Header photo (detail) courtesy Michael Eudenbach

Monday, January 9, 2012

Planking completed

It’s been a busy couple of months and the planking is now complete.

Volunteer Rachel Gordon, back for Christmas break, is helping with the frame patterns.

All the work last year bending frames has come in handy as framing has been started. Installing each frame is a lot of work and it comes in handy having a supply of frames already made.

First mold is no longer needed and was removed to make more room.

Randy Dearlove checking his measurements.

Photos and captions courtesy Gina Pickton

Lowell's Boat Shop

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Looks like the good folks at the boatshop have indeed been busy. Planking is finished and framing begun. Notice in the first photo that the top two planks are lapstrake. I'm sure you'll all join me in extending Gina, Bruce, Jeff Huffenberger, Newt Kirkland and all the volunteers involved a hearty well done. There's lots yet to be done but it's nice to see the project advancing and looking like a whaleboat. I'll get down there soon and follow up with some more photos.

Interestingly, I received an email from Graham MacKay, Manager of Lowell's Boat Shop in Amesbury MA saying that they are currently fundraising to build yet another whaleboat for the Morgan, beginning this coming fall. Lowell's was for decades a successful family owned concern, is on the National Historic Register and is somewhat uniqe in being both an ongoing commercial boatyard and a museum. From the website:

Established in 1793, Lowell's Boat Shop is the oldest continuously operating boat shop in the United States and is cited as the birthplace of the legendary fishing dory. Lowell’s is the only remaining survivor of the area’s world-renowned dory manufacturing industry that produced in excess of a quarter of a million dories over a period of two centuries. Building more than 2000 boats in 1911, this business was one of the first in the Nation to employ a seminal form of assembly line manufacturing.
With the founding of his company, Simeon Lowell made radical innovations to traditional boat design. Known for their efficiency, durability and sea worthiness, Lowell dories became the heart and soul of the Gloucester fishing fleet. In the waning days of the great fishing industry, recreational boaters turned to Lowell dories for the same qualities that attracted the fishermen. Rowing clubs, hunting camps, the Boy and Girl Scouts and the Lifesaving Service all sought Lowell dories and skiffs for their maritime experiences.
Conveyed through seven generations of the Lowell family, Lowell’s Boat Shop was passed to the Odell family in the 1980’s and then to the Newburyport Maritime Society in the 1990’s. In 2006, Lowell’s was purchased by Lowell’s Maritime Foundation, an independent non-profit group with the mission of leading this National Landmark and Working Museum through its third century of wooden boat building.

I'm sure to be hearing more from Graham in the coming months and hope to keep you informed about this project as it progresses. Lowell's makes, among others, this finely kitted out sailing dory.

Original post Thomas Armstrong for Whaleboats for the CW Morgan


  1. Watch the video of a Brazilian relative


  2. Mr Thomas Armstrong, great was my surprise when I found your blog on the internet, I congratulate you and I tell, I live in Robinson Crusoe Island, where they still used the whale-boats, but to catch lobsters, must be one of the few where they still are constructed and used these beautiful boats, I'm currently in a project similar to yours, that is to build one and take a trip of 357 miles, connecting my island with mainland Chile, Valparaiso, our islands were frequent passage American whaling ships, providing themselves with water and meat in his travels in the Pacific Ocean, which is why we have the same boat as you when it has been more than 100 years, I see the possibility of staying in touch, and we need the original plane of the boat, and details of the keel and other details, I invite you to see the group on facebook,UN VIAJE AL RESCATE DE LA MEMORIA, to see the progress of this epic project. my email is marenostrumexpediciones@gmail.com, good luck in your beautiful project.
    German Recabarren Green.