4th annual Heritage Harbour Classic

It was Winsome III’s year at the 4th annual Heritage Harbour Classic last Saturday – though it certainly didn’t start out to be! She was one of the last off the dock, the starting horn had long gone by the time she hit the start line, and the usual light breeze was favouring the smaller boats, but Steve and his young crew fought bravely, crossing the line just a minute or so before the 2nd place boat. A dramatic come-from-behind win, for a boat that’s quite used to winning!

IF we were serious about handicapping, there’s no doubt that Enke sailed by Ingrid would be the clear winner!! With a waterline around a 1/4 of Winsome III’s, and a fraction of the sail area even without the big spinnaker, she still managed to finish just a few boat lengths behind, in 2nd place.

Coming in 3rd was the lovely Ern, skippered by Tom, and probably the winner if we we were counting distance travelled during the race. The light and shifting breeze had everyone hunting for wind.

Wishing that the course had been cut off at about the 3/4 length was Button Swan. With a strong start at the windward end alongside Anja, the little boat built up an enormous lead over the rest of the field, only to have the wind abate at the 3/4 distance, leaving her wallowing around for several minutes while the others caught up, took a different line, and passed her.

The Ella McKenzie served as committee / photography chase boat, and is always a beautiful sight out on the water! This year she also helped one of the fleet off the dock, necessitated by an out-of-service engine. Thanks Bourton!!

The rest of the fleet consisted of Querencia, Luna, Sylvester, Moonbeam, Dagon, and Anja. So many great looking boats out there!!

After the sailboats were all back at the dock, the rowboats came out to play – even the Fancy Pram got pulled out from under the bench in the shed and pressed into service! Everyone made it around the course without going for a swim, so that’s a pretty good record. First across the line was Mattias in Feather – nice rowing!

The proud winners of the sailing race, with their prizes – the pennant will be no doubt be hung with pride from Winsom III’s rigging!

Thanks to Valerie and Dale for the photos. Take a look at the rest of the collection on OLAS’s Google photos, including Enke’s sneaky move up close and personal with the freighter, and be sure to watch for the video Duane is putting together – in fact, go subscribe to his Youtube channel for his always-enjoyable video reports!

A big thanks to Bruce & Sheila for organising the race – it was a fantastic time!

Enke relaunch

After a whole bunch of minor projects that ended up taking 3 1/2 months, we’ve finally got Enke back in the water, and under sail! Feels great to get all that work done – the most obvious and time-consuming part was the floorboards, and in our excitement, we forgot to photograph the end result! Here you can see that they are removable, which makes it easier to bail and clean the boat.

The Auk project is coming along well, with a couple more planks steamed, gains cut, and ready for riveting. Our next challenge is finding boards wide enough to allow for the curve of the next couple of planks. We may resort to scarfing to get the angle.

A couple of weeks North Star was dressed up in some of her sails – nice to see Sheila’s hard work paying off!

The third installment of Rob’s tale of adventure around Vancouver Island is available here, starting on page 20: https://www.fairwinds.ca/passions-magazine-summer-2020/

A reminder that the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival is happening next weekend, as a virtual event. Hopefully next year it will happen for real, and some of our members will be able to take their boats, as was the plan for this year.

New pilings at the dock

Last week, 3 of the piles at the dock got replaced, as they were in bad shape. Thanks Duane for recording the action, and compiling this video!

Last week a couple more planks got steamed and bent in place on the Auk project. This week they were further fitted and the gains were cut.

Enke is getting closer to having her new floorboards in place – the black locust cleats are looking gorgeous with a coat of oil – too bad they’ll be out of sight!

When the tide is low, and the breeze calls, we do what we need to to get the boats out! With some help, Arnt and his friend were able to get out to enjoy one more sail before he leaves town for a while.

During the piling replacement, the boats were moved around to give the crew access, and North Star ended up next to Providence – they look so good together! At the museum, they’re using proper nautical measurements for physical distancing.

Due to the pandemic, the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival is going virtual – they’ll be showing a series of films, presentations and demos, including the premier of the Race to Alaska movie. Head over to https://virtualwbf.org/ for details and tickets. They’re also inviting submissions of boat or shop tours – hmm, do we show our stuff??

Hope you’re enjoying your summer – come on down to the dock on a Saturday to see what we’re up to!

Garboard planks

Last week we steamed the garboard planks, this week we installed them!

After spiling and shaping the planks the previous week, we set up Nick’s steam box and steamed the forward end of the two garboard planks, then clamped them in place with a tight twist at the stem. It worked nicely – amazing what the steam allows us to do!

This week we nailed them in place with copper ring nails, starting at the transom and working forward along the hog, finishing at the stem. The tip of the planks was clamped in place using a specially made caul, carefully fitted to the back of the stem, allowing well-directed clamping pressure. So great to get started on planking!

Enke’s floorboards are getting close to completion – some fine-tuning to get the cleats to fit, and we got a start on the toggles to hold them in place. It’s been nice to have the pop-up tent on the dock for shade from the hot sun.

Our neighbours on the dock Joost and Josje have been busy giving Milo a fresh coat of paint, after having had a bunch of work done on her. Looking great!

Our boats have been providing a lot of enjoyment in the fine summer weather we’ve been having lately! They’re great little boats, and a lot of fun!

Planking has begun!

Somehow a month has slipped by… but we’ve been making progress on our Auk build in the shed, and have reached a big milestone – we’ve cut the first garboard plank!!! Feels great to get to this stage!

We started with milling all the yellow cedar planking stock, and used the new planer dust collection hood with the vacuum. It was effective in collecting the chips, but the vacuum filled far too quickly! We’ll have to work on that.

The keel got milled and shaped, then epoxied into place. After that, a plywood pattern was put in position, and the first garboard plank was spiled, cut, and shaped.

(click on a photo to show it larger)

Out on the dock, our other project of Enke refinement is coming along nicely – we’ve got her new floor-boards steam bent in place, and have made cleats to fasten them to, to make them easily removable for cleaning.

Enke’s oars have been given a layer of fiberglass to repair some wear from the oarlocks, and the spars have the white tips given a bright fresh coat.

And a couple of videos from Tom and Duane, showing some of the other activities at the dock and on the water.

The Museum is reopening!

The Vancouver Maritime Museum is reopening for visitors after nearly 3 months of closure to limit the spread of COVID-19. Please visit their website to see their current exhibits and hours, and for full details of their health and safety procedures. Good to see them back in action, in addition to their Virtual VMM offerings!


How the piano got here

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When it rains, we put up the tent on the dock, and keep working!

It was another good day at the dock, with work continuing on the Auk in the shed, and Enke on the dock.  Enke’s interior has been cleaned and scraped, a coat of varnish on all the brightwork, the mast has had a split filled with epoxy and varnish started.  She’ll be back in the water soon!  The mast needed a new sheave on top for the halyard, so Arnt used our great old drill press (thanks Kristyn!) as a lathe, using a rasp to shape the sheave.

Another installment of Life in the Harbour, thanks to Duane:

Want to help the Museum?  Here is a very creative way….buy books and support a local business.  Win Win!
The piano continues to be put to good use:

And, part two of Rob’s ’round the island story is published in Passions magazine – it starts on page 20:  https://www.fairwinds.ca/passions-magazine-spring-2020/

We’re back!


With the gradually improving situation regarding Covid-19, and the relaxing restrictions, we reopened our workshop on Saturday, with some restrictions.  We limited ourselves to 4 or 5 people in the shop, and have a list of other things to do out on the dock.

Thankfully it was a nice day, weather-wise, and so we started on some maintenance on the boats, beginning with Enke.  We got a coat of bottom paint, washed the sail, took the mast back to wood, and are in the process of repairing a minor split in the mast, readying it and the boat for some fresh varnish.

A recent addition to the dock, arranged by Sheila, Bruce and Duane, is a piano!  We’re fortunate to have several wonderful players who have put it to work, and enlivened the dock!  Thank you Tom, Rob, and Duane for the gift of music, and to Duane for the video.


It felt so great to be back, even in a rather limited way!

The Maritime Museum is continuing to add interesting content in their #VirtualVMM site, including this look at one of the models in their collection.

Covid Classic Singlehanded Series


Some of the Heritage Harbour boat owners were itching to get out for some friendly competition, and so a challenge was sent around.  Oarlock & Sail participated with all three sailboats – we had decided to limit the number of people at the dock for this, so the invite was only sent to some of the more active sailors.

It started with a very low wind and strong incoming tide, so just getting to the start line was a challenge for most of our engine-less boats!  Everyone eventually made it across the start line, but by that time the racers had become impatient, and the race was started on an “as you come” basis.  The clear winner was not even under sail, as Tom in the Vogler took advantage of the low wind, and made it ’round the gravel barge first!  Other than that, the results were a bit foggy, due to the staggered start – Arnt & Valerie in Anja were perhaps the next across, but whatever the results, the breeze came up, and everyone had a good time!

The fleet consisted of:

  • Bruce in his freshly rigged and christened dinghy Polaris
  • Barry with his turquoise boat Dagon
  • Duane on the lovely  Querencia
  • Arnt and Valerie on Anja
  • Dale S with his SCAMP Luna
  • Bob in Enke
  • Ingrid in Ragna
  • Daniel in Button Swan
  • Tom in Vogler
  • Bourton as observer in his aluminum workboat

Some more photos and video from the day are available here.  Thanks to Valerie and Dale for your photos!!  I expect I’ll update this once Duane has a chance to make his photos/videos available.

As promised, here are a couple of videos from Duane – thank you!


The Northwest Maritime Center has a series of online workshops available, on Navigation & Seamanship, as well as a Build a Pram course.  The pram course involves a kit, but you can register to observe the process for free.  The Navigation series are $75 per course.

While we wait

Duane has put together another video of miscellaneous happenings at Heritage Harbour over the last few weeks:


 Mystic Seaport Maritime Museum  is posting lots of videos of various things – tours of some of their exhibits and buildings (the rope walk is pretty fascinating!), as well as full-length classes on tool sharpening or knot tying.  Worth a look!