Since 1978 I have been fortunate to sail wooden boats. In 2006 I set out to find a Drascombe Longboat Cruiser for single-handed expedition sailing. This is the continuing story of how it came to be, our adventures, notes on the maritime world and other things I don't want to forget...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

An Old Gift

Spring readiness projects have been going well. Small repairs are done and tomorrow the weather looks nice for a trip over to Urbanna to re-rig Annie. The yard jaws needed new leather and I had just the right piece. I have been carrying around a bag of leather my dad gave me from the furniture plant he ran while I was a boy. He taught me how to make things and solve problems. His lessons have come in handy more than once on the water. There are only a few pieces left now after more than thirty years but it still feels good to find a use for them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Last One

We drove to Annapolis, Maryland yesterday for a family funeral at the Naval Academy. A bittersweet reunion with cousins. Now, all our parents, aunts and uncles have passed on. They were special and are missed.

Although only a couple of hours north, it was markedly colder. The Annapolis harbor was frozen and except for gulls and ducks, there was little activity on the water.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Clay Work

Eleanor and I have been collaborating on maritime ceramic sculptures. I started by making boats in wood for her clay figures and have recently changed to clay as well. It is in the early stages but we have finished a number of pieces and have shown a few in our Florida gallery to good response. It has been a nice complement to our daily painting.

Bread Winner


Eleanor's latest, awaiting glaze and fire

'Boatbuilding' in clay

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Snow is melting fast today. It's in the 50s (F) and probably won't last long. It dumped around 6" of powder this past week and over in the Urbanna area, where Annie lives, there was a bit less. Vera and John sent me this pic and said that the tarp "was doing its job". Thank you both for your help.... there is nothing quite like good friends.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Drascombe's Rudder

I partially disassembled Annie' rudder/ tiller assembly to varnish the tiller and inspect. It is a somewhat different beast when compared to other small boat equipment. In most Drascombe boats- Luggers, Longboats, Coasters- the rudder slides down through a thin well and out the bottom. The configuration affords the mizzen mast and the outboard an amidships position. It does take getting used to.

I made a small, teak, slotted wedge to slip under the pivot section of the rudder when raised in shallow water. The heavy rod portion is covered in split PVC pipe and a thick sleeve bushing keeps the bronze rudder head from grinding in to the deck plate.

It all went back together and its off to the next pre-season task...

stainless steel 'knock-up' rudder

bronze rudder head assembly that accepts the tiller

rudder in raised position