Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Every year during the first full week-end in May, a stalwart group of small boat enthusiasts, primarily members of the West Coast Trailer Sailors, gathers at Cedar Key, FL, for an informal messabout. In past years, the list of small boat builders, designers, and sailors that attend has included Meade and Jan Gougeon, Matt Layden, Sven Yrvind, Hugh Horton, Russell Brown, Howard Rice, and Andy Zimmerman. Weather and sailing conditions are almost always excellent on the Gulf in early May. Last year I decided to take Hugh Horton up on his invitation to come down for the meet. I invited my oldest son, who lives about 5 hours away, to come along as well.
Boating facilities include several public boat ramps and a terrific beach for launching canoes and kayaks. Most of the small boaters rig their boats on the beach then head a mile off shore to Atsena Otie Key, a small island with a long beach where the boaters congregate during the day. It was there that I met Jim Farrelly, who had just completed a melonseed skiff and was looking for another design to build. Having an extensive background in kayaks, he took an immediate liking to my sailing canoe. He later found my blog, sent me some emails asking for plans, and after some deliberation I made him a set. The build of Yakaboo II #2 (or Betaboo as Jim calls it) will be covered in a future post.
I'm attaching my pictures of the small boat "action" at the Key, I'll let the beauty and craftsmanship of these fine craft speak for themselves.
A Goat Island Skiff newly built by Simon Lewandowski.
Melonseeds are very popular in this part of Florida. This is Rex and Kathy Paine's beautiful example.
to Bill Whalen.
Helping Jim with the rig adjustments.
Harry "Goke" Tomlinson's sailing canoe.
What a beautiful launch! It belongs to Dave Lucas.
My first home was in Swampscott, so I am partial to these dories.
Tom Busenlener's Phoenix (left).
Harry "Goke" Tomlinson's white bufflehead type next to Ron Sell's Aurora.