The East Passage 24
WoodenBoat Magazine 288

September / October 2022

Editor's Page


“You’ll find a good deal of original hull skin in any of the restored triple-planked, copper-fastened New Zealand yachts built of kauri,” writes Maynard Bray in his description of RAWHITI, the 55' New Zealand–built classic racing cutter that appears on page 80 of this issue. In signature New Zealand style, RAWHITI’s hull is built of three layers of kauri fastened together with copper, a technique that Maynard calls, “one of the most durable of all pre-adhesive construction schemes.” RAWHITI, launched in 1905, has undergone significant restoration but, remarkably, a good deal of her hull is original and she’s still racing.

And then there’s DORIS, also launched in 1905. Tom Jackson describes her in Currents (page 15) as, “at 78' LOA the largest all-wooden hull ever built at Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. (HMCo.)” She is undergoing a thorough reconstruction at Snediker Yacht Restoration in Connecticut and, although her hull is being entirely replaced with new and exceptional wood, fastenings, and metals, her interior will be composed of a good deal of original material.

It’s a remarkable achievement that both yachts are nearing the 120th anniversaries of their launchings. And the fact that they have been preserved or rebuilt to standards as high or higher than original suggests that they have the potential to last for at least as long into the future. With their histories as prologue, we can imagine them still sailing at the age of 200.

A similarly high standard of construction was applied to the East Passage 24, the beautiful center-console launch on the cover of this issue. She is the product of a collaboration between Carter Richardson, who developed the concept for her and whose company built her, and Walter Ansel, who designed her. Both men brought high standards and deep experience to the boat, which evokes several New England traditions, is built using methods developed over a century ago by Herreshoff, but also employs best current practices in wooden boat building. The boat is double planked, with an inner layer of cedar and an outer layer of mahogany, creating a structure that, with proper care, should be every bit as durable as that of RAWHITI—and, as author-photographer Tyler Fields notes, will minimize trips to the paint booth.

But also consider INTERNATIONAL, a 73' excursion boat built high in the Rocky Mountains in 1927. Proper care and storage have kept her going for nearly a century. Jeremy Masterson writes beginning on page 68 that the boat “was not all that remarkable for her times.” In fact, unlike the aforementioned examples, her construction, although a Herculean task because of the remote building site, was pretty conventional, with western red cedar single-planking, steam-bent white-oak frames, and Douglas-fir structural members, all fastened with steel and iron. A cold, freshwater environment has no doubt contributed to her longevity, but so has a careful and consistent maintenance regimen. Still, as Jeremy notes, “she has weathered windstorms, floods, and snowfalls that collapsed her storage shed roof, threats of forest fires, and government bureaucracy. She has had a couple of minor collisions resulting mostly in propeller damage. She has endured a few periods of less-than-adequate maintenance. By the 1980s, she needed a steward, not just an owner.”

INTERNATIONAL was barely being kept afloat in 1986 when a new owner purchased her and committed to a thorough restoration, accomplished over the course of five years during shoulder seasons, and with the boat operating seasonally all the while. INTERNATIONAL’s steward arrived at just the right time.

And there, in stewardship, lies the common thread among all of these boats, whether they were built exceptionally or conventionally. Visionary ownership keeps them going.

Matt Murphy

Editor of WoodenBoat Magazine

Cypress bateau.
Page 26

Born On the Bayou

by Randall Peffer

Our so-called “bateau” boat is not yet five minutes away from the dock before we spot our first gator. It isn’t very big–maybe four or five feet. I glimpse the crest of its head and the black, reptilian eyes glaring at me above the brown water. Then there’s the flash of a tail, and it is gone. I remember what “Mr. John” Benoit said after the fog had lifted this morning and J.B. Castagnos had launched our 20' cypress-planked bateau at Mr. John’s camp on Bayou Pidgeon.

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The 15' Fowey River Boat
Page 36

Building a Fowey River Boat

by Text and photographs by Nigel Sharp

In Fowey, a small town in Cornwall, England, a racing dinghy fleet was born in 1950 when a local dentist, E.W. Mogg, known to all as “Moggy,” ordered a boat built to plans by the yacht designer Reg F. Freeman. The original plans for the 15-footer, published in Yachting World in 1939, had included a foredeck, samson post, and skeg, but Moggy asked his builder to omit those. By 1965, 36 boats were built with the same modifications, and they constituted a one-design racing class that came to be known as Fowey River boats. Although interest in the class started to wane in the 1970s, a resurgence began in 1991, when an existing boat was restored and lines were taken and patterns made for the construction of a new one.

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Haven 12½
Page 46

An Electric Pod Drive for a Haven 12½

by Text and Photographs by Don Eley

The Haven 121⁄2 is the designer Joel White’s centerboard adaptation of the classic Herreshoff 12½, a lead-keel ballasted daysailer. Both boats measure about 16' overall and are named for the length of their waterlines. Both were designed without auxiliary power; a paddle, in most situations, was all that was needed to get a boat back to the mooring if the wind died. But when your mooring is a mile up a creek that empties into the Pawtuxet River on Chesapeake Bay, it can be handy sometimes to have auxiliary power—especially when the wind and tide are against you. Electric propulsion is a quiet and environmentally friendly alternative to internal combustion.

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The cutter KELPIE
Page 54

Catching Up with KELPIE

by Nic Compton

It’s a windless morning as we head out of the Hamble River in the 1903 gaff cutter KELPIE for the last sail under her current ownership. A last-minute invitation had been sent out to more than 100 people, knowing that only a handful might turn up. The crew is thus a mixed bunch, and far less experienced than you’d imagine possible. Of the nine people on board, two have never sailed before, three have very limited experience, and only four are seasoned sailors.

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Illustration of bugeyes racing.
Page 64

The “Race of the Century”

by Text and illustrations by Tom Price

It started on an October evening in 1936, with a drink in hand, as so many of the best challenges often do. After a sumptuous dinner at the Gibson Island Clubhouse near Annapolis, Maryland, on a broad veranda overlooking Chesapeake Bay, J. Linton Rigg declared, “I’ve got the fastest bugeye on the bay.” The newest owner of the bugeye BROWN SMITH JONES had a point: she had been feared by nearly every oyster poacher on the bay 40 years earlier, when the Oyster Police used her to enforce catch limits.

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Page 68

High Expectations

by Jeremy Masterson

On a quiet morning in September 1927, a fresh, new wooden excursion boat sat on its ways waiting to be launched. In the years of economic boom before the Great Depression, the same scene was undoubtedly playing out in many yards big and small across the United States. This boatyard, however, was remarkable for its location: it was on the shore of Upper Waterton Lake, high in the Rocky Mountains in Montana, which in the 1920s would have been considered one of the most remote places in the then-48 American states.

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The East Passage 24
Page 74

The East Passage 24

by Text and photographs by Tyler Fields

It’s always a bit surreal seeing the Newport, Rhode Island, waterfront during the peak summer season. The harbor’s typical mid-sized racers and cruisers look comically miniature in comparison to the super­yachts looming large over the town docks. When the surrounding boat lengths are measured in the hundreds of feet, a 20-something-foot center-console boat shouldn’t gain too much notice.

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Page 80

Aboard: Rawhiti

by Maynard Bray · Photographs by Benjamin Mendlowitz

RAWHITI is one of about 45 keel cutters launched from the Logan yards based in Auckland, New Zealand, between 1882 and 1908. Christened in 1905, she’s one of the youngest of the breed and, at 55' on deck, one of the largest. She benefited from a local restoration renaissance and once again looks proud, with her flush deck, a jackyard topsail, and the superb detailing that went with New Zealand’s golden age of yachting.

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