Wednesday, May 30, 2012

SHADOW, a Spirit of Tradition Powerboat

Late last week I went to an event at 10 High Street, an art gallery here in Camden, Maine.

I was there to support a friend whose paintings are featured there this month. At one point during the evening, I found myself on the receiving end of an inquiry about Spirit of Tradition yachts. You might expect, as my conversation partner did, that given what I do for a living and where I am permitted to do it, that I would be able to define that term. No sooner had I stammered something about performance underbodies coupled to long overhangs and modern sails, rigging, and mechanical systems, that several exceptions to my supposed rule sprang into my mind. As I prepared to extract myself from the conversation and further embarrassment, my interlocutor followed up with “Are there Spirit of Tradition powerboats?”

At this point Jessica Stammen, my friend whose work I had come to admire, came to my rescue and I was permitted to talk art instead of boats for a few minutes. Now I know considerably less about art, but the difference is that I am not expected to be able to speak intelligently on the subject and this was much more to my liking. By the way Jessica’s work is exceptional and I encourage you to stop by Ten High Street if you happen to be in the area. If you’re not in the area you can check out her work here

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Running Lights and Sandblasted Dragons

Last week my comrade in arms for all things blog posted a great piece about the biennial Classic Yacht Symposium held at the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, Rhode Island.

In it she touched on the level of thought and care that goes into the restorations of historically significant classic yachts and of how this yard has developed a restoration philosophy that leaves room for the owner’s tastes and preferences.

Ours is probably not the true purist’s preferred approach. It would not surprise me if curators of master works rendered in other media took umbrage to this methodology. I find that where you happen to find yourself standing in the debate about the importance of originality is far less important than creating an atmosphere where the debate actually occurs.
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Classic Yacht Symposium


This past weekend I attended the Classic Yacht Symposium at the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, Rhode Island. Held every other year, the symposium is a sort of academic conference for classic boat enthusiasts of all stripes: owners or aspiring owners of classic yachts, as well as builders, riggers, sailmakers and sailors. 

About two hundred people assembled for a full day of papers in the Hall of Boats, the main display room of the museum. Although it was a particularly raw spring day and the hall never quite warmed up, there was something powerful about sitting amongst examples of some of N.G. Herreshoff’s finest designs.

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