Preview: Celebrate Everything: Remembering Peter Chase

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Boatbuilder Peter Chase was an friend to all of us at Off Center Harbor. He represented the best of what we admire (or aspire to). A year after his passing, we’d like to share a tribute.

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You can leave a comment or question for OCH and members below. Here are the comments so far…

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54 Responses So Far to “Celebrate Everything: Remembering Peter Chase

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    Geoffrey Allan says:

    Nice to be reminded, at every level, what the word “quality” means.

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    Mike McAllister says:

    What a heart felt tribute to a very special man that brought so much to ones life and many others as well.
    Thank you

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    David Ray says:

    I thank you both, Peter for showing us the way and you Eric for telling us about Peter

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      Burke Horner says:

      Very well videoed and spoken! One can only be fortunate to count on his hand those who have both inspired and become a friend to a family you will never forget, yet passed on this tribute to others. What a wonderful gift that his tools were given to you. Continue the tradition with your family!

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    steve johnson says:

    until further notice,celebrate every moment

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    John Simlett says:

    Thanks for that – his memory is inspiring to those of us less talented followers.

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    George Weinbrenner says:

    “Beau geste” Eric to a wonderfull person and boat builder. Peter had an eye for beauty like Joel White. So nice that his wife recognized the value of her husband and had Eric document this tribute.

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    Thomas Rogers says:

    Not many of us lead such a full life, moreover, many such lives pass unnoticed… thank you for bring us this reflection of Peter.

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    Eric Blake says:

    I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful response to this piece.
    I feel really fortunate to be able to share Peter’s story with you all….
    He was truely one of the best
    Thank You

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    Craig Tyrie says:

    Thank you for sharing a glimpse of a talented friend, hidden away with a loving family and his dogs and boating life.

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    William McCaffrey says:


    Thank you for sharing this tribute. Makes me wish that I had known Peter. You were lucky to have such a friend and I’m sure that he is looking down with a smile knowing that he had a great friend too.

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    Malcolm Raymond says:

    Touched I am to have known this man for the time it took to watch. You are blessed to have known such a person for longer, Thank you for sharing.

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    Pete Bergstrom says:

    Phenomenal tribute to your friend and mentor. I wish I knew him.

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    Kip Otteson says:

    This is just the type of video that I need to watch to put shit in perspective. I have really enjoyed the Schmee pieces that you guys have put together. I feel like I know this guy from watching the video and he inspires me. Well done, Eric. After becoming an OCH viewer I’ve built a boat in my driveway, have quit my job, and am going to be homeschooling my kids over the next couple of years in Thailand. You guys have really messed me up, but in a good way. If I ever get down on technology and how the internet can wreck people I think about its appropriate uses and yours is about the best example out there. Thanks again.

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    Bags Brokaw says:

    Thank you, Eric and Bill, for giving us all – those who knew and still love Pete, Soph, and their family so much – a gift for a lifetime. Your video (the images are eternal) and written tributes are so beautifully and skillfully done, and capture and articulate all that is pure and good about dear Pete and his wonderful ways. He was indeed a masterful genus of his craft. But the best part of Pete is that he was just Pete. Your respective pieces will give us something to “hold” on March 15th and make us smile and cry as we look across the bay in remembrance of a life in wood and sawdust and good fun and cheer.

    The Brokaw Fan Club

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    Jackson Bergamo says:

    The art and the talent of a man who will always be remembered, as he left magnificent works in his passage here.

    Thanks Eric.

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    Jonathan Mc Donald says:

    Well, this was very sad, but impacting. Well done.

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    Thomas McLaughlin says:

    Living well is the best revenge, oh so poignant a story, such a magnificent life led, thank you for sharing your thoughts and images Eric.

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    William Jacobs says:


    What a moving and personal ode to a special friend. I was getting teary as Peter towed his skiff out into the pond, seen through the eyes of his dog. Thank you.


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    Christopher J. Perry Perry says:

    Wonderfull,thank you for sharing. I couldn’t agree more the power of old used tools is incredible, more so when you know the person and they share such passion like Peter.
    Wish his family and you the best…

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    peter strietmann says:

    Excellent tribute. I never knew him but I wish I had. Thank you.

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    John McCarthy says:

    “It’s hard to part with someone like Peter” A few simple words and yet the grief in them is palpable. A wonderful tribute, Eric.

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    Warren Peluso says:

    A wonderful tribute to an amazing man. Boat builders are truly gifted people in more ways than one.

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    Peter Wilson says:

    thankfully the sadness of loss is overlaid with the boats built by this great designer and builder.
    hopefully, in time, when the intangible hollowness of lost friendship is more manageable, we may see more of the obviously exquisite boats Peter built.
    Thank you.

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    Baxter Evans says:

    Thanks for sharing and allowing us to feel some of what you feel through this very well put together tribute to your good friend. I’m sure you didn’t start out looking for a pat on the back but you really do deserve one for this piece.

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    Richard Heilman says:

    This is an extraordinary accounting of a life really and truly well lived.
    Thanks to Mr Mayher and OCH for letting us be touched by it.
    Dick Heilman

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    Ed Baker says:

    I am always taken back when I hear of a person who is beloved and is taken in there prime and most gifted years. Thank you for sharing, Eric.

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    Steve Rappaport says:

    Beautiful work, Eric. And a fine triple play tribute to a most unique man.

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    John Buchbinder says:

    A beautiful tribute, and beautifully done. Thank you

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    George Conbeer says:

    And now, the end is near
    And so I face the final curtain
    My friend, I’ll say it clear
    I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
    I’ve lived a life that’s full
    I traveled each and every highway
    And more, much more than this, I did it my way

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    George D. Jepson says:

    A lovely tribute to a man and a life well lived . . .

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    randall spurr says:

    What a wonderful window into a special life-style. Thank you for the opportunity to get a glimpse.

    BTW: Couldn’t help but notice the credit for Sophia Spurr. I wonder if she and I are related?

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    edward mcmahon says:

    Very beautiful piece. The boats and life that was shaped are amazing. I could feel your love for the man and it brought a tear to my eye.

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    Livio Muench says:

    Thank you Eric, for your sharing vulnerability and love.
    A fitting tribute for a great man.

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    Georg Hinteregger says:

    “It’s not very often that you encounter someone in your life that completely alters the direction your life might otherwise have taken.”
    Well said, and very true, Eric. I did not know Peter but I think I understand the magnitude of your loss. In the mid 70’s as an immigrant flatlander I was very lucky to meet and go fishing with Bernard Raynes from Owl’s Head near Rockland. Benard had just built a 58′ cedar on oak schooner-type hull fishing boat, the Irene Alton. As his father (Alton) and generations before him he took her fishing-scallops, groundfish, and long trips harpooning swordfish. I did not yet know then that through the happy chance of an opening aboard her I had found my way into a vanishing Acadian world and a life offshore on fishing boats. We are very lucky indeed to encounter such wonderful mentors to help shape our lives. Thank you for your and Bill Mayher’s thoughtful tributes.

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    Allan Horton says:

    Wow, wow ….and wow.

    Bill Mayher’s tribute of Peter Chase highlights and underscores one of the prime reasons I decided to invest a minor windfall in a life subscription to Off Center Harbor, a contemporary wooden boat “publication” that better than most, replaces the original Small Boat Journal that suffered so inappropriate a demise.

    As a retired journalist of some quite local repute, I truly admire the relaxed and eloquent tribute voiced by Mr. Mayher. Anyone could count themselves truly blessed to receive an obituary, spoken or written, as sensitive and yes, loving, as this. As a seasoned writer of newspaper obituaries for a brief time in a 30-year career, this video tribute truly is a work of art.

    Congratulations, Mr. Mayher.

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    Lee Fox says:

    Thanks for sharing this great tribute to Peter Chase

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    Eigil Rothe says:

    An incredible tribute. Very sensitively done. I’m about to retire. And I feel most of my life was swallowed by the “rat race.” I don’t have regrets, but I look at this glimpse of Peter’s life and I have to admire his courage to chart a path that not many people follow.
    I also liked to see the 1/2 models from port and starboard perspectives. I once made a 1/2 model of a friendship sloop from the port perspective and when I showed it to Swifty, he said that he had never seen a model done from that side. I had no understanding of convention so how was I to know.


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