Reader Built Boat
David MacLean lives in Sedgwick, Maine, a town surrounded by the waters of Penobscot Bay. He sails a 32′ Eastport pinky, INTEGRITY, built in Rockport in 1972, and wanted to have a tender that would complement his classic sloop. A peapod, he thought, another smaller Maine-coast double-ender, would fit the bill.
David, an architect, said he decided to design his own peapod, “to expand my design sensibilities and thoughtfully explore the world of naval architecture.” His pinky is a scaled-down version of a Howard Chapelle boat, so he turned his attention to Chapelle’s American Small Sailing Craft and took an interest in the “Old Sailing Peapod” on page 220. The lines for the type were taken from a peapod built around 1886. It was “the last of its kind in Washington County when taken off in 1937” and “of a type once much in favor among lighthouse keepers.” David saw a strong resemblance between the peapod and his pinky.
He purchased the plans for the Old Sailing Peapod from the Smithsonian and used the lines as the starting point for his tender. At 15′ 3″, the peapod was a bigger boat than he required; he opted for an overall length of 13′6″. He also decided to strip-plank his peapod to save on the weight of the original lapstrake construction.
Tom Wolstenholme of Rivendell Marine in Monument Beach, Massachusetts, was just 4 miles up the road David’s office in Cataumet, and David apprenticed himself to Tom from the lofting to the completion of the bare hull. Together, the two planked the boat with 3/8″ bead-and-cove strips topped with a mahogany sheerstrake before work paused as Tom got busy with other projects. Progress resumed when Eric Dow in Brooklin, Maine (WoodenBoat’s hometown), agreed to help David bring the boat to completion. The hull, still on its strongback, was loaded on a U-Haul truck for the drive north. Mahogany seating and trim were soon installed along with white oak rubrails and knees and iroko floorboards.
The finished peapod was launched on Walker Pond, a short drive from Brooklin, and christened HARMONY. David reports the tender has “proven to be a dream to row and sail.” The first year’s sailing has been done with a sprit rig meant for one of Eric’s 13′ 6″ peapods. It proved a good fit for HARMONY, and the new rig David had Eric build is nearly identical.
HARMONY and INTEGRITY will make a well-matched pair on the Benjamin River, not far from David’s Maine home in Sedgwick.
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