Wooden Boat School

Mast making at Shaw and Tenney

The second iconic work spot of the summer was 2-weeks of mast building at Shaw & Tenney. Shaw and Tenney has been in business since 1858 making gorgeous paddles and oars as well as masts, boat hooks, etc for boats. Sometimes they get interesting orders like for this project building four 8" diameter laminated, Douglas Fir masts for a high-end playground in NYC. They asked me to come up and help them take on this project and I was happy to do it.

The masts were all cut, rounded, and sanded by hand. They weight a few hundred pounds in the rough and were a challenge to put through the planer. Their dimensions had to be very accurate. Like any mast, once the piece is 4-sided and tapered, we can start 8-siding as we are doing above with a small skilsaw. After 8-siding this way, the mast was brought to 128-siding with nothing but patience and my favorite power planer. After two days plus of the power planer, when I that machine down for good, I can recall my hand vibrating for several hours.

The final rounding was done with custom shaped foam blocks, a trick from boat school that I use on a lot of projects. This was followed by finish sanding with the Festool. The result was some very nice masts! It was a wonderful place to work and watch the masters do their trade. One of the guys has been making oars and paddles for 25 years. To watch him work was quite impressive. I look forward to doing more business with S & T. Recently, they chose Clint Chase Boatbuilder as their official builder of their beautiful Whitehall.

After this project it was back to Portland for an overnight to see the family and pack for the next iconic week: Wooden Boat in Brooklin, Maine. I was to make my teaching debut at the Wooden Boat School.

Wooden Boat Show Family Boat building

We are catching up with a nons stop summer of boating events and where best to start the series of updates than with the Wooden Boat Show in Mystic, CT. In 2 1/2 days, a father son duo built one of our Echo Bay Dory Skiff kits. They discovered that there is a lot of boatbuilding, sweat, creativity and work to do even starting from a kit.


They launched on the third day at 3pm. They were very proud and perhaps glad they had a break to enjoy their success. My former life was a teacher and instructing people to build their own boats. Getting new folks into small boats, building their own boats from kits, and experiencing success in everyway is the number one priority for our customers. Likewise, we felt this year's Family Boatbuilding was a success and will plan to do these boats again next year.

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Oars and Rowing at the Wooden Boat School

Clint will be teaching his Traditional and Modern Oarmaking course at the Wooden Boat School in July 2010. There are a huge number of wonderful course offerings up there this year and Clint is proud and honored to be a part of the scene.

Students will leave the course with actual, usable, and beautiful oars to put on the gunwales of there boats and go rowing. If anybody wants to make a paddle instead, the skills and processes involved are no different from oar making and we'd be happy to have you in the course.

You can visit Wooden Boat School's on-line course catalog for more information and also see my website for more information about our line of oars, stock and custom made.