One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing this column is the opportunity to go to neat places and talk to interesting people who share my enthusiasm for boats. Mostly this means marinas, boat builders, and restoration and repair shops. This month, I was privileged to be invited to visit the Marine Technology program at the Center of Applied Technology South known as CAT-South. CAT-South is a magnet program of Anne Arundel County Public Schools located on the sprawling campus of South River High School in Edgewater, MD, just a few miles south of Annapolis.
According to their website, the mission of the Division of Career and Technology Education, of which CAT-South is a part, is “To ensure that all high school graduates are prepared for post-secondary education and the workforce. The Division provides instructional and curriculum support and resources that are aligned with Anne Arundel County school system and State of Maryland educational goals. These supports and resources are focused on raising achievement levels of all students for success in academic and career pursuits.”
The Marine Technology program is taught by David Fawley, an enthusiastic teacher and former boat builder. His level one students, mostly 10th graders and a few 11th graders, are learning boat building and restoration skills, the best way, by doing them. Along the way the students learn how to safely and effectively use tools and equipment as well as how to read plans and choose and evaluate materials.
The group is currently building a Bevins skiff. The plywood skiff is a long-term project and should be completed and launched by early spring. As they build the skiff, the students are also creating a kit for the next group to use to assemble another boat. A concurrent class project is the restoration of an Eastern 19 center console donated to the program by the Department of Natural Resources. As the class progresses in woodworking skills, further plans this year include introductory units in fiberglass production and repair, outboard engine trouble shooting, and marine electrical systems. David’s level two students are building a cedar strip decked kayak and restoring a donated Penguin class sailboat.
Tracy Munson of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels MD, sends us this update of their winter plans. “Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum boatyard program manager Jennifer Kuhn reports a new 15-foot sailing skiff (modified for outboard power) is being built in the boat shop over the winter months. The process started in October with lines and lofting, and members of the public participated in the build as part of the Museum’s weekend Apprentice for a Day public boatbuilding program.
Named Casper, the boat is a modified version of the museum’s collection boat Ghost, which was once used as a crabbing skiff along the Chesapeake. To make a lighter, ‘friendlier’ version of the skiff, Casper is commissioned to be built out of marine-grade plywood instead of traditional bottom cross-planking. To accommodate for the marine-grade plywood construction, Casper’s deadrise design has been reduced in the stern. The rake of the transom has also been reduced to accommodate an outboard motor. Once completed in spring 2015, the boat will be launched along the Miles River and taken out to be trailered to its new owners in Baltimore. To participate in the build or to commission your own boat, email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Scott Anderson, General Manager of Harbour Cove Marina in Deale, MD, reports in as the new kid in town now that the marina has been under new ownership for only a matter of months. “We are a full service marina with boatel, wet slip storage, brokerage, and Volvo – Penta certified mechanics. We are looking forward to an excellent fall and winter season and are already getting busy because we have a bunch of specials ranging from slip rental, boatel storage, winterization, shrink wrap, and just about all of the above. We’re a one stop shop.”
Jim Jacobs of Osprey Composites in Tracys Landing, MD, reports that they have an older 42-foot Egg Harbor in for major repairs. “This boat was built in 1990,” Jim says. “The core in her hull extends down below the waterline. Water worked its way into the core, and it swelled up, resulting in major de-lamination. The only solution is to cut it all out and replace it, which is what we are doing. We are currently installing the vacuum bag on the outside of the repair prior to infusing the resin.”
Meg Roney at Mathews Brothers in Denton, MD, sends us this update of their winter plans. “One of the brokered Patriot 29s sold this summer has come back to the shop for some refits and maintenance. The varnish team has finished up a complete varnish strip and build-up back up to full coats — they’ve done a beautiful job! Our mechanic has completed service on the engine and winterized it, as well as installed a new throttle and shift lever. The hull is being prepped for all new awlgrip, and she will also be getting a bow rail and new Garmin unit as a couple of the new items aboard. Once the hull is painted and the new options are installed, she’ll be tucked into our Indoor Storage Building for the winter and ready to go in the Spring!
We had another brokered Patriot in the shop for a horn repair and varnish touch-up as well as an increasing line up of storage boats waiting for winterization. Everyone in the shop is busy between the refit above, laying up components in the glass shop, minor repairs to another brokerage boat, a Honda outboard repair, varnishing various pieces, and estimates for more repairs and refits. Be sure to keep checking the blog (mathewsboats.com/blog) and our daily pics to see what we’re up to!”
As Richard explained, the museum did not have a boat built by Francis Goddard and had long wanted one for their collection. He describes this boat as a great example of one of Goddard’s small boats. Restoration to date has included the installation of a 1960’s era Volvo diesel engine, replacement of some hull planks, and installation of new deck planks fashioned from Virginia pine.
Plans this winter include completing the interior and repainting the entire boat, re-caulking her cross planked bottom seams, and launching her in the spring, with appropriate ceremony.
by Captain Rick Franke