French Man O War
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Red Brook

Hi Girls & Guys: At this point in time the Tern is resting in Royal Island Harbor in the Bahamas, waiting for R&B Boatyard in Spanish Wells to haul her out! There are no beaches here and we are not allowed to go ashore as it is a private island. Roger Staurbuck is reportedly building a 1st class golf course & resort on the island. While we are waiting here it provides me an opportunity to finish & publish some draft blurbs on the Tern Travels! The protection here brings to mind "Red Brook Harbor" in Cataumet, MA which is one of my true favorite harbors on Cape Cod. After a long hot summers sail there is no better harbor to drop anchor free from boat wakes & bay swell with clean water to take an evenings swim! Red Brook is only a few miles by water to Sperry Sails in Marion MA. The Tern's dodger was eight years old and had begun to leak so after looking around I contracted Sperry Sails to build a new one! Red Brook Harbor is about an hour from their sail loft so it would be easy to motor over to Marion Harbor early morning to have the Sperry gang pattern out her new dodger! I made arrangements with Ham Ferris owner of Hamilton Ferris Power Products located in Bourne, MA to come out to the Tern in his skiff to fit her new solar panels! In addition I am installing navigation instruments in the new much larger instrument panel. The new ultra thin 100 watt solar panels from Hamilton Ferris will be installed on top of the new dodger. Ham Ferris brought out the panels and some quahogs he had caught in the bay, oh I would eat good tonight! The bulk of the work has been done and soon she will be ready for the passages south! Lollygagging here in Red Brook Harbor brings back fond memories of much younger days gaining sea legs and sailing experience here in the beautiful harbor!
John Guiding the stick in
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Shaw's Boat Yard

Hi Girls & Guys: Shaw's Boatyard in Dighton, MA, is a throwback in time! The only things that are missing today is the grandfather clock hanging in the main shop and the hand tools made by Ben's father! The work ethic is the same! Everything has a place with everything in its place! All work done on the large expensive wood sailboats & powerboats had to be done to Ben's standard which were very strict to say the least. Little things like no masking tape to paint the water line, all wood boats had a line scribed into the wood so all you had to do was follow the scribe mark with a good brush. I worked there in the spring of 1971. Back then I had purchased my first sailboat which was a L. Francis Herreshoff design, called a Centerboard Knockabout. She was 17' hard chined boat with a leaky centerboard trunk. I had heard that Shaw's Boatyard did really good repairs on wood boats. Even way back then it was hard to find competent wood boat workers! I was living on a farm in Mansfield, going to college on the G I bill, so Dighton was just a hop, skip and a jump away for my Dodge Tonka truck! When I approached Ben Shaw in the spring of 1971 at his yard in Dighton to ask him if he could repair my boats centerboard trunk, I got a gruff answer that of course he could fix it but take a look around I have all these boats to launch and my help has gone off to the Vietnam war! I looked at all these huge sail boats lined up on cement ways ready to have the bottom painted, then slid ever so gently across the ways on greased planks onto the waiting rail car which would position the boat under the dead stick, located alongside the railway where her stick (mast) would be stepped before rolling down the tracks gently on the railcar into the ever waiting Taunton River! I Immediately liked this crusty old man, so I made him a "Quid Pro Quo" offer! I would come to work for him in exchange for my labor he would fix my leaky centerboard trunk. He accepted and 4 weeks later most of the yard was cleared of boats and soon after the centerboard trunk was repaired. Ben wanted me to stay on but a new adventure awaited me with my little centerboard knockabout named Mellisa.