Frank Lavigueur describes his restoration project of a Gulfweed ketch. The boat is a John Hanna design and was originally built by members of his wife's family. Frank is restoring the boat in his backyard boatshed with a goal is sailing it across the Atlantic.
Some information about the Gulfweed design.
After our Potluck and March meeting on Sunday the 5th we took advantage of the newly installed daylight savings time and toured the University of Connecticut’s Research Vessel “Connecticut”. We are fortunate to have a former Captain Dan Nelson among us; he gave us an in-depth tour from Engine Room to Bridge. Very informative. Thank you, Dan, and thanks to UConn for having us.
This will allow us to attend right after our meeting; it is just down the road at the German Club, across the street from the Seaport’s South Entrance. Admission is free with a donation of $15 suggested. It is sponsored by the Pinewoods Folk Music Club as a fundraiser for the 40th Annual Sea Music Festival held at the Seaport, as well as other nearby venues, June 6th thru 9th. If you have never been, this Chantey Sing is a Blast, so to speak; audience participants stand up and belt out a stanza, the audience then chimes in on the chorus, the singer then sits down and another pops up. Informal good fun!
"Nina" is a 11-1/2 foot flat bottomed skiff that designer John Atkin described as a "Flat-bottomed Catboat" her dimensions are 11 feet 4 inches overall (ours came out more like 11'-6" with Andy's carved oak "icebreaker" stem), breadth of 4 feet 7 inches and 4-1/2 inches of draft. Atkin designed her to "carry a cargo of two heavy persons nicely, or three average-size youngsters" and to be "a boat that will sail safely in rough, windy weather -- in confidence and with lots of fun.
It was a brisk and blustery day in the 50's, but with bright sun as we launched three dories and two double enders into the river back of Great Island near the mouth of the Mighty Connecticut River in Old Lyme. A thanks to Peter for recommending the location; it is a beautiful wildlife preserve marsh hosting nesting osprey. The waters are protected from the big waves of the Sound, but open to its great expanse.
Josh, Shirley, and John rowed the club Avery Point dories. They were surprised by the sail area they presented to the strong and gusty winds. Ellie and her friends Helen and John, plus Ellie's two adventuresome dogs, rowed her Skerry while Karen steered and I rowed the Natoma Skiff, also a double ender. At the waterline, at least, we were all double enders. Elle's friend Helen did most of the rowing in their boat; she really got into the rhythm of the oars and usually was out front.
Josh not only got further into rowing, but actually learned sculling, laying back and relaxing in the stern of the dory. John not only picked up and delivered the three dories, all stacked on the club trailer, but installed a trailer hitch on his pickup especially for the occasion. Thank goodness for Karen's sandwiches, for we got hungry before we got back, devouring them while hanging onto marsh grass hunkered in the lee of the brisk breeze.
We rowed up the Back River to Watch Rock, one of the many pocket parks in Old Lyme, turned, hung out in the reeds for a while and returned to the state launch site. We saved heading down to the sand spit for another time. The wind was strong but we dressed warmly so all enjoyed ourselves. Only one question remained: where shall we go for our spring row?
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