Editor's Page


In 1981, when I was still in high school, copies of this magazine began circulating around the shores of my home waters north of Boston. My first encounter with WoodenBoat, as I recall it, was issue No. 38 (January/February 1981). I was at the town landing in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and a photographer named Sandy Johnson was showing a copy of her cover image of the Fife yawl COTTON BLOSSOM IV—one of a fleet of wooden classics still hailing from Marblehead. The magazine hooked me, and I subscribed.

One of the first issues I received was No. 41. On its cover was a beautiful hull, framed in oak and partially planked in cedar. The photo was by Benjamin Mendlowitz, and it heralded a six-page photo essay by Art Brendze—co-owner of the yard where the boat was built—with photographs by Ben, showcasing the boat’s construction, launching, and first outings under sail. She was called ANNIE, and was a 24' yawl designed by Fenwick Williams—though she seemed much bigger.

My reaction to that boat was visceral. I didn’t have the vocabulary then to describe what drew me to her, and I’m not sure I do now. But as I’ve watched the boat’s life unfold, and learned more about her creation, I see something transcendent in her, some mystical link to Marblehead and the surrounding region. Fenwick Williams lived in that town, though I never knew him. Art grew up in the adjacent town of Swampscott, and, as he recounts in his article beginning on page 62, as a young man he befriended a group of local legendary naval architects, one of whom was Fenwick. ANNIE’s longtime owners Fred and Jane Bauer were from Marblehead, and they kept her there for about two decades in a portion of the harbor that was then populated by interesting wooden boats.

ANNIE and that cover story, mixed with some luck and good timing, drew me into the career I’ve pursued for more than 30 years. During that time, I’ve encountered several more yawls inspired by ANNIE. One notable one, appearing in an article called “Bluebear’s Boat,” tells a twisted tale of mountain boatbuilding gone off the rails (see WB No. 109). Another, a bright-hulled, jewel-like example called RARUS, made an appearance at The WoodenBoat Show back in 1994. I’ve lost track of her.

But recently, both ANNIE and Art have moved to Brooklin, Maine, home of WoodenBoat. Art had lost track of her, and, as you’ll learn in your reading, was stunned to encounter her one morning when he awakened aboard his lobsteryacht, EASTWARD, to find her moored nearby. It’s a comfort to have her here. While the old wooden-boat ethos, as a cultural mainstay, is now largely gone from Marblehead, ANNIE carries it like a precious cargo.

Matt Murphy

Editor of WoodenBoat Magazine

Electric launch
Page 24

The Brief Era of Herreshoff Electric Launches

by Evelyn Ansel

There was a moment in time, around the turn of the last century, when the world eagerly watched to see which emerging means of propulsion—electric motors or internal-combustion engines—would challenge the long dominance of steam power. From the early 1880s through the 1910s, the development of the “electric accumulator,” or rechargeable battery, made the widespread use of electric power a serious contender for vehicles, including boats.

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Page 38

Replacing a Hull

by Text and photographs by Nic Compton

One of the great virtues of plank-on-frame wooden boats is that their component parts can be more easily repaired than those in most modern monocoque structures. Over the years, I’ve seen everything from patches of rot being fixed with graving pieces to whole keels being replaced, and everything in between.

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Steve White
Page 48

The Remarkable Career of Steve White

by Tom Jackson

Even on a calm autumn morning, it’s hard to imagine that it was ever quiet at Brooklin Boat Yard. The yard has been a Maine boatbuilding institution since naval architect Joel White bought out his boatbuilding mentor, Arno Day, to found the business in 1960. Arno had found it all getting out of hand, too big, what with three employees in addition to himself and Joel. These days, the parking area fills in quickly in the morning with ten times that many boatbuilders, who nod their greetings as they arrive at work and the first machine noises inside break the morning stillness.

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Page 62


by Art Brendze · Photographs by Benjamin Mendlowitz

One calm summer morning in 2021, I awoke aboard my 33' lobster yacht, EASTWARD, riding peacefully to her mooring in the Benjamin River in Brooklin, Maine. I made coffee and commenced my morning survey of this beautiful harbor full of interesting wooden boats, both old and new.

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Page 74

In the Wake of a Classic

by Text and photographs by Jamey Hurley

In 2007, I finished building a Barrelback 19 to a Glen-L Boat Designs plan reminiscent of classic Chris-Craft runabouts. The boat, WANDERER III, turned out well—Glen-L even used a photo of it in their advertising—and I felt that the experience had prepared me for an even more ambitious challenge. Just as I was considering what that project might be, a friend gave me a copy of Classic Speedboats: 1915 to 1939 by Gerald Guitat (Bay View Books, 1997), which included a photograph of a boat called TYPHOON.

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Chain gauge
Page 82

Steam-Bending Frames at the Bench

by Reuben Smith • Illustrations by Jan Adkins

Years ago, in the midst of a difficult reframing job, I came across Barry Thomas’s excellent book, Building the Crosby Catboat. In it, Thomas describes his research into the Crosby method for fitting thick steam-bent frames into very tight bilges. He had had the good fortune to meet Horace Manley Crosby, Jr. aka “Bunk,” right when he needed him. Thomas tells of Bunk showing him and his team the tools and method for picking up the shape of a frame using a wooden chain-like “timber mold,” transferring the shape to a bending jig, and bending the frame away from the boat with the aid of a compression strap.

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From the Community



Sakonnet 23 for sale

Well maintained (Ballantine Boat Shop) early 2000s Joel White design sailboat. New sails.