Mr. Cheek’s Pond


The Cheeks’ place is a few doors down, across from the old Presbyterian cemetery. They have a small pond between the hay field and the house, and it’s lined with trees. Neighborhood boys like to fish there in the summer. There’s a Tupelo Gum on the bank that, for a few mornings every fall, catches fire when the sun burns off the mist.




Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival

Detail, Canoe Jewelry


(to start of project)

The first weekend of October is the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival in St. Micheals, Maryland, at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. I’ve been to four now. On my first visit in 2003 I saw a Melonseed for the first time and knew I wanted one (the same one is still tied up there, owned by one of the Museum volunteers). A year ago I came away so inspired it pushed me to take the plunge. Deciding I couldn’t put it off any longer, I began building these boats and started this blog. Terri and I went again this year, and it was an amazing weekend. I’ve come away newly inspired to finish the boats and get them on the water. Continue reading “Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival”

Mast Step



(to start of project)

Little parts take just as long to make as big ones. This is a disconcerting fact of woodwork. Some, however, take a really long time to make, especially if one has a propensity for making things more complicated. It took the long holiday weekend – four days in fact – to almost finish making just one little part for each boat: the Mast Step. Two of those days were spent just figuring out how to do it. Continue reading “Mast Step”

First Frames

Fitting Frames (by T)

(to start of project)

Figuring out the framing is making my head hurt. Chapelle doesn’t give any details about framing other than thickness of the timbers. Barto’s plans show approximate locations, but but they seem more like suggestions up for discussion.  Not that it would make much difference if the plans were specific. The interiors are where these boats will most deviate from the plans anyway – centerboards instead of daggerboards, enlarged cockpits, a forward hatch – so the framing has to move around to accommodate the changes. Moving one thing seems to affect seven others. After hours of head scratching, there comes a point where you get the basics covered and have to just forge ahead and make it up as you go along. Continue reading “First Frames”