Preview: Murray Peterson’s Designs: A Proposed Pinky


Pinky MAINE anchored on the fishing grounds, with the crew hand-lining over the port rail. Drawing by John F. Leavitt

The New England pinky schooner, so ubiquitous in the 19th Century, might have become extinct had it not been for its rich history and exotic profile. One does not often associae Yankee New England with things exotic, but in the pinky’s case, workboat function meshed with architectural norms of the times to earn the pinky a solid place in the 1830-1870 American Romantic Period.

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6 Responses So Far to “Murray Peterson’s Designs: A Proposed Pinky

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    Maynard Bray says:

    Hi Brother Bill,
    Being the young son of a naval architect and being in the company of many of these like minded gentlemen had its definite upsides but I truly dreaded when, as we approached a shipyard, my father would say; “We’re just going to stop here a minute.” Hours later, I would marvel at what they could find to talk about for so long. My father’s office was adjacent to my parents bedroom and my mother, having retired hours before, would grouse the next morning about how dad and Fenwick Williams stayed up until 3 AM talking about propellers. John Leavitt was also the ultimate raconteur. In between sea stories of the first order and Scarlet O’Hara’s, my father’s cocktail of choice in those days, he would entertain us kids with recitations of the Goops eating with their fingers and Li’l Orphan Annie and Gobble-uns gitting us. So, it wasn’t always boat talk but never far away.

    As a teenager I was also taken with the appearance of the pinkie. I remember dad showing me a picture of the pinkie SURPRISE and saying that it was called SURPRISE because a father gave it to his son as a surprise. I can remember making a pointed comment that that wasn’t such a bad idea. The silence that followed made it clear that it wasn’t such a good idea, either. The Leavitt painting of the Pinky leaving Jones Cove was given to my wife Jean and me as a belated wedding present. Since we were married in early 1970 I believe that the date of completion was probably 1970/71 not 1965 as noted.

    Bill, on that last comment, I was under the impression that he painted that picture for us. I seem to remember dad saying that John would like to do a painting for us as a wedding present and would we like to have him do one of a pinkie? If you have reference to the contrary it may have been pulled from his completed paintings.

    Your brother, John

  • David Tew

    David Tew says:

    As mentioned Bob Baker designed the 26’ Perseverance pinky that Lance Lee and his gang built at The Apprenticeshop. Decades ago he loaned her to me and a friend for a late fall cruise around the archipelago east of Rockland, Maine. We towed a dory behind, wore flannel shirts, watch caps and greasy overalls mimicking the men who would have worked the type. Cosplay of course but all kinds of fun especially setting a fisherman staysail above the foresail. It pulled like a Clydesdale.

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    Steve Fox says:

    A great read and fitting remembrance of these lovely vessels.

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    Christopher Chadbourne says:

    I’m deeply disappointed to find not a single mention of Tom Colvin or Ted Brewer. Surely, a bit of rewriting can right this wrong.

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    Geoffrey Davis says:

    Love the pinky schooner. Sailed on Chappelle’s Glad Tidings a couple of summers back in the early 60’s.
    Lots of great memories.

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    Bruce Keefauver says:

    A great read! I remember being smitten by a pinky yacht docked at Seattle’s Fisherman’s Terminal years ago. I think that she may be a replica of Tiger built in BC and now down in San Francisco. Thanks Maynard!