Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Living Legacy

Today was the day that Winer Malone came to visit and share is wisdom about his Abaco Dinghies. Here in Dave's work area are Winer, Dave, Chris Prewitt, and Craig Knowles.

''Dandy'' turned out to be a standard issue 14 footer. We had incorrectly assumed that it might be a twin sister to George LeBoutillier's ''Coconut'', but ''Coconut'' has  builder's birthmarks from a later date, and is trimmed in mahogany provided by the ''foreigner'' that commissioned the building of her. ''Dandy'' is trimmed in cypress, pine planked, and framed from either corkwood or madiera. We learned that all but late model boats are fastened with brass screws, not bronze as originally thought. ''Dandy'' has a standard keel and mast too.

Here is the sad, but restorable remains of a 14 footer, aptly named ''Winer Malone'', rescued by Craig Knowles. She is a much closer twin to ''Dandy'' than ''Coconut'' is. Both boat are about 30 years old.

 At 86 years, Winer is still as sharp as a tack, and still has a stout ''boatbuilder's handshake''.

Winer is pointing out some construction details that help to identify the age of the boat. Winer originally identified the boats by the length of the keel, but the owners adopted the overall length to describe them. The boats are generally two feet longer than the keel.

This boat has suffered from years of neglect and exposure. The basic shape and construction verify its pedigree. It is obvious that this boat has had many desperate attempts to keep it servicable.

The stem of ''Winer Malone''. The rake of the stem identifies the original purpose of the boat, whether it be work or recreational. This boat is a sailing model, with no provisions for a sculling oar or a livewell.

Here is the stem of ''Dandy'', and the resemblance is uncanny! ''Dandy'' is of the same vintage and purpose, but has had the luxury of longevity from living in the northern U.S. and away from the harsh semi-tropical climate. It was unused and forgotten, and covered, for decades! What a reunion!!

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