On May 5, the Boat Building Subgroup met at The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, NH. The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke explores and celebrates maritime skills, experiences and traditions through hands-on boat building, workshops, lectures and other activities.
Last year, at our first visit, the newly expanded shop was just getting started. Nate Piper, our host and director of the shop, told us about some of the local maritime history and we had an opportunity to tour the gundalow Piscataqua. This year, Nate is well into the "Hands on Boats" project.
This project is a complete replication of a Piscataqua River Wherry. The replica wherry currently under construction is based on the lines taken off of an historic vessel, which is part of the Strawbery Banke Museum collection. The original is in quite a state of disrepair, and it was fascinating to learn how Nate and the students took measurements, made a table of offsets, and lofted a full size plan. The project will continue at whatever pace is necessary until the boat is finished. Nate is totally committed to disseminating information, knowledge and skills related to boat building and the local maritime history. Adults may register for the sessions at any point. More information is available here: http://www.boatshopatstrawberybanke.org/handsonboats.html
As always, we round out our meetings with members discussing their current projects and sharing stories and advice.
We now have had our May meeting here for two consecutive years. With Nate's consent, we are excited to designate the first Saturday in May as an annual meeting of the Boat Building Subgroup at The Boatshop at Strawbery Banke. We hope that all Guild members will keep this date in mind. It is a fun and fascinating way to spend the day.