Sloop gets a nose job

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Boatbuilder Nat Benjamin uses a backsaw to help fit in a new bowsprit for the sloop Welwyn.

The John Alden sloop Welwyn went under the knife Monday at the Gannon and Benjamin dock. The surgeon was boatbuilder Nat Benjamin, who employed a chisel as his scalpel. During the fierce nor’easter of March 2, the cutter Rachel Saunders broke free of its mooring in Vineyard Haven Harbor, and clipped off the bowsprit of the Welwyn, Benjamin said. The Welwyn remained moored, while the Rachel Saunders went aground on Owen Park Beach.

Benjamin fitted the new Douglas fir bowsprit in place tentatively at about noontime. There will be more tinkering before it’s fastened in place for good, he said.