At The WoodenBoat Show in Mystic, Connecticut, Scott Williams brought ESCA, his impeccably built Christmas Wherry to exhibit among other small boats for “I Built It Myself.” The sail-and-oar boat won Best in Show for owner-built boats in the Concours d’Elegance awards, and this video shows why.

Scott built ESCA’s hull with glued, lapped Okoume plywood on white cedar frames. She’s got a 1-1/2″-thick Okoume keel, a stem of white oak, and the transom and thwarts are of quarter sawn Sapele. The spars are solid, laminated Sitka spruce.

What does Scott appreciate about boatbuilding? Well, as a contractor and builder normally working on land structures with straight lines and 90 degree angles, boats give him the opportunity to “throw away the square” and to do the satisfying work of sculpting and shaping wood “to the perfection of the boat.”


  • Bert van Baar says:

    Wow, besides she being a nice build, it was very nicely painted too! I have build some in a boatbuilding course and this one was a favorite. I love the sweeping lines of the sheer and planking! Also the sturdy flat bottom plank was very Dutch to me!
    I sail in Holland and France and I thought: Does it have too much sail area?

  • Dave says:

    I saw them just as they arrived and started setting up. So I didn’t get to see the boat all laid out as shown here. They’d driven from Jacksonville, Florida with that well chosen trailer and were thrilled to make it to the show. The award was well earned.