Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Spartina- Jamestown, R.I.
29 June 09 Spartina
OWNER: Mike Power, Jamestown
DESIGNER & BUILDER: Palmer Scott, New Bedford, MA http://www.woodtoglass.org/builders/palmer-scott.html
LENGTH: 26 feet [7.9 meters]
As the Block Island Race Week http://www.blockislandraceweek.com/takes place in the rain off our shores, the folks at Clark Boat Yard in Jamestown http://www.clarkboatyardandmarineworks.com/are hard at work inside their shed. They are restoring an erstwhile navy launch that is arguably one of the first fiberglass boats ever built.
Established in 1935, the Palmer Scott yard burned to the ground in 1936. Undaunted, the owners relocated and began building extraordinary wooden yachts noted for such things as spiral staircases and hand carved mahogany tillers. This went on until WWII when all production switched over to military needs. After the war, demand for gorgeous wooden yachts was slow. Approached by a chemist with a radical new idea- fiberglass hull construction- the company took off in a new direction. They built a “male” mold for Spartina and pioneered what has become standard practice today- vacuum bagging. The result, is a hull that is smoother on the inside than outside, and it is very thick and strong.
At 56 years old, this early attempt at molded construction is alive and well, receiving full attention as the rain continues to prevent outside work.