Little(r) Boats

Over the last months, some of our members have been busy making model boats instead of full-sized little boats, and the results are beautiful to look at!

Starting the trend was Leif, while he was on quarantine last year when he came back to Vancouver to celebrate his Mom’s birthday. He filled his time modeling his real boat, Polaris, a 41′ Concordia Sloop, which he sails from his home port in New York. He chose (or rather, was given) a chunk of black locust which challenged his tool edges, but resulted in a gorgeous model!

Leif’s model joins the rest of the wonderful collection he has made over the years, all of which represent boats in his life. Here’s his description:

Here’s some pictures of the models I carved over the years, in chronological order (as far as I can recall) and some info about them. Except for Polaris, where I used several flat chisels, I recall making the other three mostly using a jackknife, they’re all approx 6” long. I’m not a prolific carver, but do like to carve every once in awhile. These are the only boat models I made, being boats I owned. The first and oldest is Storm Petrel, I think from early 80’s. They were all gifts to my dad, and they’re in his bedroom shop in Victoria now. As a note, I don’t think Polaris would have been possible without a vice, being how hard black locust is. 
It’s a great pastime, and encourage anyone to give it a try. Doesn’t have to be a boat, could be anything you love. Thanks for your interest and good luck.
Regards
Leif. 

Sola – West coast troller 1935 – I owned & salmon fished the boat from about 1976 to 1990. – Original built by Ole Wick, Oona River (Rupert Area), entirely of hand tools (his grandson John just told me Ole used no power, all hand sawn timbers, planks etc). The red cedar planking was perfect stem to stern, seams 1/8”. I don’t ever remember the boat ever leaking in all the years I had her – Don’t remember what kind wood of I used for the carving, or when I carved it. I just know I used a jack knife, and some oil paint. Maybe late 70’s?
Storm Petrel – Gaff rigged pinky schooner – original built of steel by Lloyd Arntzen in Lynn Valley 60’s/70’s. I lived aboard for a few seasons, mostly in Pender Harbor while working on Ancestor V – Model carved also sometime in 80’s – wood: Ash I think.
Ancestor V – Gaff rigged cargo sloop – original built Bequia on the beach no power tools, early 60’s, sailed to Vancouver in the 70’s by Jon Van Tamelin. I had the boat for about 5 years in the 70’s and sailed around Vancouver Island in her – Model carved sometime in the 80’s I think – wood: Yew wood topsides, walnut bottom.
Polaris – 1959 Concordia 41 sloop – original built in Bremerhaven, Germany – I’ve had this boat in Long Island NY since 2014. I carved the model in West Vancouver during Covid 19 quarantine while waiting to visit family in the Fall 2020. wood: Black locust. Notes: All items are black locust, mostly carved with chisels, file, sandpaper, hand drill, small hammer, saw, and vice.

Thank you Leif for sharing your photos, your techniques, and your inspiration to the rest of us to get modeling!


Next up is Mattias – apparently he grabbed a chunk of wood, looked out the door of our cozy little shop, and started carving the first boat he saw. He modeled Ern, the 33′ boat belonging to Tom & Georgina and Rob & Sharon.


Coming in with this work of art is Arnt, with his incredibly detailed model of his and Valerie’s lovely 23′ (or 32′, depending on who’s measuring) gaff cutter Anja!


Spurred on by all this wonderful work, I’ve decided to see if there’s a boat in that chunk of yellow cedar that Brent offered a while back.

I didn’t look too far for inspiration either – I chose Button Swan.

I’m having fun carving away at this block, and finding the shape of the boat!


If you’re inspired to do some carving, we have the start of a half-hull model at the boat shed – when Dave Bradford was closing his shop on Granville Island, we picked up some wood from him, and he offered a partially completed project. Anyone who’s interested is welcome to take this on!


It’s a fun hobby, and helps to fill the time until we’re able to get back to the shop to continue work on our Auk project. And it’s a lot easier to find space in the living room to display one of these! We might have to do some small boats that will actually sail – it would solve our problem of limited dock space. Have fun!

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