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The Haven 12.5.  Photograph courtesy of Finger Boatworks.

Messing About In Boats: It’s Come a Long Way, Baby!

Caulking the Haven 12.5.  Photograph courtesy of Finger Boatworks.

I think you will agree, the Haven 12 ½ has come a long way since I last posted about it.  All of the planks are now on – the last one was just bent and attached.  Yes, it really takes that long to build a wooden boat – even a small one.  It’s gorgeous isn’t it?  Frankly, I am pretty darned proud of Finger Boatworks – and the lion share of the building has fallen upon Tyler Winger who works for my husband. 

It’s nice to see a wooden boat built on island – there have been a few but it’s become few and far between.  We were never a huge boatbuilding community – wood had to come from off-island so it was very expensive.  But there were several sites where it took place, including a large boatyard near Brant Point where whaleships and sloops were built.  But again, with having to bring the wood from off-island it frankly was much more expensive to do here.  I have written a few posts in the past about other boatbuilders. 

Since this photograph was taken, the waterline was set and scribed into the hull.  Now, it is currently undergoing caulking of the seams and then seam compound will be put in.  Once that is completed, the Haven will be taken off the mould and it will be rolled over onto its hull.

The Nation of Nantucket

The “Nation of Nantucket” was coined by Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1847.  It was used by Edward Byers as the title of his 1987 publication on Nantucket society and politics from 1660 – 1820.  Both men spoke of the isolation and uniqueness of Nantucket and that such a title was fitting for our tiny spit of land far out at sea.  I, too, feel that it is appropriate – on many levels.  I use it as the title of this column because here I intend to regale you with all sorts of stories about Nantucketers, island life, island institutions, and the history (good and bad) of a small island that had an enormous influence on the world.  My focus will be mainly on Nantucket women, of course, but I will add some other things of interest to me – and I hope you – as well.  Stay tuned and to read my blog for the Maria Mitchell Association go to “Maria Mitchell’s Attic.”  And to read more about Nantucket's daring daughters, check out my new book The Daring Daughters of Nantucket Island: How Island Women from the Seventeenth through the Nineteenth Centuries Lived a Life Contrary to Other American Women available at island bookstores and on Nantucket Chronicle's Marketplace

Jascin N. Leonardo Finger has served as curator of the Mitchell House at the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association since 1999.  She holds a Master’s in History.  Her passions are her family, all things Nantucket, good food, weaving, and photographing historic architecture.  The island has been a part of her life since she was introduced to it at age 1½ by her parents.  She lives year-round on the island with her husband, a naval architect, their son, and their Siberian Husky who takes them on long walks from one glorious end of the island to the other.