Shipyard Memories #8: Under Sail


The only sailing photos I have were taken before the square rigging arrived, too bad. I say arrived because we didn't build the yards and their rigging as we did the rest. The designer, Jay Benford, at the time owned a (the only as far as I know) sistership "Sunrise" and was in the process of changing to a "great pyramid rig" that made his yards and square sails surplus, so we were able to buy them as a package and they were fitted a few months after the rest.

In order to be chronologically correct I will show the pre-square rig photos first. These two pics are Smaug under fore and aft sails plying the waters of Quatsino sound just off our dock in Coal Harbour. In the first she's just ghosting along and in the second there's a bit of breeze. What is immediately obvious when you sail on her is that she is a big strong heavy boat. She doesn't ride up and down the waves, she plows right through them like a tank.

Here she's tied up at the fishermans' dock in Coal Harbour getting her squares bent on. Neil, the owner used to say that while most sailors these days want to be able to control all the lines from the cockpit, he was happy if he could handle most of them from the deck. You only had to go aloft to secure or shake out the topsail.

This one is about 15 years later as Smaug arrives in Victoria to participate in the annual "Classic Boat Festival". She was still owned by the original owner.


In the last photo for this blog, I get a turn at the helm in the "Schooner Classic" race for gaff riggers at the Classic Boat Festival. This late summer event is often, as shown, a rather windless affair but it was fun to see her again.

Well folks, that about wraps up the "How to build a carvel planked sailboat" class. If any of you are still interested, I could go on to cold molded, classic plywood, or stitch and glue construction. I do have a lot of old photos.

Thanks for bearing with me and my sometimes over-technical rantings and thanks for enjoying the show. If you had as much fun with it as I did then my job is done.

Until next time


The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

A very enjoyable series Paul. I read every word and studied every photo. 
What struck me most throughout all of it, was the joy, pride and passion you have for the craft. It's a rare thing anymore, particularly to the depth you possess. All wrapped in a large bundle of humility, and thats a huge part of it. 
I've learned over many years that the most talented are most often very humble about what they do.
'You do nice work'

“If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems.”

A great series.  About how long did it take from start to launch?  It sounds like you were doing other things as well so if you did nothing but work on that boat, about how long would it take?  

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

Well, written and documented process Paul. I enjoyed reading and the photos. A very skilled craftsman.

Main Street to the Mountains

Thanks for writing that, Paul! I didn’t have many questions or comments in the second half, but I think that’s because my brain’s still trying to put all the new learning together into a coherent whole.

May you have the day you deserve!

'You do nice work'
So do you. 😉

Lazyman, It took about two years but on a straight run it would have been about one, maybe a little less.

Thanks to all for the kind words.

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

A great difference between boat building and marquatery. You are able to do both (and I m sure much more) and that you can call extraordinary. Thanks for sharing!

Paul, a delightful read, much learned, and I totally enjoyed the journey. I think the best part was when searching for what exactly a 34' pinky ketch was in the terminology of all things boats, and I found your link here. Full circle is what I'd call that. Thanks for sharing.