront property across the bay from Biloxi in D’Iberville, a spot that had been known for over 100 years as Shipyard Point. Holland built his own boatyard on the property, along with a home for his family.

Holland builds and repairs a wide range of boats in his yard, from small skiffs and sailboats to large schooners. He has built 43 boats in his lifetime. Although he has done a wide range of work, his favorite projects are constructing new boats using the older forms and designs. One of his more recent projects in this vein was Mascot, a 39 foot steam launch built for a New Orleans businessman.

Read More…

The Boat the Internet Will Build

Meet Doug Jackson and the hulking steel hull of the MotorSailor, ‘Seeker.’ ‘Seeker’ is parked in Doug’s front yard in Tulsa, Oklahoma waiting for the internet (you!) to come sign up to help build her. She is a 3 masted Chinese junk and his plan is to recruit energetic helpers with his videos, who are invited to come stay in his home and chip in with the mountain of boatbuilding that is required to get ‘Seeker’ built and afloat.

This is Doug’s “invitation” to you, internet, to come help out. He shows you around, explains the work to be done and the benefits of helping out and shows off his workshop. Seems like a fair deal! Ready to sign up? Let us know if you’re heading to Tulsa to help Doug out! He has plenty of work for everyone!

 

Design & Construction Talk about the VO65’s

It’s interesting to check back on this older video posted at the initial stages of this 2014-2015 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. Having decided on doing one-design boats for more level competition, the boats are a  collaboration between many designers, yards and builders.

And now that the boats have safely crossed all the oceans of the race (with only 3 short legs remaining up the coast of Europe with a finish in Gothenburg, Sweden) it is safe to declare that they must have really been built well, as there were very few structural or mechanical breakdowns. It has been a mercifully non-eventful event for the shore crew and the sailors. Everyone is in one piece and aside from the obvious boat damage sustained when Team Vestas Wind smashed into a little island (ok, a reef) requiring a full repair back at Persico Marine in Italy, all the boats have fared well. And this can be directly attributed to smart sailing,  a great and sturdy design for the boats and rigs and great boatbuilding.

Kudos to all the involved boatbuilders and designers. The VO65 is here to stay for the next edition of the race, presumably in these very hulls which might owe part of their structural soundness to the fact that they were actually built to be used for 2 races.  It’s been a real pleasure to watch the teams conquer the seven seas in boats that don’t appear to be too light or under built.  Let’s not forget that this race has evolved from massively heavy and well appointed boats who were built to sail around the world. The evolution to light-as-possible racing machines is a good one, and dare we say that the new one-design element has been a great addition to the race, forcing skill and experience of the crew to the surface.

However you slice it, the boats are built with as much modern technology and state-of-the-art go-fasters onboard with the simple goal of winning the race by being the fastest around. The days of pushing as hard as possible, testing the limits of the boat and it’s construction are here to stay. And It’s nice to be able to see how these boats were conceived and built to endure everything the mighty ocean and the sailors who push as hard as possible can throw at them. The boats – all of them- and their designers and builders are all winning. The ultimate winner, though, is yet to be determined… time will certainly tell that story.

 

Tips from A Shipwright – Sharpening a Ship’s Saw

Thanks again to FishHawk Films and Louis Sauzedde for this latest great film from Tips from a Shipwright. Here Lou shows us his 42-inch L. Power Ship Saw and gives us a demonstration of his sharpening technique. Never a “dull” moment with Lou! Enjoy!