To the Editor:
The letter below is a response to an online comment about the September 20 Times article about Ted Box and the Seeker [The Seeker of Vineyard Haven – a scow schooner by Ted Box].
I am a relative newcomer to the Vineyard. In my time here I continue to read and learn about the Island and its rich history of boatbuilding and its harbors for all kinds of past and present wooden boat commerce.
I knew nothing about wooden boatbuilding, but was intrigued by the beginning of Seeker and was introduced to Ted Box. I asked if he thought that there was anything I could do to help. He did not know my capabilities, but he was willing to give me a try. On my part, I had no idea of the huge physical labor involved in handling the heavy ( 70 – 80 lb.) oak frames. After the first one was in place, Ted remarked that there were only about 74 more to make. Along with making the frames came machining more than 300 large bronze bolts, cutting them to size, and threading both ends. Gannon and Benjamin Boatyard graciously made their space and equipment available to us for this. The frames were bolted to the keel and Seeker began to take shape .The delivery of six cypress logs, each 44 feet long , from South Carolina was the next step in the construction . Those logs were cut into individual planks for the bottom and sides of the boat and sent off-Island to be kiln dried. This process naturally takes time to be done well . In the meantime two 55-foot logs were brought on site to be shaped into the twin masts. These eventually developed a beautiful taper and smooth, round shape due to the expertise and hand crafting of Ted Box .
I applaud Ted Box for his courage in following a dream and making that dream a reality. However long it takes, this project will continue to draw people toward Vineyard Haven, and the community itself will gather to celebrate the historic launch of Seeker.
Of course you know all this because you have stopped by the boat and seen the progress first hand. Right? Also, being the experienced boatbuilder that you are, you are qualified to comment. Right?I find your comments to be an affront to myself and to all who have had a hand in Seeker’s construction . In the future, please confine your criticisms to topics of which you have some real understanding.