Maynard Bray played an instrumental part in influencing in our decision to take on the rehabilitation of the Schooner Sylvina W. Beal. We were quite surprised and pleased to see that he and Benjaman Mendlowitz chose feature her, laid up in our creek, as Miss April in this year’s (2022) Calendar of Wooden Boats.
In his comments about her Maynard said…
“Not the end, but a new beginning for this sweet lined-lined vessel, built originally for carrying sardines from weirs to the canning factories of Down East Maine. She was then a handsome schooner and will again under the eye and hand of Harold Burnham who managed to sail this near derelict craft from South West Harbor in Maine to where she is now up in Essex, Massachusetts. He’ll give her a total rebuild, changing her a little to meet his own as well as the Coast Guards requirements, but keeping her overall appearance about the same. After all, who would change that transom? Given her present state, you might question this being a dream, but if that is your prediction, you just don’t know Harold.”
Got it Maynard, I can have my way with the rest of her, but I am not to change that lovely transom!
Luckily, I have help in making sure we get it right. This Sunday (Mother’s Day) found David Robinson, the Massachusetts State Underwater Archeologist, along with his son Noah, and a group of our Maritime Heritage Apprentices documenting the Beals plank lines prior to her up and coming preservation treatment. Along the way we made a tracing of her transom to which K.D., myself, and our many helpers can run all all of her lines to when we re-loft the boat between sailing trips this summer.
In the end, we agree with Maynard that getting that transom correct is important. This is especially true when one considers that in future Gloucester Schooner Festival’s, the transom will likely be only part of the Beal’s hull that the other contenders for the Esperanto Cup will ever get to see!