The other day I was reading about the pinky schooner Ardelle which this week got her sails bent on and did her maiden voyage on the Essex river.
She’s a beautiful traditional fishing vessel that is being built in Essex, Massachusetts and will sail down to her home in Gloucester, on August 24.
Behind the project is the long time boat builder, shipwright, sail maker and sailor Harold Burnham. Including the Ardelle Harold has built six full-scale historical representation vessels and he’s running the company Pinky Schooner Charters out of Gloucester.
It is indeed beautiful craftmanship at it’s best and the boats are all fascinating and fine, good old sturdy working boats from the American east coast.
When I sailed along the eastern seaboard a couple of years ago – which was a privilege by itself, I got to see two of Burnham’s schooners, Lewis H. Story and Fame of Salem.
Fame is a wonderful pinky and the Story is a charming little inshore fishing vessel of a type called Chebacco. It was developed in Essex, which was then a parish of Ipswich, called Chebacco. Her curves together with the unstayed rig gives a feeling of nice working simplicity, and it’s a lovely sight. Specially to come across her careened over on the beach.
Here is a beautiful video of the launching of the Ardelle, using the traditional Essex side-launch technique – which you can read more about in an
article by Burnham, originally published in Wooden Boat Magazine. It’s an interesting method that looks quite different then other techniques.