#Virtual VMM

The Vancouver Maritime Museum is putting a lot of work into their online presence on their #VirtualVMM site, sharing a library of photo archives and a great virtual tour of the St. Roch.  If you’ve ever wanted to sneak past the “No Access Beyond this Point” signs, now’s your chance!  You can also explore right down to the engine room, although it’s missing the smell of diesel fuel.  But you do get as much time as you want, to look around and study everything in sight!

If you’re able to, the museum could really use our support during this time, either by renewing your membership, or buying raffle tickets for their current fund-raiser.

Anja is sailing!



A huge congratulations to Arnt & Valerie on getting their beautiful boat Anja out on the water!  She’s looking amazing in these great photos taken by Dale S.

Dale also sent a couple of photos of Button Swan and Ragna being enjoyed.

Button Swan

And a couple of items from our wharfingers, Sheila & Bruce:

Ahoy all,
the suggestion has once again arisen that we have a Heritage Harbour pennant or burgee. To that end we are proposing a friendly contest with no prize other than that the winner will get to see their work flying from whichever boats choose to fly the finished project.
There are many templates on line for designing these. If you do not feel artistically inclined then please just submit your ideas in descriptive form and we will see if they can be incorporated into a design.
A burgee is a type of pennant that identifies a boating organisation or marina. It is larger at the hoist than at the fly and can be triangular, tapered, or swallow-tailed. It is traditionally flown on sailing vessels from beneath the starboard spreaders or on power boats from the bow. Either type of vessel can fly it from aloft abaft the mainmast on what Americans call a pig stick or the rest of the world calls a monkey gaff.
We would suggest that the words, HERITAGE HARBOUR, be somewhere in the design and you may or may not wish to incorporate the VMM logo.
Deadline for submission is June 15th. We will post the submissions without revealing who the designer is. Enter as many designs as you want. Each vessel owner gets one vote and the entry with the majority of votes will win.
We will find someone who can make these and they will be sold to boat owners at cost.
Hope that you have some fun with this.


we have heard from Neil Thinn with his update on Northern Spray who has gone back to her original name of Hermanos Y Hermanas.
Neil spent seven months at Port Angeles working on the boat. He writes,
“We had a good year last year repairing the boat at her new home in Port Angeles. Frankly we are really pleased with her. We replaced the aft deck beams,
got rid of the wet locker, replaced the stern deck, removed the wheelhouse and deckhouse, rebuilt the aft deckhouse and have started with the installation
of the mid deck beams, installation of the mast keelson and completion of the partially demolished forward deckhouse.
Hermanos Y Hermanas was renamed Northern Spray after being purchased from Gig harbour by Sam Mckinney, while he was working at the VMM,
prior to docking at Heritage Harbour. We just found out recently Sam was the founder of the Oarlock and Sail Wooden Boat Club, and donated funds
to commence wooden boat building shed while founding the club at Heritage Harbour. Sam was a really great contributor to Canada and the museum,
we are also grateful, he saved our boat.
Repairs: The 3 inch by 5 inch beams and deck house framing and planking are made out of African Mahogany, the deckhouse roof is made out of old
(or first) growth cedar. (16 or more growth rings to the inch, I’m told) Currently HYH is in her shed on the hard at PA.


Anja’s new mast, Luna arrives at the dock

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Although things have been mostly quiet at the boat shed, there has been some activity at the dock:  Arnt & Valerie have been busy working on Anja, and they’re getting close to raising sails!  Tom is making great progress on Ern’s cabin top replacement.  And Dale S. has brought his sweet little SCAMP down to the dock.

Arnt & Valerie enlisted the help of Tom and his son Arnt to bring the mast down the ramp and into place on Anja.  After getting my camera positioned, I pitched in as well.  Since then, Arnt has been busy getting all the rigging ready, and is getting a bit more sail area added to the mainsail.  Anja is looking gorgeous!!

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Since the boat launch ramps are closed, Dale S. has arranged to keep his SCAMP Luna at Heritage Harbour.  Arnt & I helped him launch her from the beach.

He’s now keeping her at the end of the dock beside Ragna, and taking her out regularly to enjoy the fine weather we’ve been having!  Yesterday he and I crossed paths out on English Bay – always a pleasure to sail in good company!  The Oarlock & Sail boats have been getting out quite a lot lately as well, which is great to see!

And finally, Rob had an article published recently in a magazine over on Vancouver Island, describing Ern and Odin’s journey around Vancouver Island a few years ago (part 1 of 4).  It’s always fascinating reliving that adventure!


Covid coping

Just to expand on the mention of cheap or free subscriptions in the last post:

Small Boats Monthly:  follow them on Facebook or Instagram, and look in their recent posts – you’ll find their One Month Free offer for their online magazine.  You get access to their archives as well.

Off Center Harbor:  sign up for an 8 week membership for only $5 (US), and get full access to their extensive and captivating video library.  That’ll keep you busy for quite a while!

Small Craft Advisor:  sign up for a free one-year subscription to the digital version of their magazine.  You can download pdfs to keep, if desired

As for Oarlock and Sail Wooden Boat Club, we’ve had a few new members join recently – unfortunately, because of the current situation, getting together to do an orientation and training in the boats is unrealistic, so, until we can gather safely and freely again, there will be no more orientations. We trust you will understand, and we will welcome you after this is over.

In light of our reduced activities, we are extending everyone’s membership by two months.

For existing members of OSBUG (Oarlock & Sail Boat User Group), please be mindful of other people on the dock, and keep the required 2m separation. This of course precludes going for a sail or row with people outside of your own isolation group. On your own though, or within your group, it’s a great way to isolate!

If you do use the boats, please use the sanitizer and wipes provided in the shed to wipe down the oars, tiller, spars, locks, door handle and any other surfaces that you touch. One of our members has a pair of gloves dedicated to going sailing, and washes them and hangs them to dry in the sun – this sort of thing could help in preventing the spread.

Unless we are required to stay at home altogether, the boat shed and boats are available for members’ use and enjoyment.  There are parking passes available in our boat shed – please write the date on it in marker and display in your windshield.

COVID-19 Hiatus

Last week we decided to discontinue our Saturday workshops for a while, until the pandemic has been brought under control.

Before that happened though, we got the stem glued to the inner keel, and have a good start on the shaping.  The joint between the two has been faired, and the bevel for the planking started.

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The inner keel has been (temporarily) fastened to the transom – when we do the final fastening, we’ll countersink the screws.

Duane is continuing to record video of our work – here’s some of the glueup of the stem and keel.

It’s always interesting to see the less-common tools that people have – Brent brought this sweet little round-over plane – it makes quick work of softening an edge, and does so quietly, without dust!

Our boats are going out regularly – last weekend before ‘social distancing’ came into effect, Dale and I enjoyed a peaceful sail in Button Swan – even with a light wind, she moves along steadily.  We split an apple with Dale’s souvenir of his participation in the first leg of the 2017 Race To Alaska.  That day’s conditions were not nearly as peaceful!

Over on Anja, Arnt is doing beautiful work on the cabin top!  After cutting off the coaming, he cut out the hole in the deck to make way.

The following Saturday, he enlisted a bunch of club members’ help to bring the cabin top down from his truck to the dock, and then onto the boat.  Duane was there to record much of it!

It’s fascinating to see it coming together so beautifully!

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Although we’re not working in the shed, the dock is still open if you want to come down on your own to use the boats (if you’re an OSBUG member) or to just enjoy a bit of an escape.  There’s a gentleman who has been enjoying some sketching.

And, with all the changes in our lives, some companies are providing cheap or free entertainment.   If you follow Small Boats Magazine (an online magazine) on Instagram or Facebook, they are offering one month free, which includes access to their archives!  Off Center Harbor (an extensive video resource) is offering an 8 week membership for only $5, an amazing deal!

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Until things improve, stay well, stay safe.


We’re still refining the stem, inner keel, and transom.  The stem is looking so great, with the laminated sapele!

The bevel edge on the transom is as close as we want to get at this point – when we start planking, we’ll do the final shaping.  Speaking of planking, the yellow cedar boards are now in the shed, under the strongback.

We’ve glued up the inner keel, in which we had cut a stopped rip cut in the rear half, to make the fairly tight bend to the transom.

Out on the dock, Ern is getting a new cabin-top, and Tom was working on removing the old.  Anja’s mast got lowered, in preparation for her new cabin and mast.  It went perfectly smoothly, as Arnt used a temporary A-frame to create the proper leverage.  Thanks to Duane for putting together this video:

It was a satisfying and enjoyable day at the boat shed!

Museum fund raiser

The Vancouver Maritime Museum’s annual fundraiser has just kicked off and tickets are $20 for one or $50 for three. The grand prize is a boat trip for two from Iceland to Greenland! (don’t worry – the boat is bigger than ours)  All information is at https://vanmaritime.com/

Please consider supporting the museum, and good luck!

The museum has free admission tomorrow (Family Day), but I’d encourage you to become a member – it’s very affordable, and also gives you access to their talks and special exhibits.

Last week at the boat shed was more work on the stem and transom – this is painstaking work which we are willing to take slowly, to make sure to get it right!  We got the notch cut in the transom for the hog, and got the transom clamped into position.  We made a pattern for the stem, to help guide our shaping of that, and got the stem cleaned up.

Yesterday, we were lucky to get one of our members and neighbor at the dock (owner of Querencia) to take some video of our workday – nice to see action instead of photos for a change!  Thanks Duane!

Last week after our work in the shed, a few of us took advantage of the beautiful sunshine, and got out in a couple of our boats.  There wasn’t much wind, but enough of a breeze to keep us moving for a while, and it was SO nice!


The wind died off at the end, and we had to take to the oars to get us home.  What a wonderful way to spend a sunny winter afternoon!

Stem & Transom

The last few weeks have been productive, with progress on the Auk’s keel, stem and transom.

The inner keel, or hog, has a fairly strong bend in the aft section – to cope with that, we did a partial rip cut to half the thickness, stopping the cut just forward of the tricky section.  It now bends into place, and we will apply glue in the cut, and clamp it into shape.


The gorgeous sapele transom got cleaned up after gluing, and looks spectacular!  The grain really comes alive as you move your head around, and the grain catches the light differently.  When it gets varnished, that should be even more dramatic!

After a bit of a tuneup of the bandsaw, the transom got cut to shape.  The edges will need to be beveled when the planking begins.

The stem is made up of strips of sapele, cut thin, and epoxy laminated on the form that we made.

Last week we formed the inner stem – yesterday we used that as the form for the outer stem.  The inner stem will take the planking, and after planking is complete, the outer stem will be fastened in place over the planking.

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That beautiful transom was clamped into position, and has been marked for the hog – but nobody has yet been bold enough to cut into that nice chunk of wood!  We’ll measure a few more times, and THEN.

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Over on Arnt & Valerie’s boat Anja, the new cabin is coming together nicely – Arnt brought the pieces down for a test fit, and his work with the templates sure paid off – a perfect fit!  Beautiful work!!

We have produced a video instructing how to rig our sailboat Ragna.  Benjamin has finished the video editing, and has posted it on Youtube:  https://youtu.be/QyndJBpjh0o   Be sure to take a look, and get familiar with it!  As a member of Oarlock & Sail Boat Users Group, you have access to this boat and the others in our small fleet – we’ll be doing some more instructional videos soon.


Just to show what our boats look like when it snows:

Button Snow

The Button Swan’s cover was off, as Tom was attaching some sandbags to deal with the wind!  So instead it had to deal with snow.

Vogler Snow

Brent and Ingrid were on snow-removal duty – a HUGE thank-you for what appears to be a HUGE job!!!!

Button Cover

Now the cover is back on the Button Swan, and she’s looking much happier.  Thanks Tom!

Happy New Years!

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Welcome to 2020!  The last few weeks have seen some satisfying progress on our current build – the molds have been cut and assembled on the strongback, the boards for the transom have been glued up, and the inner keel has been cut.

Our power went out for a while on Saturday, long enough for us to get busy with hand-saw to cut the keel and trim the slots in the molds for it.  We all appreciated how much quieter hand-tools are than power-tools!  But we stopped short of ripping the thin veneer strips for the laminated stem.

The transom was glued up with some gorgeous sapele!  The wavy grain should look wonderful on the boat.  Since we only have three clamps large enough, we used rope and wedges to clamp the outer edges – worked like a charm!  (in case you’re wondering about the tilt, that picture IS actually straight – the shed was tilting and rocking a lot in the wind)

Yes, it was very windy!  The waves were sending spray over the spit, and we measured the wind speed at about 35 kt.  The bracing help MAY have been a bit theatrical, though effective!

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Our New York member Leif introduced us to a scanning app on his phone, called TurboScan – we had some fun with making striking images like this – I love how the wood-grain shows up!

The previous Saturday started with a tour of the new boat in Heritage Harbour: Querencia, a 40′ Sparkman & Stephens teak yawl built in Hong Kong in 1960.   The owner Duane welcomed a bunch of us aboard, and we spent some time examining the beautiful boat, under her winter cover.  Duane has a very comprehensive set of photos of the boat’s restoration in 2004, and lots of great detail shots of her immaculate current condition:  https://svquerencia.wordpress.com/   Near the bottom of the page is a video showing some of Saturday’s wind, and a bit of our work in the shed.

And that Saturday finished with a few of us taking advantage of the (mostly) sunny day and reasonable temperatures to take Ragna out for some winter sailing – sure felt great to be out there!!