Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The models of Bob

I mentioned somewhere back in Earwigoagin that my temporary job as a sailmaker for the Naval Academy went away in July. In the midst of being a somewhat older gent looking for a job in a down economy, my friend Bob Blomquist mentioned he needed someone to drive his extra vehicle down to Sarasota Florida, as he had taken the plunge and retired full time to Florida. Bob is the boatbuilder, Chesapeake 20 sailor, and the sailor I camped out with at the Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival.

The car delivery was, more or less, a hammer down dash to Florida (with a break at Charlestown SC with Mothist Mark Saunders) and a quick turnaround flight back, but I did get to stay overnight at Bob's new digs. Being a Florida dwelling, Bob's new home is more airy and light filled than his previous house in Baltimore and I got an opportunity to take some pics of the large sailing models Bob has scattered about his living room.

First is the modified Bolger Chebacco daysailor/cruiser that Bob intends to build. (I'm not sure when, as Bob has immediately become a partner in an E-scow and has joined the local Sarasota fleet of hand me down E-scows that race every Wednesday during the Florida winter season.)

Bob's previous racing class was the traditional Chesapeake 20 class out of West River Sailing Club, situated about 18 miles south of Annapolis MD. Bob built his own Chesapeake 20 but, before commencing construction, he did a study model to work out the decking details. The undecked Chesapeake 20 model is shown below. Above the model is a photo of a Whitehall skiff that Bob and Mark Hasslinger built in the early to mid 1980's.

And finally the most mesmerizing one of the lot; a Crotch Island Pinky. Bob didn't build this one. His Chesapeake 20 crew, Jim Reuter found this model in the attic of a house he had just purchased. It was stored next to Howard Chapelle's book "American Small Sailing Craft". The scribbles and calculations of this unknown model maker filled the page where Chapelle documented the Crotch Island Pinky hull shape. Bob added the mast, sails and stand to the still roughly finished hull.

What an absolutely stunning, curvaceous hull this Crotch Island Pinky has. I love all manners and shapes of sailboats but this model arrests my attention anytime I'm in the same room.


George A said...

Neat models. Rod, is this the individual from whom you obtained the cedar strips we used when building Tweezer D? If so, what became of the Chesapeake 20?

doryman said...

The Crotch Island Pinky (unfortunate name) is a design that haunts me. I doubt I'll ever own one, but wish I did, every time I see one.

Please tell Bob that when I published a post on his model of the Chebacco, it immediately became one of my most sought after posts and remains so 'till today. Folks are waiting for him to build the full sized boat!


Tweezerman said...

George, Yep you've got the story right. Tweezer, and I think two more small canoes by Bill B. were built out of the left over strips from Bob's Chesapeake 20 build (there was an ordering snafu that resulted in extra strips). Bob's Chesapeake 20 is for sale at WRSC. Doryman, I'll pass the words of encouragement along to Bob. Been enjoying your Stone Horse posts. You've got a lot on your plate this winter.

doryman said...

Never a dull moment. Life's too short!

Picardy210 said...

If you are interested in learning more about the Chesapeake 20 class including Bob Blomquist's Gracie, I just self-published: Built for the Bay: The Chesapeake 20. It is 96 pages long with over 75 photos including from the early 30s to the present. It describes the origins and history of this classic sailboat decade by decade. It is available for $35 (hard cover) from

Ted Weihe