We have a neat project in the Henry B. duPont…

Posted on April 15, 2017

We have a neat project in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard right now, as we help to create the 68-foot foremast for the schooner SHENANDOAH. The SHENANDOAH is a replica revenue cutter launched in 1964 by Robert Douglas, who is also her captain. She sails out of Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard.

Bob is a longtime friend of Mystic Seaport, and when he knew he would need a new mast at the end of the last sailing season, he contacted our shipyard. Quentin Snediker, our shipyard director, made arrangements for the mast to be crafted here.

“This is another chance for a collaboration with another historic sailing vessel and our unique equipment and staff,” Snediker said.

Recently a 24″-by-24″ inch piece of laminated Douglas Fir arrived, and was placed on our lathe, which can handle up to 90 feet. Rigger Myles Thurlow arrived from Martha's Vineyard to begin working with our staff to turn this giant rectangle into a round mast.

The wood (called a “stick” in the sailing vernacular) is laminated because it is difficult to find a single Douglas fir that is perfect enough and tall enough to be turned. So the replacement mast is glued together layer by layer.

Work is expected to be done early next week, and the mast will be brought back to the Vineyard where Thurlow will do the finishing work. “This has been awesome,” Thurlow said. This was way more fun than me in a parking lot for a long time with a chain saw, which is what I would've had to do.”


Leave a Reply