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Thread: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Whaleboat for sale in Woods Hole, MA?

    I meant to post this last week but forgot. Last Wednesday I went to Martha's Vineyard to attend a memorial service for a friend who died, and while sitting on the bus from Logan to the Woods Hole ferry terminal I looked out the window and saw what looked like a wooden whaleboat (a whaleboat!?) sitting in someone's yard with a "for sale" sign on it.

    It was lapstrake, double-ended, and painted white, and it sure looked like a whaleboat -- about the right size and shape. I didn't see any sign of a motor, so I don't think it was one of those motorized navy whaleboats. It looked more like something built to the plans by Willits Ansel, or the old Beetle plans from Mystic Seaport. I don't know anything else about it, but from what I could see going by it looked to be in good condition -- no glaringly obvious signs of decay or neglect. If I lived anywhere near there I would have been back already to have a closer look.

    If anyone wants to check it out, it was on Woods Hole Road, as you head from Falmouth out toward the ferry. On the right, maybe 1/2 mile after you turn off 28 in Falmouth. If you get to the research center you've gone too far.
    Last edited by Steve Paskey; 02-11-2010 at 12:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    I'll be down that way on Sunday the 21st. I'll try to get a look at it.
    "Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates." ~ Mark Twain


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    Since Emily will be busy this weekend, take some pix.

    By the way, coming to the Cape Cod Boatbuilders' Show in Hyannis??? Others???

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    Not this year for me.
    "Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates." ~ Mark Twain


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    A whaleboat shouldn't be fully lapstrake, they had a few lapped planks above the waterline, but weren't they smooth planked below the waterline?

    A life boat might be fully lapstrake, but also a bit more burdensome, and most seine boats were also smooth as far as I've seen. I can't wait till someone goes down and takes a look.

    It goes without saying that we want pictures.
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



  6. #6
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Harbormaster View Post
    A whaleboat shouldn't be fully lapstrake, they had a few lapped planks above the waterline, but weren't they smooth planked below the waterline?

    A life boat might be fully lapstrake, but also a bit more burdensome, and most seine boats were also smooth as far as I've seen. I can't wait till someone goes down and takes a look.

    It goes without saying that we want pictures.
    Hmmm. Yes, you're right, it could have been a large lifeboat. It seemed larger than what I'd expect from a lifeboat, but then I was going by in a bus at 35 mph, and there was something about the size, shape, and sheerline that said "whaleboat" to me.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    I've noticed that often when I bus, train or drive by a boat I often see what I want to see.

    When I go back I usually get my dream boat fantasy blown to bits, and that lovely Rosinante for $2,000 is really a leaky old bucket of rot for $20,000. Hopefully this is really a great old boat and someone gets a good deal.
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



  8. #8
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    surfboat?
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    All;

    A friend lives on Hospital Cove near the boat in question so I sent him the thread and here is his response. I'll send his photos later when I get home but his survey says it all. He's restored antique woodies so he knows what he's talking about. Sorry to be the bubble burster.

    Hi Tony,

    Sorry to have taken so long getting back to you with pictures of the "whaleboat". Had to take Sue out to eat.

    As you can see this is a carvel planked lifeboat and in rather shabby and unsound condition. The stern stem looks to have rot and to me the boat looks to be rather lightly built. The rub rail and gunwales are rotted. It never had an engine. Nice oar locks though. And the planking was surprisingly fair too. If one has 10 or 12 friends who like to row maybe this is the boat for you.

    The best thing is the house/boathouse next to the boat.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Zucker View Post
    As you can see this is a carvel planked lifeboat and in rather shabby and unsound condition. The stern stem looks to have rot and to me the boat looks to be rather lightly built. The rub rail and gunwales are rotted. It never had an engine. Nice oar locks though. And the planking was surprisingly fair too. If one has 10 or 12 friends who like to row maybe this is the boat for you.

    The best thing is the house/boathouse next to the boat.
    Bloody shame. It looked so good from the bus.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    Lifeboat? It could have a history and belong in a museum, or inside a restored lighthouse boatshed.
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



  12. #12
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    Early whale (ing) boats were lapstrake, but quickly smooth carvel became the norm. Smooth hulls were quieter in the water, allowing the whalers to sneak up on whales sleeping on the surface, or so it's said. There are very, very few real original whaleboats still extant, all, I believe, in museums at this point. (Mystic, New Bedford, Nantucket, and the Smithsonian each have one, IIRC.)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    Because they spent most of their time out of water, but needed to be relatively watertight at a moments notice, they were built with full length battens behind the seams of the carvel planks.

    Fairly lightly built, they were replaced after every trip, so it's surprising that there aren't more of the old boats hidden away some where.

    Back to the boat at hand, the gentleman who saw it says she's carvel planked, that's not common for a lifeboat most were lapstrake, weren't they? I can't wait to see some photos, lots of possibilities.
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



  14. #14
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    I have forgotten how to download photos to flickr. Could one of you pm me your email so that i can forward his email and you can put it on the thread
    Sorry and thanks

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    My sister, who lives nearby, was good enough to grab a couple of shots. (Last year she bought an old lifeboat from a retired ferry -- that one a very heavy glass boat.)





    Here's her note:

    The guy called it a double-ended Monomoy. I didn't ask how big it is but looks to be 25 to 28 feet. He said it was built in the 1950's and mentioned oak but that may have been just part of it. He said it was used for training. (Coast Guard maybe..?)

    It was full of snow but from what we could see it seemed to be in fair to good condition, a lot better that some of the boats we saw at St. Michaels.

    If you're interested it's all yours for $450. Want us to call our boat hauler?
    Hmmmmm. A bit too big for me to make use of.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    Yep, that's the one. As for whaleboat vs. lifeboat vs. surfboat ... The Monomoy surfboats are an evolution of the classic whaleboat. Nice to know that I wasn't totally off my rocker when I thought I saw a "whaleboat."

    This is from the web site of the (San Francisco) Bay Area Whaleboat Rowing Association, a group that rows Monomoy surfboats:

    Monomoy Surfboats, which we row in, were designed for the high surf off Monomoy Island and Chatham, Massachusetts (Cape Cod).

    The Monomoys are 26’ long with a 7’ beam and draw of about 2‘ with the crew on board. Most weigh over 2,000 lbs. The rowing configuration is double-banked, that is, the eight rowers sit in four pairs side-by-side on fixed thwarts (benches).... Each rower handles a single 12’ wooden oar. The oars range in weight from 11 to 15 lbs. A coxswain stands in the stern and steers with a 16’ oar. In a BAWRA race, a 10th person rides in the bow for added safety.

    “The Monomoy design is an evolution of the classic utilitarian whaleboat: a double-ended, lightweight, cheaply constructed boat to be rowed or sailed under all conditions in pursuit of whales and for use in general ship's work. In 1934 the U.S. Coast Guard standardized the design for contract purposes, and thousands were built for use as lifeboats and gigs aboard not only naval and military ships but also commercial freighters and ocean liners.....The boat is quite simple and Spartan.” -- From Wooden Boat Magazine, A Tale of Two Sisters: Carvel vs. Cold Molding, January/February, 1982 By W. Tay Vaughan, III
    Last edited by Steve Paskey; 02-12-2010 at 07:12 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    There was a wonderful comparison article in WB some years back comparing the building in California of two Monomoys, one clinker like this one and the other cold molded.

    A really great boat for a sea scout group.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Whaleboat for sale (Woods Hole, MA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Since Emily will be busy this weekend, take some pix.

    By the way, coming to the Cape Cod Boatbuilders' Show in Hyannis??? Others???
    I made it down to the Cape Cod Boat Builders Show today. A good four hours of quality time spent with some truly talented and nice people. It is small and intimate, last year Phil Bolger and Suzzanne made an appearance. It was wonderful to see them at the show taking great interest in the exhibitors. If you are in the area, it is well worth the drive, time and the $5 to gain admission. The British beer Company in downtown Hyannis is a great spot to finish off the day with a lunch or dinner.

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