Cabin Refresh

Details in the galley.  Details on deck.  Details in the cabins.  Some years we’ve got big projects which cause the little projects to be relegated to the bottom of the usually long list.  We’ve had a couple of those winters in a row, so things like peapod repair, settee cushions, and new navigation stations have taken a back seat to the big stuff that most people don’t see, but is part of being good stewards of a National Historic Landmark.  These would be things like planking and framing, iron work, rig replacement, new sails, etc.  When these big projects are part of our budget in a year, they matter.  It just means that the other (usually more visible things) need to take their turn and wait a little longer.  This is the year of details.  

Among the many details being tended to over the course of this winter are the cabins.  The little details in the cabins which make your home for a week (or 4-days) nicer, a little more special.  This year all of the cabins are getting a going over – new paint, new varnish… new sink skirts.  

In cabins 1 to 4, these beautiful skirts hide the plumbing to the sinks and add to the charm of the cabins.  This beautiful craftsmanship was done by Tyler King with an assist by Chloe Finger.

wooden boat maintenance, wooden boats, taking care of a wooden boat, carpentry, craftsmanship, old-fashioned wood working, maine windjammer

wooden boat maintenance, wooden boats, taking care of a wooden boat, carpentry, craftsmanship, old-fashioned wood working, maine windjammer

wooden boat maintenance, wooden boats, taking care of a wooden boat, carpentry, craftsmanship, old-fashioned wood working, maine windjammer

wooden boat maintenance, wooden boats, taking care of a wooden boat, carpentry, craftsmanship, old-fashioned wood working, maine windjammer


Photos by Tyler King

Sew Fun – SO Fun

While the barn is abuzz with activity and woodworking, there are other folks who are also engaged and actively planning for another fantastic summer on the water with the Riggin.  E (Elizabeth) is taking reservations at a rapid pace.  And Annie is, among other things, sewing.  Curtains, settee cushions, deck cushions, engine box covers, and so on.  The list of projects is getting longer by the day!

What began as a “simple” slipcover for the house turned into the list above, which keeps getting additions by the second as Annie gets more comfortable with the work.  Annie is lucky enough to have a friend with several industrial sewing machines and she’s always offered to teach Annie how to use them.   This is that winter.  When Annie isn’t on a horse, or cooking in the kitchen, she can these days be found behind the needle of a sewing machine.  

And a powerful one at that.  These machines are not your grandmother’s Singer, although they are just as dependable.  They are finger-eating, strong-engined machines for which Annie has found some serious respect.  They can sew through canvas, sail material, or 4 layers of upholstery material without straining.   Magic and terror all wrapped up in one tidy package.  

Here is a link to Annie on one of the machines and some photos of a few of the many projects in progress or completed.

marine canvas sewing project
The engine box cover for the yawl boat got a little extra padding to protect that nice paint and varnish.


marine canvas sewing project
A look on the underside of the engine box cover. Turns out yoga mats have more than one use! Yes, that’s a yoga mat.


sewing deck cushions for a boat
The deck cushions need a little love. The fabric is wonderful and held up nicely, but the foam is substandard. We are replacing the foam so everyone’s bum has a cushy landing.


Photos by Captain Annie Mahle

Peapod Gets Some Love

The barn is abuzz with winter projects.  While Louis and Chives prep and sand and scrape and fill, Capt. is  busy repairing the peapod.   A couple of summers ago she received some structural damage to her mid-section and while she has held up fairly well under the strain, it was time to address her needs.  

We carry this sweet little row boat on our davits and lower her all summer long for those who want to do a little harbor exploring or catch a bit of exercise to work off Annie’s meals, so she’s pretty important to our summer operations.  In addition, she’s a  Jimmy Steele design, one of the many built by the famous boat builder.  We are lucky to have such a special little vessel and we are happy to be taking good care of her.  

Here’s a little photo journal of the work and care she’s receiving.

wooden boat maintenance
Sistering a couple of frames and shoring up some planking



wooden boat maintenance
Hey, is that the home stove? And the teapot? Capt. is using both to steam a couple of frames.


wooden boat maintenance
Don’t steam the cookbooks! Ahhhh!


wooden boat maintenance
Gluing and clamping everything together


wooden boat maintenance
Now we wait


wooden boat maintenance
The final product – strong and beautiful


wooden boat maintenance
And then we add some pretty hardware so she can take us on many more rows this summer.


Photos by Captain Jon Finger

Wooden Boats – Winter Projects

While the weather outside fluctuates between spring and the arctic, inside the barn, all is toasty and warm… and busy!  Louis and Chives, long-time Riggin crew, are both ‘on deck’ so to speak and in the barn full-time.  Right now, much of their work is about making dust as they sand and scrape all of the surfaces in preparation for their shiny coats.

wooden boat maintenance
These two goons working away on the barrels – scrape, scrape, scrape


wooden boat maintenance
Oars and Captains wheel – gonna be shiny soon!


wooden boat maintenance
Hatch covers sanded and ready for the final varnish and paint coats


marine engine work
The yawl boat engine removed and transmission ready for a rebuild and reinstall


wooden boat maintenance
Spars for Iolaire getting touch ups and undercoats before the final coat goes on


Photos by Captain Jon Finger and Elizabeth Poisson

One Boat Back in the Water, One to Go! 

Signs of spring are happening, and by that we mean it’s haulout time, where for a few days the Riggin is pulled out of the water which allows access to the whole hull.  This is the time to inspect the hull; wash and paint the bottom; and change the zincs.  Routine maintenance is also coupled with tending to anything that needs mending or replacing under the water line while we have access to these spots.  The shipyard can be a satisfying time because it really starts to feel as if we truly will be sailing soon.  It’s also a time when stories are made – like the year we shoveled snow off the rail way before hauling in mid-April (and that wasn’t this year!).  And doing projects late into the night by the light of the truck headlights to get off the railway as quickly as possible.  
Riggin haul out
The Riggin hauled out on the rail way at North End Shipyard
The Riggin is now back in the water – bottom painted and inspected, hull sanded and partially painted, and a couple of little things taken care of under the water.  Now she waits for a couple of coats of paint and her sails to go on so that she can once again sail Penobscot Bay with all of us. 
The Timberwind, our other vessel, is in Belfast not Rockland.  She came out of the water yesterday in a completely different way.  Front Street Shipyard, instead of a railway, uses a large travel lift which picks her up out of the water and transfers her to the yard where she rests with a number of other large vessels.  She is supported “on the hard” with jack stands placed strategically all around her hull.  You’ll see from the photo that the foremast is un-stepped.  We’ll work on the top part of the foremast, an area tough to get to while it’s in place, replace the servings around the shrouds and be ready for the mast to be stepped right after the boat goes back into the water later this week.
Timberwind haul out
The Timberwind hauled out at Front Street Shipyard with a travel lift
When both are back in the water, we’ll be that much closer to sailing with you all!