Breakwater News : Launching into spring
The first launch honors this spring go to Phil Hale of Martha's Vineyard Shipyard with his 65-inch model of the Nat Benjamin design of Juno on April 10. From a chase boat, he sailed the radio-controlled model schooner across Vineyard Sound to Woods Hole during the Woods Hole Model Show. Phil has been building models for over 40 years and is now working on a Sparkman and Stevens design that will be the culmination of all he has learned about microelectronics in a working model.
Rick Haslett's meticulously hand-built Destiny will also be launched this spring at the shipyard. Rick began building the collaborative Nat Benjamin design in 1990 and has dedicated six months a year and weekends and holidays to bring to fruition what can only be considered a work of art. He plans to take his time cruising the world with his native New Zealand wife in a manner that allows them to keep their jobs and Island lives in balance with a life of well-deserved adventure.
The classic Ayuthia was the first launch of the spring at the Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway. Once she was afloat, Tom Grew got to the less practical parts of the boat, spending much time and effort sanding and painting. It is a relationship that has come from close to three decades of perseverance, and as far as one can see, it has benefited both.
That cleared the ways for Klang II, which showed up in Vineyard Haven last fall with all bilge pumps running. Over the course of the winter she saw the removal and replacement of seven pairs of sawn frames, replacement of seven floor timbers, new keel bolts and fasteners, several new planks and all new fasteners in the lower keel. Bill Benns carried out this very difficult and specialized work in the most difficult of winter working situations. While this work has been critical to her survival, it is part of what will hopefully be the first effort in a continuation of a much-needed major restorative work.
Not all the winter work has been situated on the beach. Up in the woods of Jim Lobdell's sanctuary, Andy Lyon has spent the winter revitalizing two long-time breakwater denizens. In the barn, Andy has done a major restoration on Welwyn, a 1922 John Alden sloop, removing and replacing the deck frames and re-decking with plywood and Dynel. In the process he replaced the sheer strakes, re-using the old rub rails and toe rails. He built a new cabin trunk on the new deck and made a major transom repair.
Greg Coogan, Welwyn's owner, has been sailing the vintage yacht for years and could not be more pleased. "I got tired of seeing the water pouring into the cabin every time we took a wave," he said.
Just outside, Andy has also been doing a fair weather rebuild of Corineus, the long-time fixture in Vineyard Haven Harbor. She is getting a new deck to replace the old worn teak deck. While open to the air, Andy has done a repaint of the deck frames before putting down a new fir deck.