Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It Takes Rockport Village to Launch ADVENTURESS

The night before we launched ADVENTURESS, I went by Rockport Marine Park on my bike to look at the boat before I pedaled home. I crossed the little creek we call Goose River, and marveled that in less than 24 hours an 83-foot boat would be maneuvered into it. It looked narrow and shallow as I cruised over the tiny foot bridge. 

Across the green lawn of the park, opposite of the statue of Andre the seal, ADVENTURESS looked huge. She dwarfed the lime kilns and old train, the remaining artifacts of Rockport's former life an industrial town. Although it was evening, long after closing time, our crew was still moving up and down the ladder. Martha Coolidge, the interior designer of the boat, was planning to be there late into the evening installing cushions, adjusting pillows and fixtures and making sure all of the interior details were just so.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tom Brownell and Moving Adventuress

Over the course of the year, I give a lot of tours to school classes. Although the teachers sometimes balk as their charges frolic through the heavy machinery and scaffolding, kids generally love the boatyard. For some kids, it is even a real "a-ha" moment--that they might be able to make a living making something beautiful with their hands.

Over the past three years, I have shown hundreds of school kids the ADVENTURESS restoration. Kids and adults alike find it overwhelming, 83 feet of classic yacht loveliness crammed into one of our work bays. On the floor, the boat towers over us, and when you walk on deck, you must duck to avoid hitting your head on the ceiling. My favorite question to ask them is, "How the heck do you think we're going to get this big boat out of here?"

The question really stumps them. I've heard children postulate that we could remove the roof and crane it out, flood the shop and float it out, or even drag it out with ropes. To complicate matters, our boat hoist can't lift a boat like ADVENTURESS, she is just too heavy. So now really--how are we going to do it?

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