Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Reuel Parker Update

I spent the last two and half weeks of January working in south Florida with my friend, David and the Boatsmith crew on an interesting interior refit of the Alden schooner, Summerwind. I will post more about that project here soon. One highlight of my trip to Florida though, was a Sunday afternoon visit with Reuel Parker. David and I had last visited his project in April of '08, just before he was ready to shut it down for his annual summer migration to Maine.

In the meantime, I've been in touch with Reuel from time to time since then, as I have been putting together a building blog for the Ibis project for him from the photos and captions he has been sending me.

Reuel returned to Florida in October, 08 and the progress he has made in November and December is remarkable. With her exterior paint all finished and hatches and portlights installed, Ibis is looking much closer to launch than when I last saw her. I love the unusual color he picked for the deck houses and cockpit. It goes great with the traditional lines of this shoal-draft sharpie schooner.

The interior is coming along at a nice pace as well. Reuel is keeping it simple, with lots of painted surfaces and hardwood trim he milled himself from his land in Maine.

Below: David Halladay, right, and Reuel Parker, left, discussing various aspects of the deck layout. As always, Reuel is griping about what a pain in the ass it is to build a boat and says this will be his last. I doubt that though. As much as he complains, he works on it seven days a week and when he is in Florida, the project is his life. What he really wants is a young female partner that can sand and varnish and then sail away to the islands when Ibis is launched.

Reuel has sent me detailed photos of his November to early January progress since I returned from my trip. I'm now in the process of updating his blog with this new material, and I've talked him into expanding his captions into more blog-style text to give interested readers a better idea of what he's doing and why, in each step. Reuel hates computers, but he is a fine writer and hopefully he will expand all of the earlier blog posts as well so that all who are interested can see how he goes about building one of his new maxi-trailerable sailboats. Check it out here:

"A boat is freedom, not just a way to reach a goal."
Bernard Moitessier - A Sea Vagabond's World


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