Majesty on ice

Thursday Feb. 18 was slide out day on Megunticook for our barn salvage stern steerer “Whirlwind” shown here with Bob McEwan’s cheapskate for comparison. After a couple of months of light restoration by Buchholz (master boat builder), Roberts, and Eastman, involving refinish of mast and runners, new steering runner body, one coat of “Penetrol” penetrating preservative on everything, salvaged replacement halyard winch, extensive runner sharpening and alignment, new trailer wheels and boat cover, protective boxes for runners, whisker stays and spare parts we were ready. All original parts found plus a few spares, we are short only a few bronze clevises and cotter pins. Yankee sail recut and added to for trial purposes, the original sail is lost in time. This adapted sail is about half of the original area and seems appropriate for a storm sail. The whole exercise took a couple of hundred hours and several hundred dollars.

Assembly only took a couple of hours with intermittent help for unloading, mast erection, and sail raising. The ice was nice, wind brisk at times. With Buchholz at the helm and doing starting pushing, Roberts on the sheet, she pulled away sedately and tracked nicely across a mixed surface of silent ice and rumbling broken junk patches. The sail set nicely and non critically but not looking very historic with its square top and all that unused boom (about half) trailing behind. The ride was majestic with a modest turn of speed, probably 20 plus MPH. Twice the sail area or heavy air would likely have given sprightly performance.

None of the principals involved were looking for this interesting diversion, it, hiding in a local barn, found us. We are now looking for a good home for Whirlwind, ready with road worthy trailer (lights need work, of course) tested to 60 MPH. She is ready for casual sailing or serious restoration with all over refinish, new sail, perhaps conversion to original gaff cat rig. She seems to have been built by Buckout, a prominent Hudson River yacht builder of early 20 th century. The workmanship is lovely, all bronze fittings, fine wood, no rot, handsome in all regards. Call Bill Buchholz at 207 236 8048 evenings.

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