Schooner Boat Const. Profile Sticky post

Who Teaches Whom… and How?


Schooner Boat Const. Profile

…And let’s not forget,

“Why?”

My involvement with boats has always been intertwined with learning. I don’t think this is unique. Every interaction we have with boats involves some element of learning, sharing skills and passing them along.

Boats teach us, and they catalyze learning. This is one of their greatest powers.

How do we begin to unravel the mess we’ve made of learning? For me, boats seem like a good place to start.

Continue reading “Who Teaches Whom… and How?”

anchor 750 x 375 Sticky post

Craft Untethered


anchor

The last post broached the subject of the complicity of our boating heritage. It shouldn’t come as much of a shock, but it does. This disillusion strikes close to home. It resides in the silence of guilt and taboo, where our discomfort is unmoored from its cause – deemed too painful, intractable to any possibility of address – left to float free.

Continue reading “Craft Untethered”

WB Show 2013 190 Sticky post

Whaleboats, Craft looking for Purpose


WB Show 2013 60

The WoodenBoat Show held at Mystic Seaport at the end of June saw the first stage in the celebration of craft that culminated at the end of July with the re-launching of the Charles W. Morgan.

What strikes me with great poignancy is the way this state of affairs illustrates a wider predicament. Our surviving examples of craft are tied inextricably into our history. Our history is a chronicle of our complicity in increasingly destructive attacks on the world and life itself.

It is no indictment of either institution, or the schools and boat builders around the country who have completed the new set of whaleboats for this refurbished ship. Or of the motives behind the re-build and the intended usage of the ship, which, as I understand it, includes a sailing tour. Something this ship has not done since arriving on the shores of the Mystic River in 1941.

Continue reading “Whaleboats, Craft looking for Purpose”

20" Hemp Cable HMC Dockyard 1941-750 Sticky post

Disentangling Craft from Technology


20" Hemp Cable at HMC Dockyard 1941

I’m drawn to articulate a distinction between craft and technology. It is an enormous topic. That is part of the trouble with it, where to begin, or, if we’re past the beginning, where to continue….

It does seem that what is required is a process of disentanglement. Technology is a term that appears to cover everything we do when we interact with the world, especially if our actions are effected through some tool. This is not a useful distinction. When we speak of technology today no one is thinking about crows using sticks, or our ancestors knapping stone tools. Technology today is an all-pervasive attitude towards the world.

The term Craft can be an umbrella for a different attitude towards the world. As with Technology, the common definitions of Craft aren’t that useful. They’re entangled with a history of resistance to the technological attitude, but that history, and our perceptions of it, are fraught with confusing assumptions. Similar troubles surround terms like anarchy and Luddite, for example. It is difficult to unravel this from the straw-men and projections that have accumulated over time, applied by the opposing, “winning” side.

Continue reading “Disentangling Craft from Technology”

Schooner-Boat-Profile

Schooner Boat: deeper, fuller hull


Schooner-Boat-Profile

This design has reached its next iteration. The major changes are a deeper draft, 4′ – 9″, and a more burdensome hull.

Continue reading “Schooner Boat: deeper, fuller hull”

F1d, 1,2,3

Launching all three Factory One Designs!


F1d, 1,2,3

Last Saturday The Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory had their official Factory One Design Launching. And the launched all three of the first batch of boats!

A warm and heartfelt congratulations to Brett, Victoria, Jesús, and all the students! Sorry I couldn’t be there….

Other shots of the day:

Continue reading “Launching all three Factory One Designs!”

Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory planking

Factory One Design at The Philadelpia Museum of Art


The Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory, its kids, and the first Factory One Design featured at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Continue reading “Factory One Design at The Philadelpia Museum of Art”

Factory-1d-sailing-with-Oly

Cross-post from Antonio Dias Design, Factory 1-d Launched!


Just got these images from Victoria Guidi, Program Director at the Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory. This one says it all! The Purple Lady – the kids chose the color and the name – sailing in the basin to the side of the Independence Seaport Museum. The Cruiser, Olympia and the Bark, Moshulu in the background. Read the rest… Continue reading Cross-post from Antonio Dias Design, Factory 1-d Launched!

Portuguese-Dory-Skiff-19744

The Surface of Mortality


Shallop Sheets Plymouth Bay

Looking out across an unfrozen yet still icy-cold salt pond, a boat goes by, reminding me of times on the water in winter. Winter sailing makes one thing supremely clear. Every time we leave dry land there is a realization that this reflective, undulating surface not only buoys us up. It is how and why we are there. It’s also another kind of boundary. Unlike a warm summer’s day, or on land, where the fact of our mortality, the thinness of what maintains us on this side of that barrier, is so easy to forget. Here it is ever-present, in the back of our minds, in the chill rising from its surface. This realization is hard to forget. If we fall in. We are dead.

Continue reading “The Surface of Mortality”

Thad-Danielson-Sea-Harmony-

A Guest Post by Thad Danielson


Thad-Danielson-Sea-Harmony-

Difficult times.  I don’t have numbers, just impressions.  World wide most people struggle to eat, shelter or pay their bills.  The few with money and property live to prove their worth.  So, we’re trying to find something to eat, working to pay the bills, plotting to get richer, we think we are the salt of the earth, doing what we are supposed to do, following the program, right, whichever one.  Generalizations are never true, but you know the pressures you feel, the incentives you respond to, and the flavor of your dreams.  Maybe, but are they creative and constructive?

Continue reading “A Guest Post by Thad Danielson”