Launching a boat, and hopes, and dreams
As Sheena slid down the rails, and the aft edge of her keel touched Vineyard Haven Harbor water, applause and cheers rang out from the assembled throng at Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway.
She is named after Sheena Bellingham, who keeps the books for Gannon & Benjamin, from her office perch above the shop. Investors hope the Holmes Hole 29 is the first of a new fleet of boats. "She should be quite easily managed," said designer Nat Benjamin. "This is really a boat for one or two people cruising, or the cockpit is big enough you can have four or five people go along on a day sail."
Calvin Linneman and his wife Patricia live in Cincinnati, but spend plenty of time at their summer home on Hynes Point. They spoke in humor, and blessed in eloquence the Island's wooden boat tradition. Reluctant at first to invest in the project, Mr. Linneman eventually agreed last fall, as the world's economy crumbled. "At that point," Mr. Linneman said with a wry smile, "there was nothing else to invest in. While everybody else was watching the stock market, I was watching this little boat being built."
She is for sale. The Linnemans hope someone smitten with Sheena's sleek lines will buy her and sail her in Vineyard waters.
Saturday. In the cockpit are (from left) Sheena Bellingham, the boat's namesake, and Patricia and Calvin Linneman. Photo courtesy of Louisa Gould