Shantyboat Launch

ESSEX — The Moon Snail slipped down the rollers and into the water for the first time Sunday.

About 50 people were on hand to see the handbuilt shanty boat launched at high tide, shortly before 1 p.m. The young man who built it — Ian MacDougall, a native of Juneau, Alaska, now living in Essex — worked with Essex shipwright Harold Burnham and a small bunch of volunteers to introduce the boat to the Essex River, right next to the Essex Shipbuilding Museum, where the boat was built.

Proud of his Scottish heritage, MacDougall wore a tweed jacket that once belonged to his grandfather, and a tweed cap. And in celebration, he rolled up his pants, took off his shoes and socks, and sat on his boat’s deck dangling his feet in the estuary river’s salty water.

MacDougall began building the boat in August.

“I was kind of inspired by the tiny house movement,” he said. “I thought…. Read More

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