Preview: Manny Palomo and his Dad Build a Boat

April 30, 2015

Avatar Maynard Bray

When Manny Palomo sent me photos last week of the boat he and his dad are just finishing, the boat and the photos looked so good that I felt compelled to share them with OCH members. Here’s how Manny explains it:

“When a father and son can design and build a boat together, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We combined our skills: he’s a mechanical engineer, loves sailing, and it a bit of a poet; I’m a professional wooden boat builder.

“We wanted an early, easily-driven powerboat hull shape that we could rig for occasional sailing. Our design incorporates some aspects of S.S. Crocker’s work, some aspects of the traditional Muscongus Bay sloop, with some Noank lobsterboat thrown in. We opted for an outside deadwood instead of built-down construction, but tired the sternpost into deck for strength.

“We’ve been deeply satisfied with result so far. What began in August, 2013 as a few scratched-out pencil lines has since become a boat nearly ready for the water.”

The boat, to be named ABI, is 22′ LOA with a 7’10” beam. She’ll draw 3′ feet and is powered by a single-cylinder 10-hp Sabb diesel engine with a fully-feathering propeller. Manny steamed her to Mystic Seaport for the 2015 WoodenBoat Show there, and soon afterwards had her rigged and sailing. For more about this neat little cruiser, check out WoodenBoat issue 247 where you’ll see photos of her under sail. 

Manny’s workshop is in a building originally constructed as a textile mill, back when weaving fueled New Bedford’s livelihood and once held 5,000 looms. It’s been reconfigured and is now known as the North Light Studio, home to several cottage industries. Check it out at <>

When he’s not building boats, Manny builds wooden surfboards. Before this, he worked at Beetle Inc. building and restoring a variety of wooden boats. His craftsmanship speaks for itself, but if you want to view more images, here’s the URL:  <>

Many pieces of oak make up the boat’s backbone, and here are laid out on top of the lofting platform. The longest piece is the keel timber, and at its forward end (in the distance) rises the stem and its connecting knee. Aft, nearest the camera, the sternpost stands, straddled by the cheeks of the horn timber and the short pieces of dedwood that will form the boat’s skeg.

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