Preserving History: Documenting and Replicating Historic Small Craft
Veteran builders Greg Rössel and Ben Fuller will take listeners on a historical boatbuilding journey starting with a description of old time methods of construction, how the process of taking lines was developed, and why it's important to document and preserve historic craft.
This lecture is free and open to the public with a suggested donation of $10.
Greg grew up cruising on the waters of New York Harbor and spending time in the boatyards on the south shore of Staten Island where economics (more than anything else) made wooden boats the craft of choice. He makes his home in Troy, Maine where he specializes in the construction and repair of small wooden boats. Since graduating at the top of his class in boatbuilding technology from Washington County Vocational Technical Institute, Greg has had a multifaceted career. For several years, he was an assistant restorer for a major private collection of antique runabouts and airplanes. Then he spent another couple of years as an instructor and assistant director at Maine Maritime Museum’s Apprenticeshop program. Since the late 1980s, Greg has been an instructor at WoodenBoat School, teaching lofting, skiff building, and the Fundamentals of Boatbuilding. Also, for the nearly 30 years he has been producing a weekly two-hour radio program about world music which (mercifully) has absolutely nothing to do with boats.
Ben started racing in one-designs, including his Jet 14, and continued during college. He took up whitewater paddling in graduate school, building and racing slalom and wild-water kayaks, then started learning about traditional boats while serving as the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s first curator, in the process picking up a Culler skiff and an International Canoe. He continued his interest in small boats while managing the curatorial department at Mystic Seaport where he was responsible for the traditional boat programs led by John Gardner and Barry Thomas. While at Mystic, he obtained a Delaware Ducker, a type of boat he had learned about from Josef Leiner while he was in the Chesapeake. He gradually expanded his fleet to include sea kayaks, a marathon canoe, and a catboat. After leaving the Seaport and moving to Maine, Ben worked for the Apprenticeshop in Rockland, and sat for and received his Coast Guard license which enabled him to take passengers for hire aboard Friendship Sloops and to teach seamanship courses at the WoodenBoat School. Later, he became a Registered Maine Guide and began teaching sea kayaking. Ben has written for WoodenBoat, and other traditional boating publications, and currently is the curator at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine.
Photo Credit: Greg Rössel