Tom Dunlop will speak about his new book Schooner: Building a Wooden Boat on Martha’s Vineyard at the Chilmark Public Library on Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 5:30 p.m.
Cruising World, in its June 2010 issue wrote: “It was the most festive launch in more than a generation: the christening of Rebecca of Vineyard Haven, a 60-foot, 76,000-pound schooner designed and built, plank on frame, at the Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway, one of the leading traditional boatbuilding yards on the U.S. continent.
“Cannons fired around the waterfront village of Vineyard Haven, a Korean War-era Ryan Navion L-17 warbird laced the sky with white smoke, the ferry Nantucket fired jets of water from her stern doors, and hundreds of Vineyarders cheered as the largest sailing vessel to be built on the Island since Abraham Lincoln’s election 141 years before rolled down the ways into the harbor at Vineyard Haven.
“Indeed, the fuss over Rebecca was justified. As her hull slid gracefully into the water, admirers could only marvel and breathe sighs of relief at the project’s completion after the bankruptcy of her original owner. A long but finally successful search for a new owner averted the threat of a partially finished hull being left bone-dry in the yard.
“In 2010, Gannon & Benjamin mark 30 years of distinctive boatbuilding, and Rebecca begins her 10th year of stylishly carrying crew throughout the world’s illustrious cruising grounds. Schooner: Building a Wooden Boat on Martha’s Vineyard, chronicles the dramatic tale of how the fate of boat and yard became irrevocably intertwined.”
Mr. Dunlop, a lifelong year-round and summer resident of the Island, is the author of Morning Glory Farm and the Family that Feeds an Island, with photographs by Alison Shaw, and coeditor of the second edition of the Vineyard Gazette Reader. He is a former editor of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, where he is now a contributing writer. He has worked as an actor, fundraiser for an off-Broadway theatre company, and writer for the Vineyard Gazette. He lives in New York city, where he also works as a film producer. Mr. Dunlop sails a replica of a Herreshoff 12-1/2 sloop.
The lecture is free and sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Public Library. Please call 508-645-3360 for more information.