Saturday, October 20, 2012

2012 Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival Part 1

On the same weekend I attended the 2012 Sailboat Show, that Saturday I bopped over to St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore to take in the varied small craft that is the the hallmark of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum's MASCF (Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival). Two other bloggers made it over this year and posted their photos. (I may have passed them on the docks but I wouldn't know these two from Adam.) Blogger Thomas Armstrong from 70.8% has photos over here and photos from Wendy Byar are posted over at her blog Green Boats.

This year I was able to wrangle my way onto the race-committee boat to take some pictures of the start of the sailing race, a race, as the PRO for the day said, "is the most eclectic sailing race in the U.S." I heartily agree. This race is governed by three sensible rules (since most of the competitors aren't racers and have no idea what the ISAF racing rules are and how they are applied);
  1. Don't hit anyone! 
  2. If you hit a mark, go around it on the correct side. 
  3. If you are confused by the start, just go when everybody else goes.

I'll split my photos into two posts.

There is always lots of "splaining" and gesturing on the docks.

The main dock has two floating docks at the end where most of the leaving and returning takes place. A Thistle racing dinghy tied off at the end.

Unlike most dinghy racers, some competitors at MASCF consider it a badge of glory to row out to the starting line.

The race committee boat was CBMM's beutifully restored Smith Island workboat with plenty of open cockpit. Competitors are lining up to start with less than a minute to go. We can see an ACA sailing canoe with Lavertue's reproduction late 1800's batwing sailing canoe in the background. The orange sail belongs to a fiberglass catboat from Florida.

And they're off. Wind looked like it might be stronger than it was from shore so some sailors mistakenly reefed only to find a nice 8-10 with slightly higher gusts. The winning Thistle started up near the weather shore. (The Thistle sails can be seen peeking out behind the repro sailing canoe.)

I have to admit I was mightily impressed puttering around in the Smith Island work boat. The damping of the vibrations of the diesel by the thick wood hull made the jaunt to and from the harbor a delightful ride.


doryman said...

Green Boats is one of Wendy Byar's blogs. That woman is a dynamo and you'll find her anywhere traditional wood boats are found in the Delaware area. From Silent Maid to the whaleboats for the CW Morgan.

You might remember - Thistle #16, which was restored in my shop, was sold to a guy from Delaware. From the distance of your photos, it's impossible to tell if this lone Thistle is her.

Tweezerman said...


Thanks. Put Wendy's name in the main post. No Thistle no. 16 this year. There is an active fleet in Wilmington DE. - I talked to a gent from there down for a regatta at SSA - he had a nice woodie but much higher number than 16.

fareastsails said...

Amazing post about the sailboat show. Thanks for sharing.