Preview: Restoring an Old Iceboat

February 12, 2012

Avatar Eric Blake

I freely admit, I am drawn to old stuff. To me it is the way that it brings people together in modern times, to tell stories, and gives them the ability to do things that were inspiring to them as a child. After listening to my good friend Brian Larkin talk about the times he spent ice boating years ago, I jumped at the chance to get his old boat down out of the rafters of his barn last weekend and go for a ride.

Brian’s boat is a relic. A single seater he nailed together some 20 years ago from what he called “barn junk”. On our way to the pond, passing by our good friend Havilah Hawkins place, we swung in to see if he wanted to come along. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Haddie exclaimed, “I just hung up the phone with a guy up in Ellsworth, who says he had an old stern steerer that needed a good home. I told him that with my own kids out of the house I saw it as another piece of history I’d have to store in my dooryard. I hadn’t even thought about you! You’re just half crazy enough to really get into something like that!”

Needless to say, we made the journey to Ellsworth Friday after work, loaded her on a truck and made for the Brooklin Boat Yard to see what we really had.

Photo: Maynard Bray

Like I said in the beginning I love the way old stuff brings people together. Saturday at the boatyard was a revolving door of people from town who had heard about our new acquisition and just came by to have a look. Havilah came peeling into the yard with a gaff rig all ready to go that had come out of an oldcatboat that his grandfather built in the 40’s. Brian showed up with a handful of turnbuckles he got off an old derelict Atlantic rig and the bullshit really started to fly.

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