Preview: Walkabout at Brooklin Boat Yard, Part 9 – 2/28/13


I smile every morning when I walk through the door. I have never, in the ten years I’ve worked here, seen the shop as filled with work as it is this winter. The cockpit you see in the foreground is for the first of the two 47-foot sloops under construction, and it will soon be on its way to the paint shop. Notice the deadwood and the lead ballast eel just to the right of the cockpit. This is for the 70-foot sloop in the background and weighs a mere 27,000 pounds. The man in the center foreground, Norm Whyte, is our “go-to” guy for any questions we have concerning the construction of wooden boats. He is a fourth-generation boatbuilder from Scotland and is one of the best I have ever met. For years he was foreman of new construction here, and now spends his time building complicated assemblies such as this cockpit, with a young apprentice at his side so he can pass on the skills of his trade. We have all learned a great deal from Norm.

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6 Responses So Far to “Walkabout at Brooklin Boat Yard, Part 9 – 2/28/13

  • Avatar

    Capt RD Galeota says:

    Eric & Co: Love the website and videos!

    I own a 1964 43′ Matthews TCCB. I am in the process of refurbing the galley bulkheads (7/8″ Plywood) with 22 mil. Mahogany veneer. I am getting several opinions on what type of adhesive to use. Vessel is in the Great Lakes, spends every other winter alternating on the hard (cold building) and floating in a heated covered slip (not bubbled). I was wondering if you could offer any advice regarding experience good or bad, on different adhesives. Thanks in advance for any insight.
    Capt. RD Galeota Jr. SA
    Pointe Marine Surveyors LLC

    • Avatar

      Eric Blake says:

      Captain Galeota,

      I am glad you’re enjoying the site. 22 mil Seems like more than a veneer? We are always careful when veneering cabinet doors or table tops to apply an even thickness veneer to both sides of plywood to keep the panel balanced and stable, otherwise they will warp.

      We use many different adhesives at the boatyard as you can imagine. We almost exclusively use WEST SYSTEM epoxy for all application’s of wood to wood. I’m a big fan of West System. Here’s why… Twice a year their representative comes by every shop I have worked in to ask how their product was working for us and what they could do differently. In many cases they develop products special for a certain project we are working on. They are very engaged. I’ve never seen their product fail when used properly. A quick phone call put’s you in touch with a technician if you have any questions. I am always blown away by there level of engagement they have with their customers. They offer a lot of literature and online help with how to use their product’s for your specific application. I have worked with them on many levels for year’s and couldn’t recommend their products more highly.

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    Robert Vickers says:

    Folks, Although I only build wood skiffs and prams up to 16′ in my garage, I certainly appreciate the intricacies and incredible detail that goes into a modern build either power or sail. It is cold here in RI today and watching this pictorial essay is great for my approaching season with my 24′ Ellis lobster “yacht”. Thanks, Capn Bob

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    Russ Manheimer says:

    Someone needs to write a book about the productivity at BBY. When did you start on the 47s? And I think June launchings are planned? Outstanding work guys!

    • Avatar

      Eric Blake says:

      All three boats were started in September. They are due to go overboard this June, July, August. It is a busy place, no doubt.
      Best, Eric

  • Avatar

    Howard Sharp says:

    Great news that things are going so well in this uncertain economy!