Boat Builder Launches His Dream
Rachel Nava Rohr

After 27 years of building the wooden boats of other men's dreams, Nathaniel Benjamin, 60, built a boat for himself.

They christened her Charlotte under parted skies on Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of onlookers spilled onto the beach, down to the end of the dock and up to a rooftop of the boat yard. The potluck was plentiful and the beer flowed from a rowboat packed with ice. Boat launchings mean big parties at Gannon & Benjamin and this was no exception.

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Island Dragger Roann Returns to the Sea
Mark Alan Lovewell

MYSTIC SEAPORT, Conn. — A 60-foot Eastern dragger named Roann, a living example of Vineyard maritime history, was relaunched under sunny skies here last Saturday.

The Roann is the last of an era. No one makes fishing boats like this anymore.

The restoration of the Roann cost $1.2 million, lasted three and a half years, and involved a team of 50 boat builders, aided by another 50 volunteers. Mystic Seaport Museum, the owner of the Roann, organized the restoration of the vessel at its on-site shipyard.

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Size No Drawback as Sailboats Battle in Race Around Vineyard
Mark Alan Lovewell

A Vineyard sailor in one of the smallest boats was among the winners of Saturday’s ’Round the Island Race.

Roger Becker, in a bright red 24-foot sailboat called Gloria, was one of four first-place winners. The race was part of this past weekend’s 85th annual Edgartown Yacht Club Regatta.

Thirty-seven sailboats participated in this year’s ’Round the Island contest. It truly was challenging because of the lack of enough wind.

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East Chop Shore Best Spot To View Moffett Sailboats

Fifty-two boats are scheduled to start tomorrow in the 31st annual George Moffett Memorial Sailboat Race. Sailboats from 60 to 17 feet will participate in the race which begins off Eastville Beach in Oak Bluffs.

The sailboats will race across Nantucket Sound on a course still to be determined.

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Vineyard Sailors Prepare to Cast Off for Summer
Mark Alan Lovewell

Sailing already is getting under way this summer.

The Vineyard Haven Yacht Club is observing its 80th summer. The Edgartown Yacht Club is hosting more summer sailing events than it did a year ago. Sail Martha’s Vineyard is gearing up for its big sailing classic Vineyard Cup in mid-July. The Holmes Hole Sailing Association has launched its Sunday and Thursday races.

Across the Island’s harbors, the boats are here. Plenty more are coming. The talk at yacht clubs is about events, wind, markers, crew and gear.

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Maine Shipyard Restores, Relaunches The Black Dog Tall Ship Shenandoah
James Kinsella

A thoroughly refurbished schooner Shenandoah was relaunched Saturday morning at Boothbay Harbor in Maine.

The Shenandoah, one of the Black Dog tall ships that sail from Vineyard Haven harbor, had undergone about six months of extensive rebuilding at the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard.

“We essentially did what is referred to as retopping — a rebuilding of the vessel from the waterline up,” said Bob Foster, a spokesman for the shipyard.

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Menemsha Crowd Raises Sunken Sailboat
Mark Alan Lovewell

A 23-foot sunken sailboat in Menemsha harbor was hauled up on Wednesday morning by a crew that included Menemsha Coast Guard, the town harbor master and the captain of a fishing boat and his mates.

Chet Wisniewski, 88, of Menemsha, said his sailboat, called Water Music, sank at noon in its slip on Saturday for no apparent reason.

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Storied Schooner Once Owned by General Patton to be Sold
Mark Alan Lovewell

When and If, the 63-foot John G. Alden schooner built in 1939 for the late Gen. George S. Patton that has been a familiar presence in waters from the Vineyard to Maine and beyond, is for sale.

The historic schooner was recently appraised at $680,000.

Owner Candace Ruitenberg confirmed that the boat has been placed on the market due to an impending divorce.

Mrs. Ruitenberg said she hopes someone else will now step in to give as much love and attention as she and others have already given the When and If.

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Sailboat-Turned Eyesore Soon To Be Removed By Selectmen
Peter Brannen

For nearly a decade, the town of Tisbury has served as the reluctant steward of a 45-foot sailboat, rotting behind the Department of Public Works building and deserted by an owner who has been almost impossible to track down.

The town has been unable to move or destroy the boat, but that may soon change.

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Sailing Is In, Powerboating Out, Tracking Trends on the Harbors
Mark Alan Lovewell

Recreational boat traffic in Vineyard harbors was off during the first weeks of summer, but harbor masters report that all changed last Friday, when all four harbors were suddenly full for Independence Day weekend.

“I don’t know if it is the weather, the price of gasoline and the economy,” said Dennis Jason, Chilmark harbor master. “It could be all three.”

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