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, February 24, 2012

Multi-colour boats

Gabe made a comment about our "multi-colour boats" today. He was working with Dave to install one of the cap rails, which are fashioned from Purpleheart. Below him on the port side, Eva and Gerald were sealing seams with wax on the hull of the first of the twin schooners that we caulked - green wax no less! - and then applying another coat of grey primer to her bottom.
All this led to comments about the crazy, neon yellow sawdust that was created when we were fashioning the double sawn frames from Osage Orange. There was one day Bub looked like a character from a Scooby-Doo cartoon he was so covered! The Alaskan Yellow Cedar hull planking added its own unique hue, as did the Angelique in the bilge and the Wana on deck.
It sometimes seems a shame, as one of our Facebook friends recently pointed out, to paint over such a handsome selection of wood. But it is all part of the process. We selected these materials to create strong and durable hulls that can sail anywhere in the world; now we're treating and preserving them.
But the fresh paint does something else too. In covering the admittedly handsome natural features of the schooners' component parts, particularly here on the hull, it takes your focus away from the wood to instead highlight the beautiful lines of these boats.
Have a nice weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

'Primed' for boat show

One of the twin schooners is now caulked and the gang has begun priming her bottom. Hoorah!
Meanwhile, we're primed to be joining Stevens Boatworks and Beta Canada in their booth at this weekend's Halifax International Boat Show to talk about the twin schooners and why we chose a Beta Marine diesel for our schooners. We'll be telling you more about our reasons for choosing a Beta/Kubota in coming posts (the engine should be arriving very soon!). And do come out to Exhibition Park for the show this weekend if you are in the area!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Longer days

Does a person dare say we've had a pretty good winter so far? Good meaning open, little you-know-what to contend with. Probably best left unsaid, huh? After all, it was only above freezing for a few hours today and we're a pretty superstitious lot hereabouts. What is clear is that the days are getting longer and our gang takes full advantage of that as they continue to caulk and fair the hulls of the twin schooners in the fading light of a late February afternoon in Lunenburg.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Testing Med's metal

It was more than a year ago that the team at Dawson Moreland & Associates, builders of these new Lunenburg Schooners, were contacted by New Hampshire-based blacksmith Med Chandler with an intriguing offer.
Med, whom we'd met at the WoodenBoat Show at Mystic in 2010, wanted to give us a full set of his hand-forged caulking irons to 'road test' on our twin schooners.
A former tall ship sailor who started blacksmithing at The Fort At No. 4 living history museum at Charlestown, NH in 2003 and honed his craft while working on traditional vessels like the replicas Discovery and HMS Bounty at the Booth Bay Shipyard, Med recently established his own forge.
He specializes in maritime work including traditional tools and hardware, but also makes handsome fixtures for land-based lives as well. Check out Ship's Coy Forge at

Med and his wife Mo took some rare time off last summer to visit the twin schooners and The Dory Shop while attending the Lunenburg Wooden Boat Reunion. At that point, we'd used some of his irons to caulk the decks of the schooners. But the real test of his metal (see, I didn't mean mettle after all!) is taking place right now!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Making the most of mild weather

The twin schooner gang has been taking full advantage of the relatively mild weather since Shutter Plank weekend to fair the hulls, install the cap and rub rails and start caulking these lovely ladies. Dave's also hung one of the rudders.
Although we never know when the weather may turn, we do know that the local groundhog, Shubenacadie Sam, did not see his shadow yesterday and that's supposed to mean that we'll have an early spring. Just what "early spring" means in Nova Scotia is, of course, anyone's guess.