Header photo (detail) courtesy Michael Eudenbach

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Whaleboat roundup .2 : A Great Lakes splash and a Beetle branding

Great Lakes Boat Building School

 GlBBS recently launched their build...

and are bringing it to Mystic for the WoodenBoat Festival

Not all the work on a whaleboat is straightforward

Two scenes of earlier work

photos courtesy Great Lakes Boat Building School

Beetle Cat Boat Shop

Beetle's newly completed whaleboat in the shop alongside one of their hallowed catboats

Branding the Beetle name onto the boat

Nice touch

 Nice shot of the Mast Step Tabernacle and the trough

A pair of Azoreans visiting the build

An elegant boat

photos courtesy Beetle Inc, by Bill Sauerbrey

Great Lakes and Beetle have both essentially completed their whaleboats, and will be coming to the WoodenBoat Festival this weekend at Mystic Seaport.  I plan to be there and bring back a report. I say essentially because Beetle hasn't painted it's boat and will appear in the buff as it were, a nice thing, sure to be a crowd pleaser and give a little insight into the construction of these gems.

In the above photos you'll see two Azorean's who visited the Beetle project. I find that interesting for a couple of reasons. First, I haven't been able to confirm whether they are literally from the Azores or from the large Azorean community in New Bedford. Beetle will be donating their boat to the New Bedford Whaling Museum, so I suspect the latter. The Azores have a long tradition of whaling, not from whaleships like the Morgan, but putting out from shore in their boats after sighting a whale, The story is beautifly told in "Twice around the Loggerhead", a sumptuous collaboration between Lance Lee, Bruce Halibisky and Yves Le Corre. Highly recommended. While a few idigenous whaleing communities around the globe have been granted whaling rights by the IWC, the Azoreans have not, and their whaling culture is dying. I wonder why... the Azoreans seem to me to be the same in standing as the Bequia Whalers, at least. Well, a little research turns up the fact that the Bequia whaling right are also being challenged on the grounds of not being Aboriginal. But, I digress.

I hope, like me, you'll be coming to Mystic and get the chance to ogle these beauties. Six of the ten boats built for the project will be there. The shops bringing boats are: Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia; New York City’s Rocking the Boat; Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway of Vineyard Haven, MA; Beetle Boat Shop of Wareham, MA; the New Bedford Whaling Museum; the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville, MI; and The Apprenticeshop of Rockland, ME.

copyright Thomas Armstrong

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