Sunday, October 11, 2015

Edensaw Boatbuilding Competition: A Sailing Dinghy Wins!

Most wooden boat shows have live boatbuilding; usually it involves a group of families assembling a quantity of small rowing skiffs which are then launched at the end of the weekend. At the Wooden Boat Festival hosted by the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townshend, Washington, Edensaw Woods sponsors a boatbuilding competition where they move away from the typical novice boatbuilding event and open it up to a diverse group of boats from professional designers and being built by skilled woodworkers. In this year's competition, built alongside the traditional dory and Irish curragh were two sailing dinghies. One of them, Richard Wood's Zest singlehander, won the competition

Here are two of the boats on the beach after the time-limit for boatbuilding expired, ending all construction. On the left was a dory built only with hand tools. On the right is a 14 foot, V-sectioned sailing dinghy designed by sometime Classic Mothist, Stephen Ditmore. As the photo reveals, Ditmore's team got the hull done over the weekend but the decking and rigging awaits.

Winner of the competition, designer Richard Woods on board at the initial push-off of his Zest dinghy. This is definitely a racing singlehander with hiking wings. (The hull is a relatively narrow, flat bottom shape.) The hull was completed by the team over the weekend and Richard was able to scavenge sailing parts from some of his other projects to get this design sailing in short order. I think the pushee in the photo is Michael Scott who owns several sailing dinghies including a couple of Classic International 14's and who is constantly feeding news tidbits to the blogmeister.

Instead of painting over the freshly applied epoxy, the Richard Woods team decided to apply a silver vinyl decal material over the hull (purchased at an auto supply store). Very distinctive, hence the boat's name Silver Bullet.

Designer of the other sailing dinghy at the competition, Stephen Ditmore sailing his Classic Moth design. Unfortunately we have only seen his Moth show up once at Brigantine, New Jersey.

The wrap up video from the Edensaw competition.

Third Annual Edensaw Wooden Boat Building Challenge! from Al Bergstein on Vimeo.


Dieharddinghysailor said...

Thanks for that, you should really get over here for the WBF , it was good fun watching Richard and the team put it together, I almost volunteered to be test sailor, but don't like the pressure of public performance!! Richard's comment to me as he hit the beach after a couple of near-capsizes whilst sailing to the finish line was "I'm too old for this!!"

I know the feeling.!


Tweezerman said...


You are right. It would be very interesting watching a team of skilled wooden boatbuilders, under a tight time constraint, hammer out a hull in a weekend.