WoodenBoat Magazine 271

November / December 2019

Editor's Page

The Tip of the Iceberg

In this issue, Randall Peffer continues his fascinating history of the schooner ERNESTINA-MORRISSEY, which began in the previous issue. ERNESTINA-MORRISSEY, the sole surviving Essex-built Gloucester fishing schooner from the 19th century, had an illustrious career on the Grand Banks before being repurposed for Arctic exploration in the 1920s. As we learn beginning on page 48, she then became a transatlantic packet ship—the last such vessel to carry immigrants to the United States under sail.

I’ve been familiar with her story—the broad strokes of it—since the late 1980s, when I joined the Schooner ERNESTINA Commission. In fact, it was around that same time that I applied for a job with WoodenBoat and, to stock my then-nonexistent portfolio, I hastily penned an article about ERNESTINA in advance of an interview. That early effort was not published, and it has mercifully gone missing, but in the ensuing years I’ve kept an eye on ERNESTINA’s trials and tribulations, waiting for the right moment for WoodenBoat to carry her story.

That moment has come, for ERNESTINA is now concluding a thorough rebuilding of her hull, and will soon become a training vessel for Massachusetts Maritime Academy. (By some miracle of coincidence, the schooner BOWDOIN, another legendary American Arctic exploration vessel of the same era, occupies the same role at Maine Maritime Academy.) ERNESTINA-MORRISSEY’s history has fermented over the past several decades. She is outstanding and unique. As Dan Moreland, her captain during the years she transitioned into an educational vessel, has said, “I can think of no more powerful or inclusive American monument.”

Randall’s articles, and the illustration research for them, have driven home that point for me. Many of the images in the articles are drawn from the collection of the Schooner ERNESTINA-MORRISSEY Association, which are in the archives of the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. There are 754 images in that collection, so far, and I went through all of them to make the selections for these articles. But our selections are the tip of the iceberg; there is a treasure trove of images remaining. Some of them are simple snapshots; some offer glimpses into past eras; some are positively artful. All of them, taken together, tell the schooner’s story, visually, from fishing, to Arctic exploration, to passenger and cargo-carrying, to education. That photo collection is a wonderful companion to the articles, and I encourage you to peruse it while reading. You can access it here:

Matt Murphy

Editor of WoodenBoat Magazine

Crash boat.
Page 24

Unsung Heroes

by Randall Peffer · Photographs by Steve Jost

The most amazing thing happened,” says Jerry Tretter. The year was 2005 and Tretter, his father, Bud, and a crew had taken their restored 85' Army Air Forces crash boat P–520 from their home in Long Beach, California, to Puget Sound to lead a parade of tall ships. After the parade, as the boat and crew were sitting dockside, all manner of World War II and Korean War veterans started coming aboard to share their memories of crash boats.

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Page 34


by Tom Pamperin

A 60' schooner would be a big project even for a fully staffed boatyard, but HURON JEWEL, launched in 2018, wasn’t built by a professional crew. She was built by designer Hugh Covert and his wife, Julie, assisted by a diverse assortment of volunteers with experience ranging from extensive to non­existent. This summer I had the chance to spend a few days aboard, daysailing around Potagannissing Bay, hoisting and furling sails, ballantining halyards, coiling lines, and even taking the wheel occasionally. Now, sitting in the spacious main saloon with Hugh and Julie after another day of sailing, I have to keep reminding myself that it took them only three summers to build this 60' schooner—less time than it took me to build my 18' beach cruiser.

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The schooner ERNESTINA
Page 48

A Schooner for the Ages

by Randall Peffer

The previous issue of WoodenBoat included the story of the first three careers of the legendary Essex-built schooner ERNESTINA-MORRISSEY. After fishing successfully for more than two decades, she gained notoriety as an Arctic exploration vessel under the command of Capt. Robert Bartlett. And during World War II, she was a supply vessel. Here, we pick up the story with her transformation into a vessel of immigration.

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Page 58

Building a Dark Harbor 171⁄2

by Sean Koomen

The first phase of the Dark Harbor 171⁄2 project at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding involved building KOTIMANA’s hull and deck on two separate construction jigs.

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Coy Forge
Page 68

A Blacksmithing Primer

by Text and photographs by Tyler Fields

Med Chandler makes quality tools by hand. He began learning the blacksmith trade in 2003 at the Fort at No. 4 Open Air Museum in Charlestown, New Hampshire, before stints at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard in Maine and Ball & Ball Reproductions in Pennsylvania.

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Page 76


by Text and photographs by Tyler Fields

The eastern shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, are among the most beautiful waterways in New England, bordered by endless white sand beaches, towering dunes, and low marshes. One could spend a lifetime exploring the bays and coves there without growing restless; however, much of this region is too shallow for even the most modest cruising boat. For this reason, the maritime history of the Cape is built upon the decks of catboats.

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Sam Manning
Page 80

Remembering Sam Manning

by Editors of WoodenBoat

Sam Manning, friend to and illustrator for WoodenBoat, died in August this year (his obituary appears in the previous issue). In tribute to him, we asked eight people with whom he collaborated frequently, or were influenced deeply by him, to choose one of his illustrations and describe its significance to them. The results were surprising and heartwarming: For example, WoodenBoat founder Jon Wilson draws a “direct line” from Sam’s work to his decision to start the magazine; museum curator Ben Fuller recounts how he and Sam documented the nearly lost art of single-oar sculling; and contributor Arista Holden describes the profound influence of Sam’s work on her chosen path.

We’ll miss Sam deeply, and are grateful for his quiet examples of grace and humility.


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