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...

Monday, December 29, 2014

Starting Winter Maintenance

A bit warmer and sunny on Saturday. With tools and lumber loaded in the truck I headed for Urbanna after dropping a painting off at the gallery in Mathews. Annie's mast and self-furling headsail needed some work. I made a 'ridge pole' to substitute for the mast that typically supports the boat cover...


The mainmast is a rather short spar, 13' 8". When raised its effective length is increased by the sliding gunter yard, that together support the large, triangular-shaped mainsail. When underway and the yard is dropped and lashed to the mast, most low bridges are easy to slip through.

The mainmast pivots on a deck-mounted tabernacle fitted with a 1/2" stainless bolt that acts as a pivot pin. When down, the mast rests on a crutch stepped into the mizzen mast position. This creates the nice 'ridge' to support the cover.

Ridge pole

The dodger is typically folded down below the dropped mast. I decided to remove it as well and upon return to the my studio/shop, I cleaned the clear plastic windows and stored it away. The spar made its way to the overhead... hopefully out of the way in my small space.

Mainmast and headsail stored awaiting repairs 

As the sun set... Sunny Jim took off the chill

Thursday, December 18, 2014


There is an art gallery called Frenchy's down in Mathews County, Virginia. It's small, very local and quite eccentric. Ben Richardson, the purveyor, has family roots that go deep. He carves Chesapeake wildlife, likes his PBR, and sells my paintings. We have become good friends and we are working together to find small ways to utilize art in the preservation of maritime traditions on the Bay. 

Down on Main Street


Packing Crabs
© Curt Bowman 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Winding Down

2014 is steadily nearing its run. It was a good year for being on the water and exploring what it means to those who work it and those who use it to find themselves. I count myself among the later.

I spent a lot of this year painting maritime, both representational- for the most part images of waterman and their work boats; and abstract, non-objective pieces that reflect (I hope well) my on-board feelings that range from tranquility and wonderment to moments of fear.

I really enjoyed sailing across to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia this past year, and 'sneaking around' the beautiful Rappahannock River and its creeks.

Its our second year here in Virginia, and the end of the first year in our house in Richmond we call Base Camp. I believe we will be here for a while. We are making new friends and there is a lot of the Chesapeake and Outer Banks left to discover.

Off to Kentucky tomorrow for a few days to play a bluegrass Christmas gig then back home with the girls. Its a great time of year and I am quite lucky in more ways than I probably know. I hope everyone reading this is well, with their families this holiday and staying warm fixing and renewing their boats in anticipation for spring.