Category Archives: Yacht & Large Vessel Construction

The Three Lives of Cosmic Muffin

By Jennifer Jones

Cosmic Muffin, a unique houseboat owned by Dave Drimmer, has quite an interesting history. She started out as a Boeing 307 Stratoliner, which was acquired by Howard Hughes in 1939 when he bought TWA. The Model 307 was the world’s first high-altitude commercial transport and the first four-engine airliner in scheduled domestic service.  In 1948, Hughes had her interior redesigned, named her Flying Penthouse, and she became one of the first commercial airliners converted into a plush executive transport. Continue reading

Installing a Teak Deck on ZATARA

by Ken Newell

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Cover Photo: The intricate plank layout of ZATARA’s finished teak-covered cockpit, before the hardware was reinstalled.

The Zatara refit project began two years ago when my partner Steve Gallo (a mortgage banker) and myself, Ken Newell (a materials engineer), decided that we wanted something to do with our spare time and money. What we didn’t realize was the level to which the refit project would absorb every weekend and every non-critical dollar we had and cause our significant others to chastise us for our obsessive behavior. Continue reading

Building Alligator

BY BOB WALTERS

About ten years ago my wife, Ching, and I decided we wanted a comfortable, easy-to-handle, cruising boat suitable for exploring the shallow coastal areas that we missed when we lived aboard our deep draft sailboat twenty-one years ago. We looked at a lot of boats and decided that we would try a powerboat this time. We liked the features found on Biloxi Luggers, also known as “Chandeleur Boats,” a type indigenous to the upper Gulf Coast; however, we didn’t want to own a 30-50 year old wooden boat. Luggers aren’t available as production boats and we couldn’t afford to commission a custom design, so we decided to build Alligator ourselves. Continue reading

Testing large fasteners

Testing Large Bonded-In Fasteners

by Brian Knight

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Cover Photo: The 154’7″ Bruce King-designed Scheherazade resting on her massive keel at Hodgdon Yachts in East Boothbay, Maine.

Scheherazade is a 154′ 7″ Bruce King designed ketch under construction at Hodgdon Yachts, in East Boothbay, Maine. Scheherazade is 60% larger than Antonisa, the last Bruce King/Hodgdon Yacht collaboration, and is the largest sailboat under construction in the United States. We first looked at Scheherazade in EPOXYWORKS 17, Spring 2001, before she was rolled and set on her 153,000 lb ballast keel. On a March, 2002 visit, Scheherazade was resting on her massive keel (cover), while far above, surrounded by multiple levels of staging, work continued on her interior and deck (below). Continue reading

Tenacious, a Look Back

by Kay Harley

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Cover Photo: After four years of construction, TENACIOUS began sea trials in June of 2000. 

Tenacious, the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s (JST) new wood/epoxy, three-masted barque, underwent sea trials that began June 2000. It offered a full schedule of tall ship voyages to Spain and the Canary Islands over the winter, with spring and summer trips to Brittany, Ireland, and Scotland. JST is a British charitable organization formed in 1978 with the aim of promoting the integration of able-bodied and physically disabled people through tall ship sailing. Tenacious now joins their other tall ship, Lord Nelson, which was built in 1986 and has
carried over 6,500 disabled sailors, including 2,687 wheelchair users. Continue reading

SCHEHERAZADE

By Tom Pawlak

On a break from the Maine Boatbuilders Show in March, we visited Hodgdon Yachts, Inc. and found significant progress on their latest build, a 155′ Bruce King designed wood/epoxy ketch, named Scheherazade. This is Hodgdon Yachts’ largest wood/epoxy vessel to date. The project is roughly 60% larger than Antonisa, the 124′ sailing yacht they launched last year.

Scheherazade is being built in Hodgdon’s new 20,000 square foot facility located at the water’s edge in East Boothbay, Maine. A project this size would not have been possible in Continue reading

Mahogany Masters I – Van Dam Custom Boats

by Captain James R. Watson

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Cover Photo: ALPHA Z is like no other boat. It’s a stepped V-bottom planing runabout designed by Michael Peters Yacht Design.

If boat building was ever in a period of renaissance, it is now. One center for the revival in exquisitely constructed yachts is Van Dam Custom Boats near Lake Charlevoix in Boyne City, Michigan. Business partners Steve and Jean Van Dam have a 23 year history of building interesting wooden craft. Although Steve is a sailor, most of their work involves powerboats, custom one-offs and restorations. They are particularly noted for the fine detail of their wood/epoxy composite boats and their willingness to experiment with materials and structures. Continue reading

Launching ANTONISA

By Mary Maynard Drake

The 124′ sailing yacht ANTONISA slipped into the waters of Linekin Bay on August 28, 1999, amid accolades to her builder, Hodgdon Yachts. The Italian owners and some 4,000 well wishers, including Maine governor Angus King, crowded into the small village of East Boothbay, Maine, for the launching. Continue reading