Hot Off the Press, the Spring Catalog is Here!


Have you gotten our Spring 2015 Catalog? Your mailbox should be blessed with its arrival any day now if you have yet to receive it.

Here are a few great deals from this latest catalog:

And as always, we want you to have our catalog by your side as you plan your spring boat work and launching. So if you don’t already get one, request a catalog here.

Charlotte: A Wooden Boat Story – Making a Futtock

It isn’t hard to be impressed with wooden boatbuilders Ross Gannon & Nat Benjamin. For nearly 40 years G&B have launched pristine wooden boats that they have painstakingly designed and built, refit or repaired from their impressive marine railway in Vineyard Haven harbor on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

A few years ago, a documentary film named Charlotte: A Wooden Boat Story, was released. It can be viewed in its entirety online here, on DVD or in short pieces, like the one featured above.

TotalBoat and Jamestown Distributors are proud to feature the work of Gannon and Benjamin in our latest catalog, on the Go Deeper page of TotalBoat Show and here. If you find yourself in Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard, be sure to go check out the shop and the very cool working marine railway. Few yards still employ the railway technique of launching boats in favor or a Travelift, and when you find a yard with a busy railway – it most surely is a sign of badass boatwork going on nearby. When you find G&B or a cool railway, be sure to tell them (all of them) that TotalBoat Show sent you! Enjoy!

Bristol Boat Company: A Different Kind of Project


In case you thought master boatbuilder and Proprietor of Bristol Boat Company, Dan Shea, ever got bored with wooden boat building (never… no way, not ever even after 30 years), then you’ll be pleased to see that every once in a while a cool, non buoyant project makes its ways into every great boat shop. Skilled hands and sharp minds like Dan’s are a find and when a family from South Korea came to Dan with drawings for a 40-foot tall Egg shaped chapel.

Built in twelve sections in Dan’s Bristol workshop with familiar tools and materials, O’Shea shipped the pieces to Seoul to be assembled on site.

It’s a fun video to watch because Dan’s excitement about this crazy project is contagious. Here is some more info about this amazing build: And some great photos here.

Handcrafted by old-school shipbuilders and assembled on-site by a local family in Munho-ri, near Seoul, the Egg Chapel is a beautiful example of original architectural work constructed with the support of a local community. The small, non-denominational pilgrimage destination was designed by New York-based architect Andrew MacNair to provide an intimate space for weddings, baptisms and anniversaries in the South Korean town.

The wood parts were handcrafted by boat builders in Rhode Island and New York, and then shipped in 12 vertical sections to Inchon in South Korea. The Chapel is 30 feet high, 14 feet wide at the floor and 22 feet wide at its maximum girth. It is built on top of a concrete crypt — a structural foundation and underground quiet room. Supporting the base ring are 6 round concrete columns, which help anchor the wood chapel to the ground.

Situated high in the mountains of Yangpyeong County, the chapel entrance faces south so that direct afternoon sunlight can illuminate the structure’s center and bathe the altar in daylight. The position of the openings and the sheltering cylindrical shape reinforce the spiritual experience of the space. The intimate atmosphere is enriched by spiritual symbolism within the architectural design itself; the egg as the “seed of life“, a symbol of birth and rebirth which transforms the an apparently lifeless object out of which comes life.

The Detailers: Robert Darr

If the opening frame of this video doesn’t draw you in, then you can go back to watching your reality TV shows…. you must not be a [snowbound, longing for springtime] sailor. What is it about having the tiller in one hand and the mainsheet in another – sitting quietly in almost no breeze – aboard a little wooden beauty of a sailboat that captivates every sailors imagination? Am I right? Have you clicked?

We reached out to boatbuilder, Robert Darr, to get his insight into the work he was doing in our featured film. He had some cool insight to offer us about his work and about this boat in the film:

RD: The boat that I am hand-planing in the video is the ‘Eleanor’, named after my daughter.  I designed it about 12 years ago as part of the design class that I teach at the Arques School of Traditional Boatbuilding in Sausalito, CA.  The vessel is a sturdy mini ocean cruiser, 21′ long sloop with a displacement of nearly 2 tons. We cut the pepperwood and black locust trees for her hardwood, and local fir for her deck. We cast her lead keel and also patterned and cast her bronze fittings.  The other boat in the shop is the Loon, which I designed about 9 years ago, also in our design class.  Loon is 20′, with a displacement of one ton, half of which is in a bulb keel that adjusts from two feet to five feet of draft. Viewers may be interested to see other designs at our website:

Another tidbit about Bob and his school’s work that seems worth mentioning is their basic philosophy about teaching the craft of boatbuilding:

The Arques School has, since its inception, harvested its own lumber as much as possible, abandoned the use of toxic fungicides, and limited the use of harmful glues. Power tool noise hazards are reduced through an emphasis on hand tools, which also reduces the production of wood dust. The Arques School’s classes have been developed over the last twelve years to provide adult students with an authentic understanding of traditional boatbuilding.

Bob and the crowd at Arques School of Traditional Boatbuilding is yet another example of fine boatbuilders who have, for many years, bought various products from Jamestown Distributors.  We are proud to have contributed the great work being done by Bob and his boatbuilding students. Thanks for the inside scoop on ‘Eleanor,’ Bob.

Great Wooden Boats: RED Epic

Wooden boat lovers and camera geeks unite: this great little video showcases some great boatbuilding using the very best video cameras available (RED cameras).

Really this video was an excuse for the filmmaker, Philip Bloom, to shoot a very cool subject (we get that part) on a very cool camera he had on loan. So the little info we have is very camera heavy because Bloom was super stoked on his loaner – but we wooden boat lovers will look beyond the fancy frames to the amazing work being done at the Great Lakes Boat Building Shop.  This small operation epitomizes the dedication and love that goes into every inch of a wooden boat. Enjoy this beautifully filmed little short about Mike Kiefer and his Michigan based boat shop.

Filmmaker, Philip Bloom says: Whilst on holiday near the Great Lakes in June I was able to borrow Eric Kessler’s RED Epic for a few days. I messed around with the slow motion 300 FPS first thing but I really wanted to shoot a little piece with it so we found the Great Lakes Boat Building Company online. Phoned them up and asked if we could spend two hours with them making a little film…Mike, the owner said of course!

Loads more details (mostly about the camera) on my website:

Shot on the RED EPIC
Music by Drew Barefoot “Enjoy the calm”

Fairlie 55 – Construction Video Diary

A short video of the entire build process, from lofting to launch, of the Fairlie 55.
It’s the culmination of 13 months filming at Fairlie Restorations in Hamble.

What a beautiful boat and an impressive project. This video shows the amazing amount of detail that goes into every inch of a classic build both above and below decks. If you have ever wanted to sit in on a total build project, watch this and in 12:28 you get the whole process and even a sail at the end.

When you are ready to build your own, come to Jamestown Distributors for all your boat building needs. Most every tool shown in this video can be bought in our online store or at our expanded retail location in Bristol, RI.

Northwest School of Boatbuilding – Time Lapse

Visit the school for more information: – This is a time-lapse video I created based on photos taken at 60 sec intervals for 4 months while at NWSWB. The large boat is a Cape Cod Catboat and behind it is an Edwin Monk Sunray Lake runabout.

Of course Jamestown Distributors sells everything you need for your boatbuilding project from stem to stern. Come see our newly expanded shop in our Bristol, RI location or visit our online store. Our call center experts are ready to help you with your order.

Cutting Beads and Coves for Strip Built Boats

How to set up a router table to cut cove and bead strips for boatbuilding.

Beetle Cats


Ubiquitous Beetle Cats. They seem as much an all­American icon as blue jeans. With more than 4,000 built they seem to be everywhere, especially on the New England east coast, where the catboat type traces its lineage back to the simply rigged, strongly built, shoal­draught working boats with their characteristic unstayed mast set well forward in the bows, dating from the 1840s onwards.

And the 12ft (3.7m) Beetle Cats have themselves been built for nearly 100 years now. They came about in 1921 in New Bedford ­ the Massachusetts home to America’s whaling industry where James Beetle had built a business supplying open whalers to the whaling fleet; there’s even a Beetle Street in New Bedford. Between 1834 and 1854 Beetles were building 50 whalers a year… Continue Reading

Sea Trials aboard CARY ALI

CARY ALI, built by Rockport Marine, is a Friendship 36 designed by Ted Fontaine. The cold-molded centerboard sloop was launched in fall 2013. See her perform on the water, and hear design and construction comments from several team members at Rockport Marine.