Vermont Sail Rigging

There’s been some interest in sailing scows in the Shantyboat community.  Here’s a crowd funded project to ship goods by sail in Vermont.   This is a classic repost.  The boat was built and then the project shut down.   This is left for information purposes.

vt mast

Erik shapes the mainmast from a fir log cut in Lincoln, Vt by Will Gusakov.

vt forward to aft

Forward looking aft, you can see the layout of the hatches and aft doghouse

vt cabin

Looking down into the cabin, you can see the sides of the two built-in benches for the dinette table.

vt headroom


The main cabin features 6’4″ headroom. A luxury on-board ship!

Rigging up a Storm

by Vermont Rice

Project riggers Carrie Glessner and Will Young have been here the last couple days making up the standing rigging. It’s quite the process, splicing rope and wire, whipping ends, and “serving” cable by wrapping it tightly with a combination of rags, twine, and pine tar. Much of the area underneath the pole barn where the work is taking place seems to be covered with pine tar, including the table with various snacks on it, and some of the snacks themselves. These guys are pretty serious and unfazed by a little surplus tar here and there.

Earlier on I mentioned the cordage would be hemp. My mistake. It’s manilla. Carrie and Will have very good judgement in matters rigging related and I tend to defer to their material choices. It’s funny, a visitor to the project questioned whether it was still possible to find riggers in the world today, saying such people no longer exist. But the disproof was just 20 feet from where we were having the conversation. Here they are! They exist!

I have been working with Jordan (Finkelstein) making up the mainmast the last few days. We started with a huge fir log so heavy two of us teamed up could not manage one end of it. We have cut down the original weight quite a lot but it is still a heavy piece, with a big square base that will fit into the tabernacle, or mast hinge. Yesterday I fitted the “hounds” which are pieces of wood that bridge the connection between the mainmast and the topmast. Combined the mainmast and topmast have a height of about 36 feet.

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Originally posted 2013-06-20 06:14:11.

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  1. Sadly, the Vermont sail project is not working on rigging now (the post youreferenced is old). They finished the boat, made one trip to NYC and the boat is now languishing in a field in VT somewhere collecting water and slowly rotting… not to say it was a bad idea– it was a great idea but I think the particulars overwhelmed the group and the boat had some issues. It’s for sale though

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