Header photo (detail) courtesy Michael Eudenbach

Monday, June 10, 2013

Splash x 2 @ WOW

The ramp forward the mast is to aid in unsteping the mast using the hinged tabernacle.


Clean lines, form = function

Kytara and Julio, two youngsters who helped with the build, from Urban Promise in Camden NJ.

Bruce McKenzie and his lovely friend Nerissa. Bruce is the lead boatbuilder at the workshop.

Peter Kellog, patron saint of the National Whaleboat Project. Thanks Peter

John Brady, Master of Ceremonies and captain of the ISM spies a whale to port.


The first in is the last built


And in!

Paddling the first around to the dock after her splash




It's a great party both inside...


 and out.

Once in, there was a rowing race, New Jersey v Pa. Some may object, but I'm calling it a dead heat.


photos and text Copyright Thomas Armstrong

This was a great event! I loved it! Two whaleboats splashed at the workshop, racing each other right away. More than nice party, great food and drink for the taking and two of the loveliest boats imaginable. Our views on whaling have changed, in no small part because of the efficiency of boats of this type. Today we celebrate not the killing but the artistry of these impeccably designed boats.

I was fortunate to meet Peter Kellog, whose generosity undoubtedly made the National Whaleboat Project possible, and also Steve White, the captain of Mystic Seaport, whose restoration of the CW Morgan, a massive undertaking, is the impetus for the building of the whaleboats. I am proud to say that the ISM led the way, agreeing to self fund their project and donate the boat(s) to Mystic and the Morgan. Other institutions followed their lead and began their builds. Congrats to all of them.

I would also like to emphasize another aspect of this project. Many of the builds have involved youth volunteers from organizations seeking to give young folk the chance to experience something extremely positive. In Philly, 55 young adults were given this opportunity, kids from Urban Promise in Camden, from The Wooden Boat Factory ( take a look at their one design, drawn by my friend Antonio Dias) and the Charter School for Architecture + Design, both located in Philadelphia.  

 Most of these projects still need additional funding, as they face building the spars and rigging the boats, so if you can, help!

Copyright Thomas Armstrong


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