Our shipwright, Matt Hobart, has completed the lofting of the Nat Benjamin Design No. 88 fantail launch “Toast”, inspired by our shop launch, “Baguette”. Commissioned by the owners of the motorsailor, “Burma”, her new homeport will be in Jamestown, RI. Design No. 89 is a 13′ skiff being built for Sperry Sails. (Sperry Sails assumed the sail loft space on the second floor of our waterfront shop in the spring of 2015.) Ben Sperry and Ian Ridgeway plan to use the skiff as transport around Vineyard Haven Harbor, to and from their canvas and sails customers’ boats. A second No. 89 skiff, this one 14′ long, is also being built! We also look forward to the lofting and build of the Design No. 90, a 15′ launch boat that will find its new home in New York. Completion of the 10′ tender to “Artemis” is also nearing. Here’s a look at her with a new coat of topside paint.
The 45′ S&S yawl, Revonoc, (ex. Pilgrim) has been hauled and moved back into the schooner shed for the winter. We are pleased to have her back with us as we continue the rebuild of this 1946 Nevins built yawl. Last year we completed a series of restoration work to her fo’c’sl’e, owner’s cabin, head, main saloon, deck hatches and cabintop, along with mechanical repairs and upgrades. This year we will incrementally replace her keel timber, stern post, and horn timber, with the original components being replaced with Angelique timbers. All of this will be done while still preserving the shape of the boat. We will also visit the opportunity to remove and redesign the cockpit and propane locker.
Last, but certainly not least, here’s a catch up look at the restoration work on the mighty and majestic, “Mah Jong” at Mugwump. New torture board discovered by Warren at Mugwump A video post share from WoodenBoat Magazine Associate Editor, Annie Bryant’s recent visit: https://instagram.com/p/BOkj9oCDlko/ “Mah Jong” Restoration Project, 10/2014 – 11/2016.
A close up tour of the recently launched, Gannon & Benjamin built/Nat Benjamin Design No. 86, “Artemis”, a 31′ canoe stern gaff sloop. The owners spent a sunny week sailing in and around the harbor and island, getting to know their new boat.
Ross, Andy, Zoli, and Liam : “Mah Jong” teak deck caulking at Mugwump
August 26, 2016
Sidetracking “Artemis” onto the railway.
Our shipwright Matthew Hobart has been documenting the build of Nat’s Design #86 on Instagram, including great descriptions of the project process. View his photos at: https://www.instagram.com/matthobart
After a full summer season of sailing and racing, we were pleased to welcome the Herreshoff classic, “Cara Mia” back to Mugwump. Her owner brought her back us to have the ballast lowered on his NY30. “Cara Mia” spent last winter with us, undergoing a traditional restoration, that included deck restoration/re-canvassing, a restored and refit cabin top, and much interior and exterior work. (“Cara Mia” is #14 of the 18 NY30’s originally built in 1905 for the New York Yacht Club.) Her keel was removed and reshaped, and new deadwood was custom shaped and created out of Angelique. Here are some photos of the project: “Cara Mia” went back into the water this week, and will soon head back to her homeport for the winter season.
The objective is to restore this lovely, all teak, heavily ballasted, Sparkman and Stephens yawl to prime sailing condition. Her original specs called for steambent Ipol frames, copper riveted teak planking, with a Yakal backbone, teak deck and joinery. Her condition on arrival in June of 2014 was rough, to say the least. “Mah Jong” had spent a number of years in the Caribbean, and had been laid up out of the water in the Virgin Islands for several years when purchased by the present owner. It was obvious at first sight that the teak deck was finished, as well as the teak deckhouse and hatches. The maststep was a steel fabrication, long ago rusted out, and caused damage to the forekeel, necessitating its replacement. Although, the hull was smooth and fair, virtually all her original frames were broken somewhere. In addition, they had been socketed into her centerline timbers, so the heels of virtually all but the forward and aft most frames were soft. Because of her extreme shape and heavy ballast, all her original frames had broken and been sistered in the hollow above her ballast for the entire length of her ballast keel. This part of the boat obviously needed a strong, durable repair. The remains of the original steel maststep fabrication. We decided on a traditional approach to the restoration; a combination of double sawn full length frames with steam bent frames between. In addition, all the frames in the hollow will be grown Live Oak or Locust, adding strength where it’s most needed. Further, a new maststep fabrication will take the loading from the mast. And, a new deck frame and deck will top it off. New framing and mizzen step Reframing is proceeding steadily, working from the ends toward the middle. Before we could begin reframing the forward end, the forekeel needed to be replaced. Fortunately, we had on hand a 10” x 20” x 24’ Angelique timber for this. Andy shaping the rabbet in the new forekeel. Andy doing the final fitting of the new 16’ long Angelique forekeel. Work is proceeding now, replacing floors and frames on the new forekeel. New forekeel from inside. Zoli fitting futtocks. Robert fitting new floors near the mizzen. Simultaneously, the deck has been totally reframed using White Oak and Black Locust for the deck beams, and Angelique for the carlins. Andy softening up a frame before installation. New aft deck frame. Inboard ends of half beams. Duncan fastening half beam on cockpit. Andy and Ross. Driving the frame down from the deck Andy fastening the planking to the new frame. Brad aligns the frame to the floor. Pressing the hot frame out to the planking.
A restoration update of the NY30 “Cara Mia” at our schooner shed Mugwump: Ross and crew have rebuilt the deck, refit her restored cabin top, re-canvassed, and are continuing with work on her exterior and interior.
The crew took down the winter walls on the Beach Rd shop today, which allowed for a nice distance shot of the Design No. 85 gaff sloop “Sheldrake”. She’s looking very “ducky” indeed.
The Design No. 85 “Sheldrake” nears closer to completion! “Here’s a shot with the finished coamings. Almost done! “– Via Matt Hobart on Instagram
An update from our shipwright, Matt Hobart on the building of ‘Sheldrake’ :“We finally found some decent white oak to bend our coamings out of. The coamings were milled to 5/8″, steamed for about an hour, and then bent around this jig on the shop floor.” April 2, 2015 “Sheldrake’s” new pedestal for the jib club, custom made by Nat Benjamin. Photo courtesy of https://instagram.com/matthobart/
We enjoyed a visit by Steve Corkery, owner of the 19′ gaff sloop/Design 85, ‘Sheldrake’ this week. Steve stopped by the shop with friends Kim Bonstrom and Ged Delaney, to see his new boat and to discuss details of the build with Nat, and our shipwrights Lyle Zell and Matt Hobart. We are all looking forward to a spring launch!
Here’s our shipwright, Duncan Macfarlane, working on the installation of new deck beams on the Sparkman and Stephens yawl rebuild of ‘Mah Jong’ at Mugwump. He’s been half-dovetailing the deck beams to secure them into the carlins.
Some photos of Ross canvasing the deck of the NY30 ‘Cara Mia’ at Mugwump yesterday. Stay tuned for more photos and updates on this project, the rebuilding of the Sparkman and Stephens yawl, ‘Mah Jong’, and other news from our schooner shed, coming soon. Spring is finally here!
Today’s ‘Sheldrake’ build update: “Seat framing went in today. We started with the seat riser, that’s the piece fastened to the frames that runs fore and aft supporting the outboard ends of the seat beams. The risers had half dove tails cut into it on the bench and then cooked for an hour in the steam box before being bent into place. Next we fit the seat beams into the seat riser. Finely angled posts we’re fit with a simple shouldered lap along the beam and birds mouth over the wanna ceiling that borders the cockpit sole.” — Matt Hobart
A shot of the 19′ gaff sloop, the Design 85, ‘Sheldrake’, taken by our Matt Hobart: “We’ve got the 1/2″ plywood deck going on and the 3/4″ cedar cockpit sole going in.” —Matt Hobart
In ‘Mah Jong’ news, the forekeel has been removed by Ross, and Andy is readily and steadily carving a new one outside of Mugwump today. February 27,2015 A look at the transom and deck beams going onto the Design No. 85, “Sheldrake”.
The ‘Shutter’ planks went onto the Design No.85 yesterday! Crew, friends and family gathered to take a look at the newly planked 19′ gaff sloop. Our shipwrights Matt Hobart, Lyle Zell, and Alex Goldhill have done a beautiful job bringing Nat’s most recent boat design to life. Here is a photo of her taken by Matt Hobart: Here is a slideshow of last night’s gathering:
The Design No.85 19′ Gaff Sloop being built at our shop on Beach Rd. Photo by our shipwright, Matt Hobart. Matt has been doing an incredible job actively photo journaling this boat since its lofting and has provided detailed and interesting descriptions of each stage in the process. See them all on his Instagram account: http://instagram.com/matthobart Thank you, Matt!
Over at our schooner shed Mugwump, Ross has been steadily working along on both the Herreshoff NY30 rebuild of ‘Cara Mia’ and the rebuilding of the Sparkman and Stephens yawl, ‘Mah Jong’. ‘Cara Mia’s’ deck has been put back on with plans to reinstall her cabin top some time next week. Here is a view from above of the yawl, ‘Mah Jong’.
As traditional builders of plank on frame wooden boats, it’s always fun to get the steam box fired up to bend some wood. Here is a link to Nat, Brad, Matt, Lyle, Alex, and our apprentice Ariel bending the batten keel for the Design No. 85 Gaff Sloop onto the molds. http://flipagram.com/f/PXKw2UyUqK
“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. Matt and Lyle building the strongback for the Design No. 85 Gaff Sloop today. Another photo and update from our master wooden boat builder, Matthew Hobart on the Design No. 85. “All the station molds done with the stem, fore keel and knee in the fore ground. Time to start setting things up! #boatbuilding #gannonandbenjamin #woodwork#woodenboats #carpentry #marthasvineyard” Follow his updates on Instagram at: http://instagram.com/matthobart/ The new Design No. 85 Gaff Sloop forekeel stem created by our Lyle Zell.
Our @matthobart building the station molds for the #Design85GaffSloop. @gannonandbenjamin #DesignNo85 #GaffRig #NatBenjaminDesign #lofting#gannonandbenjaminmarinerailway #woodenboats #shipwrights — at Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway. Posted by @pyxie46
Lyle drilling 3/8″ bolts that will hold the forekeel stem arraignment together for the #Design85GaffSloop. Photo by our Matthew Hobart. Follow him for updates on this project and other shop action on Instagram. Matt’s Instagram link: @MattHobart #gannonandbenjaminmarinera
Some recent photos on the progress of two projects we have going on: The rebuild of the NY30 “Cara Mia”, and the Sparkman and Stephens yawl “Mah Jong” at Mugwump, and the start of our newest Nat Benjamin design No. 85/ 19′ Fixed Keel Gaff Sloop at the Beach Rd. shop. The new stem on “Cara Mia” The new mizzen mast step on “Mah Jong” Lofting and Patterning of the new 19′ Gaff Sloop
Our Matt Hobart and Lyle Zell are hearty souls as they continue to loft the 19′ Gaff Sloop No. 85 in bitterly cold temps on the Vineyard today. The forecast for this evening is a low of 1 degree. Bundle up!
New Year… New Boat! Nat Benjamin’s newest design, ‘No. 85′, is a 19′ gaff sloop with a fixed keel. Our Lyle Zell has started to loft the daysailer at our shop on Beach Rd. Stay tuned for more details on this latest project of ours.
Earlier this month we welcomed the Herreshoff NY30 “Cara Mia” into our schooner shed to undergo a rebuild this winter season. Built in 1905, with an LOA of: 43 ft. 9 in., Beam: 8 ft. 9 in., LWL: 30 ft. 0 in., and Draft of: 6 ft. 4 in., “Cara Mia” was a Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, “PCYC NA Circuit Trophy Winner for Best Overall “Vintage Division”. Her owner, G&B friend, Alfred Slanetz, has kept her active on the racing circuit, true to her form, and we will be restoring “Cara Mia” in keeping with the original Herreshoff design. Photo Source: ClassicSailboats.org We enjoy the opportunity for a fun winter project such as this. “Cara Mia” will receive some deck repairs and re-canvasing, and we will address some mast partner issues. After removing the house, coamings, and deck hardware, the lack of deck camber became very apparent. The ends of the boat were close to the correct camber, but the mid- 2/3rds were as much as an 1-1/4″ low. Camber template across the cockpit area side deck: The decision was made to remove the fir deck and replace all the deck beams reproducing the correct camber from the original Nathanael Herreshoff drawing. Having this sort access allows us to more easily replace the stem and breasthook, transom, and lodging knees which all have had several repairs affixed through the years and are currently soft. The vertical grain fir deck will be re-used as it was replaced earlier and is good condition. The stem and all deck beams are shaped and ready for installation. The transom has been removed and the new one is being laminated into shape. Here is the old stem (top portion) removed, and the new Angelique stem with the rabbets carefully cut to fit the existing shape. The existing stem had been repaired a number of times with a lot of fasteners, and was rotting from the top down. —The breast hook situated behind the stem will be replaced as well. We will continue to update you on our “Cara Mia” project, along with news on “Mah Jong”, and other happenings around the yard. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. –Ross, Nat, and Brad
“Mah Jong” Rebuild Update Work on the 52′ Sparkman & Stephens yawl, “Mah Jong” is chugging along over at our schooner shed, Mugwump. The restoration work being done on her this winter by us is also a family’s labor of love, as owner Pat Ilderton’s daughter, Sarah, has come aboard as a part of our G&B crew to work on “Mah Jong”. This type of involvement in the restoration of wooden boats is a true melding of Nat and Ross’s philosophy and mission when founding Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway in 1980: To create and nurture a business where the craft and industry of wooden boat building continues on, and to provide a place where owners of wooden boats can come and work on their own beloved vessels themselves. With the demolition end of the rebuild complete, we’ll be laying out a new interior, and starting to frame and install new deck beams and carlins for the newly designed house. Here is a Flipagram clip of the day she was hauled out of Vineyard Haven Harbor at the Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard and brought over to Mugwump. It takes a village to move a boat.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 Some photos from the summer events at the boatyard, and the 2014 racing season for you to enjoy. Vineyard Cup Race and Awards Ceremony ‘Charlotte’ in the Vineyard Haven Harbor Winner of the Vineyard Cup – G&B designed ‘Juno’ ‘Juno’ Skipper, Scott DiBiaso, accepting the First Place Award, with Sail MV Director, Brock Callen. ‘Phra Luang’ – Placed 3rd in the Classics Class G&B shipwright, Natch Quinn, racing aboard ‘Aurora’ on Day II ‘Charlotte’ on the approach. ‘Celeste‘ alongside ‘Aurora’ Fall and winter projects continue at a steady pace in both of our shops. Travel for surveys and estimates have rounded out the calendars for Nat, along with the restoration of ‘Souzie’ (ex. Epiphany) , and Ross has been keeping us posted of his southerly travels aboard ‘Eleda’ with his family, while Brad has been steadily working on the building of ‘Sea Wench’ and the restoration of ‘Halcyon‘, amongst other numerous projects. The lumber requests have been coming in as boat owners begin their winter repairs and maintenance –please call us if you have wood requests for your projects — and we have a few up and coming events and projects in the works that we are excited to tell you about in the near future. (Stay tuned!) There was a lovely article written about ‘Juno‘ in the January issue of “Yachting Magazine”. Please pick up a copy and take a look! We also invite you to visit and ‘Like’ us on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/gannonandbenjamin for regular updates and photos. In the meantime, now that we have completed the annual hauling, winterizing and storing of our customers’ boats for the season, our indoor work steams full ahead.