For the first time in decades, there are schooners 'abuilding on the famed waterfront at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dawson Moreland & Associates are building not just one, but two 48' wooden schooners in the best of Maritime traditions. These 'twins' will be built simultaneously, frame for frame, plank for plank, alongside the historic Lunenburg Dory Shop at 175 Bluenose Drive. Follow their progress from keel laying to launch!

An artist's interpretation of the Twin Schooner Project

Friday, October 22, 2010

Perfect plank, beaming boatbuilder

Dave's back from a very successful trip to the West Coast where he finalized the purchase of our planking for these twin schooners.

We're going to be using Alaskan yellow cedar, a member of the Cypress family, known for excellent durability and workability.
Dave was really impressed with the Surrey, British Columbia mill where these giant logs were sawn.

"It was a really professional place, very efficient," he said. But most importantly, he is soooo pleased with the wood.

"It's beautiful stuff, clear...perfect really. As a builder, I'm really, really, pleased. (Editor's note: this by Dave standards is practically gushing!)

The plank, which needs about three months to dry, will be shipped East later this fall.

Work on the vessels, which were framed up last spring and have sat seasoning under cover these last few months, will resume shortly with construction of the deck beams.
Can't wait to see wood chips again!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pretty boats to inspire you

It's been a pretty long time since we've posted anything to the Twin Schooner Project blog. As explained in a post late last spring, after hanging the sheer planks, we engaged in an extended and fully planned summer break during which time the frames could season (ie, dry out nicely under fitted covers) and so Dave could enjoy some summer sailing on his schooner, Sea Change.
But summer's well over now and it's soon time to start making wood chips again! Dave's been busy for a few weeks already, sourcing plank stock and making plans. In fact, he's flying off this weekend to the West Coast to oversee sawing of some excellent timbers. More on that soon!
In the meantime, to whet your keen appetites for beautiful schooners, here are some pictures from the Nova Scotia Schooner Association's Fall Classic held September 18. Thanks to Maggie Ostler, sailing aboard the Westergard-built Kitty Cochran, for the following report and pictures:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rocket schooner launched

It's always great fun to attend a boat launch. And we were particularly pleased to be on hand a few weeks ago for the launch of a vessel that's been described variously as a 'fusion schooner,' the 'next generation of the schooner,' and, our favourite, the 'rocket schooner' Farfarer.

Built for Capt. Frank Blair by Covey Island Boatworks, Farfarer is a 58-ft cousin to the Maggie B., Blair's earlier Nigel Irons designed and Covey-built schooner with which he circumnavigated the globe. Sadly, the Maggie B was destroyed in the same fire that razed Covey Island's former plant at Petite Riviere. Throughout construction, Blair has stressed that he was not looking to recreate the Maggie B. but instead build something new and exciting in its own right.

That he's accomplished with this unique schooner.

During the launch, Capt. Tom Gallant, skipper of the schooner Avenger, thanked Blair for "finding virtue in the schooner rig," while Sandy McMillan of Lunenburg-based North Sails Atlantic, the company that built Farfarer's sails, called her "the next evolution of the schooner rig."
Blair plans to take Farfarer on a voyage inspired by the classic tale The Aeneid.