We’re pleased to have you aboard Small Boats Monthly as we greet the New Year. This issue is number 17 and we’ve been pleased with the response to this recent addition to the line of WoodenBoat publications. Many of you have been surprised to learn that SBM is bicoastal. The crew at the WoodenBoat offices in Brooklin, Maine, is, of course, the driving force behind SBM; I live and work in Seattle, Washington.
While I was born on the West Coast, my connection with wooden boats has East Coast origins. My grandparents on my father’s side lived in Lowell, Massachusetts, and I spent many summers there and at Marblehead. Some of my earliest memories are of sailing outside of Marblehead Harbor aboard MOLLY MAY, my grandfather’s wooden cutter. Hanging above the mantle at the Lowell house was a painting of NEWSBOY, a brigantine built in 1854 at Owls Head, Maine, for my second great grandfather, Frederic Cunningham and my second great granduncle, Charles Dabney, Jr. Several wooden half-hulls of boats in the family also graced the living-room walls.
The home I was raised in is in Edmonds, Washington, and walking distance to the shores of Puget Sound. My father always had wooden boats and would often say about them: “Every aspect pleases.” He kept a 27′ Tumlaren sloop at the Edmonds marina, and the rest of his fleet—a Herreshoff Amphi-Craft, a skin-on-frame rowing wherry, a wood-framed Folbot, and several Pocock racing shells—was scattered around the yard, hung from rafters in the garage, and stuffed in the crawlspace under the house. I grew up earnestly believing that wooden boats were not only necessities in life but also good for the soul.
In this new column, “From the Editor,” I’ll be making notes about changes to SBM, new developments in the topics we’ve covered, events we’ll be attending, and other items that we hope to be of interest to you. If you’re reading Small Boats Monthly, you likely share an affection for wooden boats and we hope you’ll find food for the soul here.
Christopher Cunningham, Editor