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We’ve been busy the last couple of Saturdays with gluing on Ragna’s new ash gunwales.  We got one side glued up a week ago, and trimmed it down to thickness this past Saturday, and then glued on the other side.  That should be more durable!

Saturday was another gorgeous January day for a sail, with a south wind coming off the land, making for much flatter water than the usual lumpy west-wind conditions.  The Button Swan was feeling wonderful and lively!


Happy New Year!

Now that the calendar is changed over, and we all try to get used to writing “2019”, it’s back to work in the boat shed!  Ragna’s refurbishing is coming along nicely, and it was a productive day yesterday – but we were mostly too busy to take photos – thanks to Dale S for these.


Looking nice and clean – lots of sanding has been done, the gunwale has been planed back and prepared for a new ash lamination on the outer edge – the fir was splintering in places, and not durable enough.  Also, the centerboard was scraped, and will be planed a bit thinner, to keep it from binding in the trunk.

And, as it was a pretty mild January day, with a light breeze, a couple of us decided to take Button Swan out for a bit – sadly, the breeze died almost as soon as we got out there, but for a brief moment, we were sailing!  Good thing we enjoyed rigging the boat, and the bit of rowing!


Relaunch of the Enky

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Yesterday we finished our refurbishment of the boat that was donated to us by Robert and Enneke Allan.  We’ve been working on it over the past few months, replacing the centerboard trunk, stern knee, and mast step, as well as repairing a few other parts.

After a repainting and varnishing, all that was left to do was oiling and installing the floorboards, mounting the rudder gudgeons, and raising the standard.

Then we took her out to the dock to get acquainted with our other boats, performed a brief ceremony, and relaunched her as “ENKY”, named after Enneke Allan, who christened her with a splash of rum.  A couple of rounds of rowing followed, where she was pronounced a fine and speedy craft, and she took up her place at our dock, ready for enjoyment by our club members!

The boat shop didn’t remain empty for long, as we brought Ragna in for a (much less extensive) refurbishment, with some repair needed to her gunwales, thinning the centerboard to prevent jamming, and a thorough varnishing job.  It will be great to get her back in tip-top shape!

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Last week we made a visit to a local boat-builder who, sadly, was closing up shop, and offered us some of his remaining wood supply.  We’re sorry to see Dave Bradford closing Alder Bay Boat Company, and wish him well in his next adventure.  We plan to use this wood supply on some of our upcoming work.

Talk, Paint and Party

The sisters poster

Coming up next Thursday, our wharfinger Bruce will be giving a talk at the Museum on the “never before told true story of the incredible intertwined histories of St Roch and North Star of Herschel Island”.   Free with museum admission or with museum membership.

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The Robert Allan got a fresh coat of white paint on the interior and blue on the sheer plank last Saturday.  Really brightens her up!


We also raised a glass of rum in honour of the birthday of Joost (Maritime Museum Executive Director, far left) – he is a great supporter of our club, and it was nice to give him some recognition!


First coat of varnish

After a pretty quiet summer in the shop, we finally finished the last bit of sanding and the first coat of varnish on our Robert Allan refurbishment.

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With the onset of the rainy season, and the annoying habit of the otters using our boat covers as trampolines, our boats were getting pret-ty full!  Thank goodness we’ve got a good pump to work with.



Heritage Harbour Classic 2

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Last Sunday was the second annual Heritage Harbour Classic sailing race – 8 boats from our harbour took part, and the light winds proved to be quite a challenge!  Half the fleet made two rounds of the course, with ERN taking the honours, followed by last year’s winner, Winsome III, with Button Swan hot on her tail!  Ragna also made it round twice.

02-HHC Boats

The fleet was increased from last year’s 5 participants, and it was great to have a mix of boats – Oarlock & Sail’s two 12’ers, Ragna and Button Swan, the mid-size boats Odin, Sylvester, and Adios, a lovely Nordic Folkboat new to Heritage Harbour this summer.  The big boats were ERN, Winsome III, and Moonbeam.


Off the start, Ragna took an early lead, but once Button Swan got underway in the light air, the race was on!

After a 5 minute head start, the 3 midsize boats took chase.

And after another 20 minutes or so, the big boats were set loose.


The light wind proved ideal for Button Swan, who was first around the opening lap of the course, and was far in the lead as she rounded the red buoy!  However, the breeze picked up slightly for the next lap, and ERN and Winsome III took advantage of that, overtaking the little boat handily on the upwind leg, despite her best attempts at fighting them off.


The home stretch was easily won by ERN, but it was a close race between 2nd and 3rd place, as the wind died off again, letting Button Swan get very close to catching Winsome III as they crossed the line.

It was great fun to be out on the water with this bunch of boats, meeting the challenge of light wind and strong current, spurring each other on in friendly competition!

The BBQ on the dock afterward was much enjoyed by the sailors, spectators, and friends from the Maritime Museum, False Creek Ferries, and the False Creek e-Tours!  Thanks to Bourton and his lovely tug boat Ella McKenzie for keeping the racers company on the water, and giving some spectators a close-up view of the event – and apparently, the snacks and refreshments were a big hit.  Thanks also to Joost, Bourton, Valerie, and others who provided photos – much appreciated.  And HUGE thanks to Sheila and Bruce for organizing the event and providing and cooking the salmon and veggie burgers and toppings!  The day was a great success, and a whole lot of fun!


OLAS sailing trio

On Saturday, we had a great time out on English Bay, with two of Oarlock and Sail’s boats, Button Swan and Ragna, and with Arnt on his boat, Odin.  The wind was sweet and steady, the sun nice and warm, and it made for a wonderful time!

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Thanks to Tom for the shots of Button Swan under sail:

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It was such great fun on such gorgeous boats!

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2018 Granville Island Wooden Boat Festival

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We enjoyed a great weekend at the festival this year – not so lovely weather-wise some of the time, but we had a lot of visitors at our tent, and many admirers of our gorgeous new boat!


On Saturday, we hosted the return of the Dinghy Rowing Races – due to the weather, the turnout was less than we had hoped, but the hot action of the 4 boats, and the enthusiastic crowd of spectators made up for it!  Special thanks to Gerry Stensgaard for his officiating.

The races were not without some controversy though – a late change involved the doubling up of power on Ragna – with the expected result of trouncing the competition.  Some thought it would be more fair if that boat had to make one round of the buoys for each person rowing, but with the foul weather, nobody wanted to wait around for the extra couple of minutes.

We ended up doing two regular races, changing out the rowers for the second race, and then had a third race with the rower blindfolded, and a seeing guide in the boat providing instructions.  Some instructors were more successful than others, getting their directions through to the rower.  The best surprise success was the 4-yr-old giving his Dad guidance – and coming in 2nd place!

But the winners of that race had a clear advantage of the oarsman having rowed many miles in the Vogler, and demonstrated that he can in fact row that boat with his eyes closed!  The races were a lot of fun, and we hope to drum up more interest, more participants, and much better weather for next year!


One of our neighbours on display in the Market Square was this sweet handliner – a local boat, an excellent rower, suitable for English Bay waters, and carvel planked – perhaps Oarlock & Sail’s next new build?  We shall see.

Huge thanks to Georgina for her work in rallying the troops and leading the team in organizing everything – we love to participate in the festival, and it’s always a challenge fitting in time near the end of summer, but we had a great time!

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Boat Show Setup

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Yesterday we brought 3 of our boats over to Granville Island for the Wooden Boat Festival.  Ragna and Vogler were lifted up and over the dock, to rest in their regular sheltered spot.  We brought the Button Swan up into the Market Square, next to our tent – but it wasn’t quite that simple!  The ramp at the west end of the island didn’t turn out to be as wide as we’d thought, and so after a bit of head-scratching and talking to the organizers, we were given a spot in the water, along with the bigger boats (photo below is a temporary mooring while looking for a spot).  That didn’t sit comfortably with us, and so we scouted a spot to take her out of the water, first on Google Maps, and then checking it out in person.  We found a spot on the other side of the island, in Alder Bay (where we’ll be hosting the dinghy races on Saturday!).  After un-stepping the mast to take it under the walkway, we were able to drag it up the beach on the dolly, and paraded along the streets to the square, MUCH to our relief!  And she looks mighty fine there!

Last week, Dale was busy scrubbing Vogler’s bottom, and giving her a fresh coat of paint – she’s sure to win the rowing race now!

Hope to see you at the show!  The racing is Saturday August 25th at 11:00.


Work on the Robert Allan began a couple of weeks ago with removal of the sacrificial keel and some of the centerboard fastenings.  Last Saturday, scraping of the interior got underway, in preparation for refinishing.  We found the stern knee was badly delaminated, so a new one of black locust will replace it.  The centerboard trunk was removed and examined, and will be remade.

We’ve received a couple of updates from the family who bought the Sam Mac, and they’ve been busy repairing her.  Thanks for the photos, Kirby!

And, remaining work on the Button Swan has been mapped out.

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One of those items includes the word “repair” – yes, even a new boat needs some remedial work sometimes.  One of the laminations of the deck didn’t hold, and we found a split joint.  Some epoxy and screws should take care of that, and we thought of adding knees underneath for added support, in case the split was stress-induced.  All part of the break-in period!