As usual, lots has been going on around the boatworks. Here’s a quick update as to the most recent events…click to read on…

Good afternoon,
It’s been a while since the last update but I wanted to touch base so we all know what is going on around the museum and Boatworks. As most of you have seen, or heard, the Chaisson was flipped into her right-side-up position and has been fully framed, riveted, and now sports a coat of white primer on her insides. I am getting some glass and epoxy for her bottom and paint for her hull. It won’t be long before she’s as sleek and pretty as the last Chaisson we built.
Our next project is already in the works, Dr. Jim and I have been planning on building a 17’ spritsail skiff, a project that has recently migrated to the Boatworks. I began with a set of study plans I purchased from the North Carolina Maritime Museum (check out their website, I’ve included the link to their plans below) and modified the sheer and rise of the stem and stern to replicate a type of sharpie used in the Sound Country of southeastern North Carolina during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Jim kindly and expertly re-worked with table of offsets to effect the change in profile so a set of molds can be developed. These skiffs hailed from their northeastern roots in Connecticut and migrated southward into Florida by the 1880s. You might know of Col. Munroe’s EGRET (and KINGFISHER), two famous sharpies in Floridian history. However, I’m off topic, the little skiff to be built here will be a 17’ version of the spritsail skiff and will ultimately be owned by me, albeit a boat that by rights available for use and loving abuse by all Boatworks volunteers and contributors. It will be a flat bottomed skiff, similar to the SALLIE ADAMS, over in Cortez, but a little smaller and less complex. The sailing rig is a sprit rig with jib and optional topsail (set on its own yard, run up like a pig-stick) Its bottom will deviate from the traditional cross-planked bottom to a more user-friendly plywood bottom with frp reinforced chine and keel. Sides will be 4/4 cypress and framing will be white oak. Her centerboard and rudder will be plywood. The unstayed mast will be set into a round step, to allow full rotation so, when unsheeted, the main can swing forward to clear the deck. I also hope to work up a simple brailing system for the main so it can be furled against the mast. At any rate the build should be a fun one and a boat to stick around here and get used! The tentative name for the boat is TARHEEL.

An original spritsail skiff, photo courtesy of
NC Maritime Museum link to study plans:
Curt Bowman and his wife Eleanor are weighing anchor soon and heading out on the high seas of the American Highway. Before any of you start the bidding on his Drascombe, he has already informed me that it will be temporarily and safely stored in North Carolina with his dad. We wish all of the best to Curt and Eleanor, two kindred souls here in St. Augustine, and remind them that they always have a place here with us!
All hands on deck for April 26th for the arrival of the HMS Bounty. This replica 18th century ship will grace the city waterfront until the 30th of April . Make sure you get on board for a tour, its not often St. Augustine hosts a 180’ sailing vessel. For more info: Let’s give her a warm welcome and a happy sendoff!
Hope this finds everyone in hale and healthy spirits!