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

February 27, 2013

Avatar Eric Blake


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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