Merry Christmas, and good riddance 2020!

Our Christmas lights are up at the shed, along with our Grinch display – and although our regular Saturday workshops are on hold for a while, you’re welcome to come down to enjoy all the lights of the harbour!

If you’re a member of OSBUG, you are still able to take our boats out – we’ve had the good fortune to enjoy suitable weather the last couple of Saturdays, so Dale S. and I have gone out rowing or sailing – can’t beat mid-December boating!

The shed is also available if you’ve got small projects to do – Mattias has been working on a model. Please be mindful of cleanliness, both of the hand-sanitizing type as well as cleaning up any mess, and be sure to wear your mask.

As part of the Vancouver Maritime Museum programming, on Monday, Bill Rhone will be doing a live sketching presentation, doing a drawing of North Star of Herschel Island, while our wharfinger Bruce tells tales and information about North Star. Be sure to check it out!

Duane has posted another video, showing some of the wild weather at the harbour:

Take care, happy Holidays, and we hope to be able to resume our workshop activities in the new year!

Heritage Harbour Sketches

You may have seen a gentleman at the dock, sketching on his iPad: starting November 19 (Covid restrictions permitting), the Vancouver Maritime Museum will be hosting an exhibition of his work!

We had a visitor of another kind in the harbour a couple of weeks ago – Duane captured one of its visits.

And Dale S. has uploaded a wonderful bunch of videos and photos of action on the water the past few months:

Recent work on the Auk has been steaming ahead, literally – 3 more planks were steam bent and fastened over the last two weeks! She’s really taking shape!

Unfortunately, the Saturday work sessions won’t be happening for the next couple of weeks – recent Covid numbers rising and Provincial recommendations have prompted us to shut down for now. We’ll keep you posted on when we can continue.

October update

October has been REALLY good for sailing – there were a few days of great wind, and not too cold, as well as a few light-wind days, with all three of our sailboats plus Dale in his SCAMP. Always nice to be out there in a group!

We’ve had the pleasure of welcoming a bunch of new members over the last few months, and promptly put them to work, scrubbing Vogler, helping make a new cover for her, and of course, getting out and enjoying our boats!

Ongoing maintenance also includes new oar leathers, and some rigging adjustments on Ragna, swapping the halyard and downhaul sides, for easier rigging.

Vogler has joined the Auk in the shed, for a new coat of paint. Nice and cozy in there! The Auk is progressing, with a couple of challenges – one of the planks split at the stem, then was glued together, but the next week we found that the glue wasn’t up to the task. We ended up removing it completely, cleaning off the sealant, and preparing a new plank. Not the kind of work we want to be doing, but that’s the nature of wood – sometimes it just doesn’t work out the first time.

We get the occasional donation of tools at the shed – last week we were pleased to receive a nice set of Forstner drill bits, a combination square, a caulking iron, and a couple of riveting blocks – thank you!

A few videos to share:

Duane has done a video of our Heritage Harbour Classic race:

as well as another in his series of ‘life at the harbour’:

Vern shared this one, part of a series on Off Center Harbor:

And I recently came across this short video of making an oar:

Happy sailing!

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:

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 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!