Saturday, April 28, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Ardelle heads for Gloucester this week! This photo was shot last summer but it won't be long before we set  sail again!

We will be located here at the docks of Maritime Gloucester, and they have put in a new, beautiful pier so folks can meander along the pier. The workmen spent all winter driving new pilings and re-building the pier. They did a fantastic job!

Ardelle and Schooner Fame will meet again this summer.  Check out Mike Rutstien, Capt. of the Schooner Fames' new book!
We will be situreated here all spring, summer and fall but there are some new, improved facilities for visitors to Maritime Gloucester. Cool.
We will be sailing around Gloucester all summer with our friends  Tom and Kay Ellis who own the Schooner Thomas E. Lannon! Looking forward to an old fashioned bang and go back race!
It is hard to believe that this time last year the Ardelle had her planks on but no deck beams, no deck, no rudder, no bowsprit, no paint, no varnish and no cabin tops....what a difference a year makes! As we have been getting the Ardelle ready for this coming charter season - and we are leaving Essex early this week as we have an educational charter on May 3 thanks to Maritime Gloucester, it is just hard to believe that getting ready this year involved painting and some varnishing, sanding, and cleaning..but that is about it!  Last year at this time, Harold and the crew had four months of very hard work ahead of them to complete the vessel. We had our first charter on Labor Day is hard to imagine we will be operating next week. As we have said many times, we could not have done it without you!

We are amazed, still scratching our heads, at where we were last year at this same time. See photo below compared to today's here.

About mid-May last year -2011. Wow, the painting and varnishing we did this spring was, well, nuthin' compared to last year! Again, thanks to so many who came to work!

This was what the stern looked like last year at this time. See the lovely Perry below finishing up the touches on the carved Ardelle name. What a difference!
This is what Perry and friend were painting last June compared to yesterday's touch up job below.

We had fun painting and varnishing this year...and thanks to those who came by to help! What a difference, though, from what Perry and friend were painting one year ago!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ardelle Getting Ready to Head to Gloucester

The Ardelle is nearly ready to head to Gloucester. All Photos by Len Burgess.
Harold, Alden Perry, and Laurie all painted this past week or so. Good job crew!

We decided to have a little party before we leave for Glocuester. See Daisy on far right...most likely begging for food.

The party had a lot of guests including two-six month old babies, some small tots, 7 dogs, one very pregnant friend, a handful of folks in thier 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s, 40s, 30s, 20s, and teens.  Something about this place appeals to young and old and everyone in between.

We had a great week getting the Ardelle freshly painted and we decided to have a party last Saturday night as a kind of send off for the Ardelle. It was a great night and although it was a bit cold outside people seemed to have no trouble spending time outside while the indoors was full of great homemade food and a table full of dessert. All week we have been painting the Ardelle getting her ready for our first charter on May 3. So it has been a busy week but the weather is good. We have decided that April is a great time to have a party and want to thank everyone for coming! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

'This Old House' Meets These Old Boats

This is actually Cogwell Grant - a preserved property down the road from here.
It was quite interesting around the yard on Friday as the steambox was going full on as Chad and Harold worked on bending frames for the Double Eagle which is being worked on in the Burnham yard. Meanwhile, work is going on aboard the Ardelle as we are getting her ready for the summer charter season. Additionally, spar work is going on for the Schooner Adventure.  Throughout all of this, we were visited by a production team for This Old House - an award winning program that many of you have heard of. This show has been ongoing since 1972 and has won 17 Emmy awards and 82 Emmy nominations. Tom Silva, a 22-year veteran of the show is a native of Lexington, Mass so we imagine he is pleased to be in his homestate for awhile. This Old House is spending about eight months in Essex restoring a home here (see story here) and they are scoping out the area for some side stories. Well, we think they came to the right place when they stopped by the yard Friday and the cameramen were particularly interested in the place. There is a lot to see and from many happened to be a beautiful day and we are pretty convinced that we live in a really unique place down here in the Essex river basin. We think they liked it, too and hope they come back again!
Harold is expecting some new clothes from Carhartt anyday now!

Chad and Harold working on the Double Eagle

Bruce is attaching leather to the gaff jaws for the schooner Adventure

Harold is talking with members of the production team of This Old House

Dave Brown is carrying the mast of the Dunno - a Turnabout sailboat his son Owen is going to sail out of Gloucester this summer!

Owen and Dave Brown working on the Turnabout

The good old furnace makes the steambox work well.

Members of This Old House production team had fun scoping out the Burnham yard

The film crew may be back!

Meanwhile, the cameraman for This Old House got some great shots of Essex last week

A great town to film!

Chad and Harold are bending a rib that just came out of the steambox. Members of This Old House production team look on.

We thought they might like to do a sequel called This Old Boat.

The rib is going in...

No small feat getting this rib in as members of This Old House team look on.

The guys did a pretty good job of it!

Perry Ardelle Burnham

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cover of Wooden Boat's May Issue!

Well, yesterday when we went to get the mail we were "psyched" to see the May issue of the venerable magazine WoodenBoat features a Dan Tobyne photograph on the front cover of the schooner Ardelle and it really does capture the magic of launch day on July 9, 2011.

Inside,the issue there is a great photo essay of the building of the schooner Ardelle. The article came about through a lot of hard work on the part of Harold and the volunteer crew of boatbuilders, Dan's tenacity and talent, and geniune interest and support from the staff at WoodenBoat magazine including its editors' Matt Murphy and Tom Jackson. Harold wrote the text and incorporated Dan's story as well but the talented team at WB always make it look just right.

Being on the cover of WoodenBoat has created a lot of buzz here and we have some happy folks around the yard these days. There really are some very good yet subtle messages to this story and one is we really don't want Harold to be the last Essex shipwright and hope to see shipbuilding continue into the next generations. So, yeah, if you have a young child who loves things like Bob the Builder and/or has a tendency to like to make a lot of banging might have the next generation of shipbuilders in Essex on your hands. Bring 'em on down here and put them to work. They will never forget or regret it!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mast Hoops for the Schooner Adventure and Life in the Yard

There are many reasons why we love Justin Ingersoll..his boatbuilding skills, maple sugaring, turkey calling, deer hunting, snowboarding self is also a real car buff and although he normally drives a 1960-era Pontiac Le Mans he did retrieve his GTO (OK, help me out here...I am not sure of the type) from his home in western New York state. Justin is finishing up work on the Tea Party ships and will be heading to Boston to work on them. The ships will be located at the Children's Museum in Boston.

Chad Gadbois, who is working on the Double Eagle refit here in the yard, Justin and Harold stopped for a mintue so I could snap this shot. Great to have you guys around!

Harold, Bruce Slifer and Alden Burnham are  bending steamed oak to make masthoops for the schooner Adventure.

Bruce Slifer has been doing a ton of voluteer work on the spars and rigging for the schooner Adventure. 

The steambox is going to soften the oak.

Nice hoop!

Daisy and her favorite pillow.

Spring in the boatyard

Things are moving on all cylinders here at the yard. A lot of different projects underway bringing back old friends and family who are all helping out. Alden Burnham, 18, is doing his final senior project here so it is great to have him around during the day. Chad, Bruce, Justin, Tom Ellis, Bernie Powers, Chuck Redman, Henry Sostek and many others have been dropping by or working here this past month. So, it is great to have so many hands here. The schooner Ardelle will be departing the yard in a few weeks for our first charter in Gloucester on May 3 but for a little while we hope to have her in the basin...her favorite spot for Essex residents as they get to see her to and from town or on their way to work in the a.m. Anyway, the bugs are not out yet but the days are getting longer. Its a good time to stop by so come by and see what we are up to.