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Letters to the Editor 157

By The Editors

Cleat question

Where was your cleat-tying editor when your January cover was photographed?

Paula McCarter Page

Cushing, ME


The writer is correct that the line on the cleat looks less than comCLEATly tied. We can only hope that it held. —The Editors

Grateful yard worker

I am surprised that Roger Moody did not extend his fine article on Whistler and aluminum boats to include later aluminum fabrication done by Paul E. Luke, Inc. in East Boothbay (MBHH Nov/Dec 2018).

I worked there in the winter of 1978/79, late in Paul’s career, part of that time on the vessel that Paul finally built for his own use—her model, I’m sure, was a vintage Friendship sloop. One day I borrowed the wrong gloves and found my hand going into the bender, fingers caught in a roller. Healed, the hand still works with wood, thanks to an ER surgeon at St. Andrew’s Hospital. But the healing took a while. Minus the use of one hand, I headed back inland, after telling Paul the doctor’s verdict. The last thing Paul said as we shook hands (carefully, I made sure to extend my good hand), was, “Well, come back soon’s you can; we’ve got a lot of work and we need good help.”

Life took us in different directions and I didn’t get back for years.

Up to that instant, I’d supposed I was mostly an aggravation, as Paul hired me knowing I’d never built anything bigger than a slap-up skiff as a boy. At his yard, I learned new things about wood and aluminum construction daily, and have had few jobs since that I enjoyed so much. Luke’s crew taught each other as we went along, and nobody begrudged teaching a new man. The plating on Paul’s hull went side by side with plating on a boat that became Simba. I think it is still afloat in Florida. It was a German Frers sloop, about 48', according to my memory.

Paul’s parting shot that last day is still the highest compliment I ever received as a worker in any trade or industry, and I still try to pass on the skills Paul and his crew taught me that winter.

John Holt Willey

Waterville, ME

Castine class endures

As owner for almost half-century of the Castine class Caroline B, built in 1966, I was surprised and delighted to open the MBHH Jan/Feb 2019 issue and discover Steve Rappaport’s fine article on the Castine class. 

The 20-boat Castine class fleet of 18' daysailers, built at Eaton’s Boatyard between 1951 and 1967, is the lifeblood of the Castine Harbor, but little known beyond the harbor’s bell. Steve’s article not only details their local origin and seaworthy design but, more importantly, their key role in the fabric of our sailing community. 

Three generations of Castiners have raced them every Saturday and taken them on picnic cruises to Penobscot Bay islands—even occasional overnights, sleeping on the floorboards under boom tents. These boats are regarded as family members—somewhat elderly but, unfortunately, not covered by Medicare.  

Many thanks to Steve and MBH&H for bringing us this splendid piece, and to Kathy Mansfield for her spectacular pictures.

David Bicks

Castine, ME

Winning women

Ha! Take that, you purists: national recognition for the story about women in the boatbuilding industry (along with a tradition-breaking cover photo)! Well done, MBH&H crew on your national magazine awards.

Mary Ellen Mackin

Reading, MA

Best subscriber ever!

This swamp Yankee can recognize a good subscription deal when it’s staring him in the face. Three years for $50! My wife’s question was, “are you going to read them all?” Meaning, of course, are you going to live long enough? I was already paid up for 2019, so that’s four years paid for. I’ll be 89 when the last issue arrives. You had better stay healthy because I fully expect to enjoy that last issue.

MBH&H magazine has been improving and I especially like six versus five issues per year. It’s enough different from WoodenBoat (which I also get), so I can enjoy them both.

I liked the Brutal Beast story (Sept/Oct 2018). Someone gave my father one many years ago. I took my wife for a spin around the harbor (winds 20-plus MPH). Being a landlubber, she sat on the floorboards. We made a sharp turn and the bilge water gave her a cold splash on the backside. That was her first and last sail with me.

In spite of the brutal ride, she’s still around. We’re now celebrating 59 years.

I was born at Burnt Cove, and grew up there, graduated from the University of Maine in 1955, and spent two years in the Navy. I arrived in Connecticut in 1957. The family homestead is now owned by my daughter and son-in-law. She’s the one who keeps me supplied with boating magazines. It was a good trade.

I’ve never made it to your August boat show, but hope to.

Donald F. Williams

Higganum, CT

Burnt Cove, Stonington, ME       


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