Amateurs paint by numbers. Professionals keep track of numbers to build a boat.

The strip planking method for constructing the walls of the hull of a traditional Core Sound skiff necessitates placing them in proper sequence by size, creating not just strength, but also the style and appearance of the boat. The resulting style and shape is as much for function as it is for the attractive classic lines chazracteristic of these workboats. The strips diminish in size as the climb from the cline to the gunwale.
 
The boat will be caulked, sanded, and glassed, transforming the rough look into smooth surfaces.
 



 
Heber Guthrie was this far along in construction of a 21 ft. Core Sound skiff after working 60 hours virtually alone over a two weeks.

Six days in the shop

Heber Guthrie, master boat builder from Marshallburg, took delivery of a load of juniper on Thursday, August 4. Eleven days later, with five days out for worship and other work, the frame of a Core Sound skiff is ready for strip planking.
 
Heber works alone. No one is around to get in his way as he checks detailed notes he makes on pieces of scrap lumber as the work progresses .
 

Core Sound Boat Builders - Naval Architects, Engineers, Designers, Carpenters, Mechanics, & Electricians

Heber Guthrie looks at a small pile of juniper timer, but does not see a stack of lumber. He is already envisioning the boat this wood will become.
 
What is rack of the eye boatbuilding?
 
Heber Guthrie, like so many of his DownEast boatbuilding counterparts, is not a carpenter following a set of plans to build a boat. Building by the rack of the eye does not mean building by the seat of the pants. It involves:
 
 
1) Understanding the purpose of the boat to be built 2) Understanding how best to design that boat to operate in the waters where it will work 3) Designing the hull to operate efficiently in those waters while carrying the necessary weight of personnel, equipment, and load 4) Be as attractive as possible under the aforementioned parameters.
 




 
A Core Sound work skiff under construction, from a pile of lumber to the framework for a hull in four days, working alone.

Cuccowink Creek has been a father to me.

Native Americans called it Cuccowink Creek. After seizing this waterway and the surrounding terra firma from its rightful owners, the Lords Proprietors deeded it to a William Dawson in 1706. I took a late afternoon, Father’s Day solo ride up to the mill dam, saw ospreys, dolphins, sea gulls, and an lbb, a little black bird clinging to one strand of spartina grass. The dolphin were very camera shy, perhaps they were all in the witness protection program. I did get a shot of that plume of air and water blown skyward when one came up to breathe.
 
Ride with me. There was no danger, I didn’t see the resident alligator. I was disappointed I didn’t see an eagle.
 
It was a time for reflection among the reflections.











When one is alone reflecting, it is wise to cross imaginary bridges when you come to them, if they are to be crossed at all.

Eyes in the back of your head? Birds can just turn their head all the way around.

And she squawked, “What do you mean coming in at this hour?”

If you owned a classic Carolina skiff for sale now, you could slide under the Dawson’s Creek bridge, sit a spell, not be in a hurry, and get a sharper photo than I did.

Own a piece of NC's Maritime History

In Ecclesiastes, we learn there is a time for all things. Now is the time for a wise soul to own a piece of literary/maritime history. The 19 ft Carolina skiff that nurtured the production of thousands of photographic images over the last 15 years is for sale. A veteran of the lower Neuse, the Dismal Swamp Canal, the Trent River, Cape Lookout and Shackleford Banks, and more creeks than Carter has liver pills, the vessel has a handcrafted cabin around the console to accommodate two from the weather, plus many other handcrafted extras.
 
This vessel was the platform for the photography for three books and much more. Handcrafted cabin with seats built around the console accommodates two from the elements. 60 HP rebuilt 4-stroke Yamaha, recent re-wiring, new fuel lines, engine serviced, running great. Little extras added, Samson’s post, large cleats, large cleat placed well above the engine for towing, half inch dock lines, compass mounted on red cedar dashboard.
 
Asking $5,000 for boat, motor, and trailer, reasonable offers considered. Trailer recently re-wired, spare tire also available. Contact ben@towndock.net

HD - Here's the deal!

Okay sports fans. Dizzy Dean here along with Pee Wee Reese. Now fans, here’s what happened. Jimmy Pearsall hit a foul tip right back to the plate, right into Yogi Berra’s mitt. Minny Minoso had a big lead off second. Billy Martin had a big lead off of first. Yogi threw the ball to second. Minny tried to make it back to second, but Billy Martin, fireball that he is, charged on to second thinking he was going to beat Yogi’s throw. Yogi’s throw to second was right on the money to Bobby Richardson. He tagged ‘em both out, so it was a triple play, the inning was over and the Indians went into the dugout for a Pow Wow.
 
Now fans, here is what’s going to happen. You folks are going to get together and take part in the HD Paddle this year on Brice’s Creek near New Bern, NC or you are going to send in tons of money to fund HD Research. You are going to do it for Sarah Foster, a gifted and talented writer and wife of Randy Foster, editor of the New Bern Sun Journal, the most read daily newspaper published in Craven County. And for Joe Smith’s mom, too.
 
Now fans, here’s why you are going to do that. Angels reliever Joe Smith is trying to strike out HD, a degenerative disease. It affects his mom, Lee Smith, and maybe him some day. Pee Wee, hand me another Falstaff while the fans read why they are going to be in the HD paddle or give to it this year.
 
The real Lee Smith is a strong, intelligent woman with a zest for life and a wholesome disposition. Joe Smith will tell you that, and these days the Angels’ reliever will frequently say it to himself. Huntington’s disease has progressively robbed his mother of her true identity.
 
Huntington’s disease is a deadly, neurodegenerative disorder that’s inherited within families, causing involuntary movements, physical disability, emotional disturbance and cognitive impairment. Smith’s grandmother suffered from Huntington’s until her death, his mother has been dealing with it for the better part of a decade, and there’s a 50-percent chance he or his 28-year-old sister will someday get it, too.
 
Symptoms typically start at around 40 years old, but Smith — 31 on March 22, 2014 — isn’t worried about that now.
 
“I can still perform in Major League Baseball, so I’m fine right now and that’s good with me,” said Smith, who’s coming off his first season in 2014 as the Angels’ setup man in which he posted a career-best 1.81 ERA and a career-high 4.53 strikeout-to-walk ratio. “Down the road we’ll worry about it, like when we start having kids and stuff like that. But other than that, I don’t really worry about it. I worry about my mom.”
 
And that’s why Smith has a very specific goal this off-season: Raising $2 million.
 
Scientists recently uncovered a major contributor to Huntington’s disease, providing them with a new target for drug development and offering up a glimmer of hope.
 
In the meantime, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic believe DBS can greatly improve the quality of life for those with the disease. Smith met with them in June, when the Angels visited the Indians, and he was told about how the Food And Drug Administration approved DBS to treat the tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease, basically the equivalent of the involuntary muscle movements caused by Huntington’s (commonly called chorea). Along the way, DBS also helped with memory loss and depression.
 
The goal is for the FDA to approve it as a means to treat Huntington’s, so patients like Smith’s mother won’t have to pay out of pocket for a neurological procedure that currently costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.
 
“I want my mom better; I want her to have her quality of life back and I want this disease to just go away,” Smith said. “Whether that happens, it’s a slim to none chance. But if we can get this, and it saves other people going through the same stuff, then it’s worth it.”
 
From a story by Alden Gonzalez for MLB, November, 2014
 
Okay, with that Falstaff down, fans, check this out.

Photography or Digitography