Seeker’s Beach Road boat shed dismantled in advance of move

A crane lifted the first of five roof sections from the Seeker boat building shed on Beach Road Tuesday. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Workers began on Tuesday to dismantle the corrugated steel roof of the wood frame boat shed that has, for the past two and one half years, housed construction of a wooden scow schooner on the vacant Boch lot on Beach Road near Five Corners.

The 100-foot long, hard-chined sailing freighter named Seeker is to be moved to a new site down Beach Road behind the Shell Station, on land owned by Ralph Packer of R.M. Packer Company.

Theodore “Ted” Box of Vineyard Haven, project mastermind and chief carpenter, told The Times Tuesday, “Ralph has been very supportive and is not charging us rent.”

Mr. Box said the boat will be moved on a Sunday in the next couple of weeks. Moving the 32-ton hull will not be easy. Mr. Box plans to construct a steel cradle beneath the boat allowing it to be lifted and moved to its new location by Dale McClure of Watercourse Construction of Vineyard Haven. He originally planned to hire Brownell Boat Works, a boat trailer manufacturer from the mainland, to move the scow, but that turned out to be too expensive.

Mr. Box said that parts of the large shed that has sheltered his work so far will probably end up on two up-Island farms. He plans to use some of the shed to construct a canopy above the boat so that he can work inside this winter.

The project has attracted stares from passersby and inspired photographs by tourists posing next it since the keel was laid during the summer 2011.

Ernie Boch, a seasonal Edgartown resident and chief executive of Subaru of New England, who rented the lot to Mr. Box for a nominal fee, asked him to move in August. Mr. Boch told The Times earlier that he wants to clean up and develop the long vacant waterfront lot, starting with the demolition of the derelict Entwistle building.

Mr. Box has bankrolled most of the boatbuilding but has received donations of money, labor, and materials. He said Seeker is an educational project for those who have helped and for those he plans to train as sailors when the project is complete.