SEPTEMBER 26, 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.

September 23, 2016 “Mah Jong” Restoration Continues at Mugwump

Mah Jong original teak planking, splined andf aired in. “Mah Jong”original teak planking-splined and faired in.

Ross, Andy, Zoli, and Liam : “Mah Jong” teak deck caulking at Mugwump

August 26, 2016

Sidetracking “Artemis” onto the railway.


Moving “Revonoc” out of Mugwump to Launch!

December 7, 2015

An update on our latest project: Design #86 : 31′ Canoe Stern Gaff Sloop “Artemis“.

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:

December 2, 2015

Design #86 : 31′ Canoe Stern Gaff Sloop “Artemis“.

A new boat!  In September Nat’s latest design, “Artemis” was lofted on the floor of our waterfront shop, and the building of the double ended 31′ sloop has since been progressing at a steady pace.Design #86 31' Canoe Stern Gaff Sloop Artemis ARTEMIS.DESIGN86. - 43ARTEMIS.DESIGN86. - 37 IMG_0522IMG_1523

November 24, 2015

Herreshoff NY30 “Cara Mia”

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: NY30 Cara Mia - Ballast Lowered “Cara Mia” went back into the water this week, and will soon head back to her homeport for the winter season.

May 29, 2015

“Mah Jong” Rebuild Update

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. Mah Jong 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. 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 frames and Mizzen step 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. Mah Jong. Shaping rabbet Andy shaping the rabbet in the new forekeel.   Mah Jong fitting 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. New forekeel from inside. Zoli fitting futtocks Zoli fitting futtocks. Mah Jong Robert new floors 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. Mah Jong softening frame Andy softening up a frame before installation.   New aft deck frame   New aft deck frame.    Inboard ends of half beams.    Inboard ends of half beams.   Duncan fastening half beam on cockpit   Duncan fastening half beam on cockpit.   Mah Jong Driving Frame   Andy and Ross. Driving the frame down from the deck   Fastening the planking to the new frame.   Andy fastening the planking to the new frame.   Brad Aligns the frame to the floor.   Brad aligns the frame to the floor.   Pressing the hot frame out to the planking.   Pressing the hot frame out to the planking.

May 2, 2015

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. Cara Mia re-canvassed

April 30, 2015

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. Sheldrake - april 30,2015

April 21, 2015

The Design No. 85 “Sheldrake” nears closer to completion! “Here’s a shot with the finished coamings. Almost done! “– Via Matt Hobart on Instagram By Matt Hobart

April 9, 2015

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.” Bending White Oak for the coamings on Sheldrake April 2, 2015 Custom Bronze Hardware by Nat Benjamin “Sheldrake’s” new pedestal for the jib club, custom made by Nat Benjamin.  Photo courtesy of


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!

March 27, 2015

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.

duncan.deckbeams.mahjongMarch 26, 2015

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! ross.caramia.deck caramia.canvased

March 18, 2015

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   Photo and text by Matt Hobart

March 17, 2015

An update and photo on the Design 85, 19′ Gaff Sloop, ‘Sheldrake’ build from our Matt Hobart:   “The cockpit sole is done, eastern cedar and wana. Now it’s time to build in the seats. ” By Matt Hobart: the cockpit sole is done, eastern cedar and wana. Now it's time to build in the seats.

March 11, 2015

A shot of the 19′ gaff sloop, the Design 85, ‘Sheldrake’,  taken by our Matt Hobart:   Photo by Matt Hobart   “We’ve got the 1/2″ plywood deck going on and the 3/4″ cedar cockpit sole going in.”  —Matt Hobart

March 3, 2015

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. Mah Jong New ForekeelFebruary 27,2015   A look at the transom and deck beams going onto the Design No. 85, “Sheldrake”.   Photo by Matt Hobart   Photo by Angela Park-Sayles

February 25, 2015

The Design No. 85 being built at our waterfront shop has been given a name!  She will be called “Sheldrake” by her new owner.  Here is a look at her sail plan:

February 20, 2015

The Design No.85 is planked, and caulked.  Here are a few photos taken this week on the progress that has been made on the 19′ gaff sloop. Design85.plankedandcaulked_Collage

February 13, 2015

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: Shutter planks on!   Here is a slideshow of last night’s gathering:

February 11, 2015

The Design No.85 19′ Gaff Sloop being built at our shop on Beach Rd. Photo by our shipwright, Matt Hobart. Two more planks to go 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: Thank you, Matt! 

February 10, 2015

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. CaraMia.DeckbackOn.72pxcaramia.deckbackon2.72px Here is a view from above of the yawl, ‘Mah Jong’. Mahjong.transom.tempdeckbeams

January 22, 2015

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. 

January 20, 2015

Station molds on the strongback for the Design No. 85, along with the stem, forekeel and knee. Corkery Boat Design No.85

January 19, 2015  Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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. @matthobart and Lyle buliding the strongback for the #Design85GaffSloop today @gannonandbenjamin #NatBenjaminDesign #woodenboats #shipwrights #gannonandbenjaminmarinerailway #shopshots — at Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway.   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: Photo By Matt Hobart The new Design No. 85 Gaff Sloop forekeel stem created by our Lyle Zell.

By Lyle Zell

January 16, 2015

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

Station Molds, Plan, Matthew Hobart building station molds

January 15, 2015

Lyle drilling 3/8″ bolts that will hold the forekeel stem arraignment together for the #Design85GaffSloop. Design No.85 Lyle Stem forekeel drilling Photo by our Matthew Hobart. Follow him for updates on this project and other shop action on Instagram. Matt’s Instagram link: @MattHobart  #gannonandbenjaminmarinerailway#woodenboats @gannonandbenjamin #natbenjamindesign — at Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway. Another great photo documenting our build of the Design No. 85 fixed keel 19′ Gaff Sloop from Matt Hobart via Instagram: Here you can see the boards are in place and a batten has been nailed up to the end of the fingers to re create the station line. Next I transfer a few water lines and buttocks lines off the floor onto the boards so that I can line everything up. What you see now is only one half of the mold, I have to make and exact copy and then line them up as mirror opposites.”  #boatbuilding#woodwork #gannonandbenjamin #lofting #marthasvineyard    Photo by Matthew Hobart

January 14, 2015

The Sparkman and Stephens yawl “Mah Jong” gets a new transom. MahJongNewTransomCollage The new stem and forekeel for the  Nat Benjamin design No. 85/ 19′ Fixed Keel Gaff Sloop No.85.stem.forekeel

January 13, 2015

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” IMG_8588   The new mizzen mast step on “Mah Jong” New Mizzen Mast Step by Duncan Mcfarlane   Lofting and Patterning of the new 19′ Gaff Sloop Steve Corkery

January 7, 2015

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!

19' Fixed Keel Gaff Sloop Design No. 85

January 5, 2015

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. 19' Gaff Sloop /Daysailer/Corkery

November 26, 2014

“Cara Mia” — Rebuilding a Herreshoff NY30

Earlier this month we welcomed the Herreshoff NY30 “Cara Mia” into our schooner shed to undergo a rebuild this winter season. pre demolitionIMG_7167 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. Source: winch IMG_1391 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: Camber TemplateThe 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. transom pre demo IMG_0474 IMG_0475 transom removed 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. CaraMia.Stem.Collage 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

November 18, 2014

“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.

Sail MV Walter Cronkite Award Recipients 2014
Above photo taken at the Sail Martha’s Vineyard 2014 Annual Sea Food Buffet Fund Raising Dinner.  
Ross and Nat were honored as this year’s recipients of the Walter Cronkite Award which was presented to them by Matthew Stackpole, Curator of the Mystic Seaport Museum.  

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 In the VH Harbor Winner of the Vineyard Cup – G&B designed ‘Juno’ 'Juno' Wins Vineyard Cup 2014 ‘Juno’ Skipper, Scott DiBiaso, accepting the First Place Award, with Sail MV Director, Brock Callen. Vineyard Cup 2014   ‘Phra Luang’ – Placed 3rd in the Classics Class Phra Luang Vineyard Cup G&B shipwright, Natch Quinn,  racing aboard ‘Aurora’ on Day II Natch aboard Aurora Vineyard Cup 2014 ‘Charlotte’ on the approach. Charlotte - Vineyard Cup 2014Celeste‘ alongside ‘Aurora’Alongside Aurora at Vineyard Cup 2014   Vineyard Haven Harbor Classic Boat Gathering 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! Featuring We also invite you to visit and ‘Like’ us on our Facebook page: 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. IMG_5754 IMG_5703 IMG_5698 IMG_5643 IMG_5620 IMG_5618 photo 3 Working at Bench/Beach Rd.