The spring boat shows are over, the rockfish season has started, and the spring commissioning crunch is winding down. Can there be any more positive signs that the summer boating season has at last arrived?
Joe Reid of Mast and Mallet in Mayo, MD, kicks off this month’s reports with the following newsy update. “Mast and Mallet prepped four Thomas Points for the season. Bottom paint, varnish, Cetol, and dewinterizing headed their lists. I’m just finishing the 1947 Gar Wood 16 restoration, where I fiberglassed the bottom. Fresh hullside paint is being applied as well. The engine and hardware installation comes next, and then she will be attending the Antique and Classic Boat Show at St. Michaels on Father’s Day weekend. I also have a 32-foot Custom Lobster boat in the shop for some fiberglass repairs on its hardtop. We’re also building a teak swim platform for her. Another wood project is taking place inside a 47-foot North Pacific Trawler. A room that was originally built as a study is being converted to a stateroom with a double bunk and hanging locker. Some other creature comforts are also being added for the coming season.”
Butch Garren, volunteer boatwright at the Calvert Marine Museum (CMM) in Solomons, MD, reports on their latest project. “Glebe Girl is a Smith Island Power Skiff built in Easton, MD, in 1999 at Chesapeake Boatworks. She is 21 feet and two-and-a-half inches long. The Patuxent Small Craft Guild (PSCG) is in the process of replacing the rub rails, giving her a paint job, and addressing other minor repairs. Work is being performed in the Patuxent Small Craft Building at CMM. This and other projects can be seen at the shop on Tuesdays and Saturdays.”
Tim Floyd of F&S Boatworks in Bear, DE, reports that he has two cold molded sportfishermen, a 40-footer and a 66-footer, in the shop and nearing completion. Tim also has a 78-footer next up in the pipeline.
Martin Hardy of Composite Yacht in Trappe, MD, reports that his crew is putting the finishing touches on several Composite 26s, including the first to be outboard powered. The boat, powered by twin Yamaha 250s, is not only lighter than the inboard version but is about 10 knots faster. As Martin put it, “She just flies.” Martin plans to redo the transom portion of the mold to give the boat a more “European” look as well as provide for direct attachment of the outboards. Other changes to accommodate the alteration in weight distribution caused by the outboards will be minor reworking of the after portion of the hull and moving the console forward.
Martin is not the only builder experimenting with the new generation of high horsepower, efficient modern outboard motors. Bill Judge of Judge Yachts in Denton, MD, sent us this report. “Just splashed a new model, the Judge 36 Outboard. Top speed is 47 miles per hour; cruise is 35 mph. This one was built for Carl Brenneman of Delaware to fish both the Chesapeake Bay and also Ocean City, MD. We have also started another 36 for a customer in Bozman, MD. It will be powered with triple 300-hp Suzukis.” Bill said that on her test run in Eastern Bay, the new 36 was not only fast but had the traditional bay-built smooth ride, even at top speed.
Eric Hedberg , of Rionholdt Once and Future Boats Ltd. In Gwynn’s Island, VA, sends us this announcement. “We are pleased to announce the completion of our latest PVC boat built here at our shop on Gwynn’s Island using our exclusive Rionholdt Methodology marrying old school deadrise ‘by eye’ techniques with modern materials producing a boat that is indistinguishable from a wood one, yet is impervious to water, rot, and worms and holds paint beautifully. Our recent boat is a 20-foot by seven-foot six-inch by 10-inch deadrise skiff built from sheets one inch by four feet by 20 feet and lined out by eye for Danny Lowder of Chesterfield and Gwynn’s Island for hook-and-line fishing in the Milford Haven area. The boat is currently being rigged at Rugged Marine in Hopewell and then will return to Gwynn’s Island for trials and a season of fishing.”
Patrick Callahan of Worton Creek Marina in Chestertown, MD, tells us that in addition to the usual spring rush, his crew has completed a custom live well bait box in the transom of a Post 42. Patrick also says the current Bertram 31 “remanufacture” is nearing completion, and she really looks good.
Tracey Munson of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, MD, brings us up to date. “The 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle has been up on the marine railway at CBMM for some yearly maintenance this spring, with volunteer captains and crew doing a great deal of the scraping and painting. The USCG-certified boat was donated to the museum in 2014 and takes passengers out for scenic river and ecology cruises along the Miles River on weekends through the warmer months. On April 22, following CBMM’s Blessing of the Fleet ceremony, the museum’s boatyard also launched the three-log sailing canoe that its shipwrights, volunteers, and apprentices built over the winter months, naming her Bufflehead. She will be completely rigged, with plans to sail her during the museum’s October 3-4 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival.”
Dave Inglehart of Mathews Brothers in Denton, MD, reports that they have had a very busy spring; re-commissioning, refinishing, and trying to get everyone’s boat back in the water on schedule. Dave also reports that their second Eastport 32 is rapidly nearing completion.
Nancy Noyes brings us up to date on the latest doings at Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis, MD. Chesapeake Light Craft is putting the finishing touches on the prototype for the new Southwester Dory. The boat kit company’s 17-foot Northeaster Dory design is among its most popular, with more than 500 built so far. Designer John C. Harris says that although the Northeaster Dory is a refined sailing and rowing boat, by far the most common question is whether it can handle an engine. “Adding an outboard well to a lightweight dory means adding flotation compartments consistent with U.S. Coast Guard regulations,” says Harris. “The weight of the additional structure, in turn, requires a stretch of the Northeaster Dory to 18 feet seven inches to give her plenty of payload capacity. So we ended up with an entirely new design, naturally called the ‘Southwester Dory.’”
The Southwester Dory features an outboard well positioned six feet from the stern, a feature that Harris says is common in traditional rough-water working dories. “The engine is convenient to the crew seating amidships. It’s safer in a small boat because you don’t have to lean over the transom to tend the outboard,” says Harris. The Southwester Dory can be fitted out as a sailboat, with or without the outboard well, but Harris thinks the design might be extremely popular as an efficient motor launch. Harris says, “The Southwester Dory is very light and easily driven. She’s designed for a max of five horsepower. It’s a perfect design for the new generation of electric outboards. You’ll be able to glide along for hours at five or six knots, making almost no wake.”
And, last but not least, David Fawley, teacher of the Marine Technology program at the Center for Applied Technology South at South River High School in Edgewater, MD, sends us this note. “My students are going to launch the boats they built this year on May 26 (28th inclement weather date) at Jonas Green Park in