From kevlar to pine tar in one day. A visit to the Wooden Boat Show

The contrast in the boats at last weekend’s Wooden Boat Show in Mystic CT could not have been more dramatic after having spent a day watching the America’s Cup Trials in Newport.  Perhaps the only real similarity is that many who own wooden boats have really deep pockets, a common theme in boating it would seem.  Yes, there are plenty of boats for those with modest bank accounts but the “big boys” toys are plenty fancy kevlar or not.

Two images that illustrate the differences are these.  High tech and plenty mean looking is one of the current cup trial boats.

This sweet electric launch would surely be a better venue for a cool drink on the water.   I guess that a mint julep here and a Red Bull on the cup boat about a sums it up.However, it’s not all about cruising at 5kts with drink in hand.  How about this “vessel” dubbed a “boatercycle” by the owner who claims that it will pull six skiers.  Tongue in cheek?  Perhaps.  Me?  I couldn’t even imagine it even floating.  However, it does have a swim platform.  Speaking of  form following function, how about this boat?  Some might suggest that it’s a good think that this is a one-of-a-kind.    Do you think that the builder loves music?  but what kind of instrument does he/she play dear Watson?How about this for a clue?Need more help?  I expect that the love of building outweighs the love of being on the water for the owner.  Not exactly a quick and dirty project for sure.   The builder certainly was true to the theme. Yikes!!!  At least the oar ends weren’t like picks. Now, this is my idea of a “gentlemen’s launch”.   With a jet drive it is high tech meets tradition.  Everything about this boat is custom, down to the fancy casting on the bow that support the running light.   Very elegant and it can be yours for cool quarter mil. One of the great things about boating is the quality of workmanship that goes into products that are to be used in a harsh marine environment.  Want to be heard?  This cannon, about two feet long, would be a perfect way to salute the sunset.  Sunrise too?  Perhaps that will upset the locals.Speaking of attention to detail, look at the great workmanship on the breach? This is a nice video of highlights from last year’s show.  It does give a good feel for what the show is all about, a love of wood and boats.  Works for me. Of course, we can’t forget one of the classy ladies that live at Mystic Seaport, the Sabino who, in her working years, was a passenger steamer in Casco Bay Maine, part of our summer stomping grounds.  I have always been smitten with her and introduced myself to her captain on this visit with the hope of volunteering to be a deck hand sometime. Good news, my suggestion was well received.  Perhaps he was just being nice.  Hmm…  That would be a wonderful way to spend a day on the water.  I hope that I get called.  In case I don’t, I’ll have to show up again to provide a gentle reminder.There are plenty of great photos ops at the seaport. Brenda and I have been members of Mystic Seaport since 1979.  What a great place to visit and it’s even better to have Pandora on a mooring nearby for a few weeks a year.   And, best if all, our new home is only about a half hour a way.

Oh yea, about that title.  For those of you who don’t know, pine tar is a preservative that is used on wooden boats.  Kevlar?  If you don’t know what that is, well…

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