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Thread: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

  1. #1
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    Default Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Yesterday, February 5, 2019 at Nine AM my dear friend of 60 years, Jon Martin passed on from complications associated with Parkinson's disease. I knew Jon since he was fifteen years old and he was the closest thing to a brother I have ever had!
    Jon was the owner of the twenty eight foot Nathaniel Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor"which was the starboard launch for the steam yacht "Yacona". "Vapor" is a boat that I have been involved with for over fifty years. We were in the process of restoration of this surviving fine example of the genius of this form of a boat that could travel at a very high speed on the water. In essence we built an entire new hull and we were in the process of finishing the restoration of the engine when Jon passed on.
    He leaves his wife and two sons who, hopefully will see fit to finish the boat which was lovingly restored by Boat Builder Ed Louchard of Port Townsend WA.
    Jay

  2. #2
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    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    In one way it's sad that Mr. Martin could not see the finish of the project. But it's also noble to have a great cause underway, even as Parkinson's makes activity more and more difficult. I am sure that you and his family will find the right path forward in his memory.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Condolences on the loss of your friend Jay.

    Looking at that boat is a fine way to remember him!
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Fair winds to Jon.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts! Jon was a one of a kind guyl. He loved classic wooden boats!
    Jay

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Sorry to read this, Jay. Beautiful boat.
    One of the most enduring qualities of an old wooden boat is the smell it imparts to your clothing.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Thankyou Lew,
    Jon was also a top athlete! He skied Aspen Colorado in the early days and was also a top surfer. Jon was the surfer on a wave who played a Fender guitar for their most famous ad. When they shot the ad he slung the guitar over his back, paddled out, caught a swell, stood up, slung the guitar in to playing position and hit a silent chord. Jon rode that wave to the beach and stepped off the board. Neither he nor the guitar got wet! He was also a rock climber and once made the cover of Life Magazine.
    Jay

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Jay,
    I lost a "brother" to suicide last summer and I'm still not right.

    If it's any consolation, reading these steam threads on the forum has piqued my interest so much, Quadzilla and I are investigating the possibility of building an r/c scale steam sidewheeler.
    Of course, with feathering paddles.

    Thanks for sharing this. Lovely boat, lovely man, lovely life. We could all be so lucky, eh?

    Peace,
    Robert

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Letting go, gives me a feeling of guilt! I always seek constructive ways to keep me from becoming morose or maudlin.

    Rob Belive me I understand your loss!

    What you propose is really interesting! What kind of model steam engine do you envision? I am planning to use one of the Sturat compound marine engine kits for a model of "Vapor" in the future! Here is their address: https://www.stuartmodels.com/
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 02-11-2019 at 02:36 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Thanks for the link, Jay. We know almost nothing about steam, except how to bend wood and take wrinkles out of slacks, so that is as much of the adventure as anything. Oldest Son (he loves sci fi, and is as big as 4 gojira, so we call him Quadzilla) has also recently become fascinated my metal casting, which sort of lead to the idea of the sidewheeler, as he imagined casting the spoked portion of the wheels, and it spiraled from there.

    All I know for sure is we plan to use one of my wee alcohol burners to boil water. After that, it's all wide open.

    Now, off to that link. Thanks, again.

    Peace,
    Robert

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Stuart Models are some of the best on the market. They come in various stages of completion; either, fully assembled, a collection of machined parts or rough castings. If you are handy with a lathe and mill, the latter is the most economica way to go. The twin marine engine is the most prototypical. Their boilers are best purchased ready to go.
    Cheers,
    Jay

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Stuart Models are some of the best on the market. They come in various stages of completion; either, fully assembled, a collection of machined parts or rough castings. If you are handy with a lathe and mill, the latter is the most economica way to go. The twin marine engine is the most prototypical. Their boilers are best purchased ready to go.
    Cheers,
    Jay
    I have neither the skills nor temerity to turn out anything of any esteem, anyhow, so we aim to go completely scratch. Why not bodge a botch job proper? The burner and boiler aspect give me the least pause, actually, at the size we're considering and the pressures we'll need.
    I am sure by the time we get something that operates after a fashion, we will have acquired some familiarity with casting and machining.

    That is the plan, anywho. Much study, practice, and failure is before us.

    Peace,
    Robert

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Sorry to hear Jay, and especially so with such a stunning project well under way. And I am also sorry for your personal loss of a friend since your youth.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Sorry, Jay, for your loss. RIP, fellow mariner.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  15. #15
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    St. Helens, Oregon
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    A sad loss, but what an honor to have had such a friend.

  16. #16
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    Lexington, KY
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Jay,

    My condolences for your loss. A life fully lived.

    Mark

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Again I thank you all for your kindness and compassion?
    I am going to contact Jon's widow today and find out what the next plan might be for "Vapor".
    Jay

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    I was going to put a model triple expansion engine in a 16ft canoe…..never got around to it….sold the engine. Made a long shaft outboard from a brush cutter instead.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Owner of Herreshoff Steam Launch "Vapor" Crosses the Bar

    Who made that triple?
    Jay

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