CLC was in Mystic, Connecticut for the WoodenBoat Show the weekend of June 29-July 1.  We brought 30 boats to display, plus all of the kits, sawhorses, and sundry supplies to build sixteen Sassafras canoes.  This was a big challenge as usual, and required four trucks and some creative packing.  Our colleague Jay devised a very clever set of cradles to securely transport two Cocktail Class Racers inside the Peeler Skiff.

Scroll down for highlights from the show.  Click here to skip to Family Boatbuilding.

Cocktail Class Racers Arrive in Mystic Seaport


 Peeler Skiff and Caledonia Yawl in Mystic Seaport

This photo, during setup, captured John, Austin, and Joey setting a mooring for the Peeler.  In the background, our friend and colleague Geoff Kerr is sailing his Oughtred-designed Caledonia Yawl.  

Eric Schade assembles a Wood Duck

House designer Eric Schade drove down from his home port in Maine to build a Wood Duck 10 kayak in the booth.


Peeler Power Skiff in Mystic Seaport

The Peeler Skiff got a lot of attention, moored next to a 100-year-old schooner. 

PocketShip at the WoodenBoat Show

Here's PocketShip nestled amongst handsome wooden friends.

Shearwater Sport Hybrid Kayak Kit

Arthur L. paddled by the booth on Friday with his Shearwater Sport Hybrid, which he had on display at the show.

Nick Schade's new Strip-Planked Canoe at the WoodenBoat Show

Nick Schade was at the show.  That's a Night Heron SG and a Petrel in the booth with him.  He built a prototype for a new 16-foot tandem strip-planked canoe during the show!

Nick Schade Strip Planked Canoe

Nick's a fast builder.  Here's how far he was by Sunday afternoon.

Real Fern Onlays!

Courageously, Eric Schade muscled through the entire assembly of a Wood Duck 10 in just 2-1/2 days, including the application of these beautiful dried ferns beneath the fiberglass.

Cocktail Class Races at the WoodenBoat Show

We'd hoped to have both of our demo-model Cocktail Class Racers running in the regatta at the Show, but a busy booth made it impossible to field both boats.  Anne Dunbar, Associate Publisher of WoodenBoat Magazine, helmed our #69 "Blue Wave" and won six out of six races in it.  Well done, Anne!  

Evening Cruise down the Mystic River in the Peeler Power Skiff 
It was quite hatefully hot all weekend---pushing 100 degrees.  The CLC crew enjoyed escaping down the Mystic River in the Peeler Skiff in the evenings. 

Family Boatbuilding

CLC has been running "Family Boatbuilding" events since 1998.  This is a program, usually undertaken at a show like this one, where teams (sometimes parent-child, sometimes siblings or friends) build their own boat in just 2-1/2 or 3 days.  Carl Cramer and WoodenBoat Magazine originated the current iteration of the program.  We provide specially-prepared kits and a team of skilled boatbuilding instructors.  This is our third year leading Family Boatbuilding at Mystic Seaport, and once again it was a big success.  

WEST System has been the grease that made the event happen the last three years, contributing epoxy, fiberglass, supplies, and skilled boatbuilders.  

Family Boatbuilding Gets Underway at the 2012 WoodenBoat Show

Here, David Fawley, CLC's longtime production manager and leader of this year's event, orients the sixteen families at 0900 on Friday.   

Family Boatbuilding Begins with a Pile of Canoe Panels

In order to build a boat in a weekend, we glue the hull panels together back at CLC.  That way, we can start hull assembly right away.

Family Boatbuilding at the 2012 WoodenBoat Show

Each family built a special edition of the Sassafras 16, actually a slightly larger boat than the stock model.  It incorporates a lot of tweaks for rapid assembly without giving up any looks or performance. 

How to Fillet at Family Boatbuilding

By the afternoon on the first day, the hulls are assembled.  Here, David and WEST System's Bruce Niederer demonstrate epoxy fillets around the permanent bulkheads.  Masking tape is in place, ready for applying fiberglass cloth to the bottom of the hull.

Family Boatbuilding

David and Bruce have everybody watch a demonstration on one boat, then head to their own boats to repeat the step. 

Gluing on Canoe Rails at Family Boatbuilding

By Saturday it's time to glue on the rails.  Sixteen boats times at least 40 clamps each equals A LOT OF CLAMPS.   

Building Canoes at the Mystic Seaport

The Family Boatbuilding tent featured a lovely (and thankfully breezy) view of the Mystic River.

Family Boatbuilding Decks

By Sunday morning we could install decks and trim. 

16 (nearly) Finished Canoes at Family Boatbuilding

Final epoxy coating, sanding, finishing, and seat installation are done at home.  Congrats to all sixteen families who built their own wooden boat!  And many thanks to WEST System, WoodenBoat, David Fawley, Bill Cave, Bruce Niederer, Don Gutzmer, and John Harris for making this happen. 

CLC's 2012 WoodenBoat Show Booth

Our booth at the WoodenBoat Show.  See you next year!