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Page 14. MAINE BOATBUILDERS SHOW MMM to Honour Maine Boatbuilders By Lincoln Paine Maine Maritime Museum has named


Maine Built Boats to receive its twelfth annual Mariners Award on behalf of boat- builders and the boatbuilding community statewide. Due to the diff use nature of the industry—there are an estimated sev- enty-fi ve boatbuilding establishments in Maine today—it is hard to accurately assess the boatbuilding community’s contribution to Maine’s economy. But even raw numbers would fail to account for the outsize impact boatbuilding has on the many small coastal communities where it happens. Founded in 2005, Maine Built Boats


is a nonprofi t trade group that seeks to es- tablish Maine boatbuilding as a recognized brand regionally, nationally, and worldwide. It also works to strengthen ties within the state’s diverse community of shipwrights and between them and the industries whose products they use in building the best boats that art and science can devise. Maine Built Boats partners with various


government authorities to create and main- tain favorable conditions for the industry so that Maine boatbuilders can continue to exemplify the best the state has to off er. It also supports education in relevant marine trades to create a dynamic and sophisticated workforce and encourages the development of technologies designed to advance the craft of boatbuilding. The Maine Maritime Museum likewise


promotes traditional boatbuilding skills, especially through its Discovery Boatbuild- ing Program, which since 1995 has off ered a traditional boatbuilding curriculum for school-age kids who spend one day a week at the museum’s boatshop during the academic year. The museum was an early pioneer in utilizing boatbuilding as a vehicle to teach STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—a concept that is now mirrored


in numerous programs nationwide, and proceeds from the Mariners Award event will support the Discovery Boatbuilding Program.


Situated on a twenty-acre campus that


encompasses the grounds of three nine- teenth-century shipyards on the banks of the Kennebec, the Maine Maritime Museum has always emphasized the state’s millennia-old boat- and shipbuilding traditions. While the original inhabitants mastered the art of building dugouts and birchbark canoes for fi shing and travel in the Gulf of Maine and through the interior, Europeans introduced new technologies and designs for fi shing craft, coastal and blue-water merchant ves- sels, workboats, and warships. In the nineteenth century, Maine ship-


wrights were among the fi rst to embrace steam technology and steel hulls, and their ships connected all the world’s major sea- ports. Today, Maine boatbuilders of every- thing from canoes, one-design racing boats, and luxury yachts to state-of-the-art lobster boats and workboats employ the best of the venerable wooden boat traditions as well as leading-edge technologies in everything from sailmaking to composite hulls. The decision to honor Maine boatbuild-


ers this year coincides with the museum’s acquisition of the 58-foot schooner Mary E, the oldest Kennebec-built wooden hull afl oat today and the oldest extant Maine- built wooden fi shing vessel. One of six- ty-nine craft launched by Thomas E. Hagan, the clipper schooner Mary E was built at the old Houghton yard (now part of BIW) in 1906. She spent thirty-eight years in the Block Island fi sheries and coastal trade and, if later stories are credible, as a rum-runner. Sold in 1944, she became a dragger and changed hands once more before being abandoned in 1960. Three years later she sank in a Thanksgiving Day hurricane in


The schooner MARY E. just acquired by the Maine Maritime Museum of Bath.


Lynn Harbor, Massachusetts. In 1965, William R. Donnell, II (whose great-grandfather’s house is part of the mu- seum) answered a promising ad in National Fisherman:


HALF SUNKEN FISHING SCHOONER —52’, 9’ draft, Built in Bath, Maine 1906. Has 2½” oak planking. Needs repairs. $200…


Donnell undertook a two-year renova-


tion of the Mary E on the grounds of what is now the museum, an eff ort he chronicled in a June 1968 article in Down East mag- azine. The Mary E was perhaps the fi rst historic schooner to be a USCG-certifi ed passenger vessel, blazing a trail for the Maine Windjammer Fleet. She changed hands a few times, most recently in 2006, when Matt Culen began a major restoration eff ort in collaboration with the Long Island Maritime Museum before moving her to the Connecticut River Maritime Museum docks


in Essex for river tours. The Mary E will return to Bath this


spring and after an overhaul by a team led by Andros Kypragoras will sail as the museum’s ambassador at events on the Maine coast, and off er daytrips, especially to students and others from organizations with a strong commitment to preserving the history, culture, and environment of the Maine coast. The Mariners Award ceremony—a


boatbuilders’ gam and happy hour followed by a dinner and award presentation—will take place at the Museum on August 24, 2017, from 5:00 to 8:30pm. Attendees can also look in on the Mary E restoration. For more information and tickets, readers are invited to contact Peggy Schick at 207-443- 1316 x327, or schick@maritimeME.org; or visit MaineMaritimeMuseum.org/about/ mariners-award/.


Andros Kypragoras Builds New Foremast for BOWDOIN By Maine Coastal News


CASTINE – Last month when I visited the waterfront at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine I watched Andros Kypragoras of Whitefi eld and some of the waterfront crew just begin to set up to build a new foremast for the schooner BOWDOIN. To the side was a number of wide, thick


milled out lumber and they were setting up blocking so they could begin laminating the layers of wood together. Andros said, “This is the foremast for the BOWDOIN. We did the mainmast two summers ago and that was a little bit of a rush job, because they were in the middle of their sailing season when it was discovered that it had a problem. This one we had the luxury of time. We were doing the deck project last winter and the funds became available to do this project as well. I ordered the lumber six months ago, and I was able to get it cut, milled and dried. After the sailing season was done we pulled the mast and I came up here to build the new one.”


The foremast had been repaired several


times before and they were not comfortable with repairing it again. After three weeks I returned and all the


layers were together and Andros had begun shaping it and putting the hardware on. He added, “I’m hoping to be done by Friday or early next week. This mast is Douglas fi r laminated with West Systems epoxy. Everything is kiln dried down to like 12 percent moisture content. The layers are scarphed together with a 12 to 1 scarph, so it is a pretty solid piece of wood. It is seven layers so it took seven days to glue up, one laminate every day.”


Once the laminates are all together you


draw the shape the spar is going to be on the mast and then make a series of cuts and turn it over 90 degrees. You lay out the mast again directly on top of your fi rst cut, make another series of cuts and those should line up fairly closely. Then turn the mast again 90 degrees and clean up your cut face, lay the mast out again, make a series of cuts, roll it over 180 and do the same thing. Now you’ve got basically a square tapered mast. While it is square it is easy to cut the tennons or drill any holes for pins and hardware because it is easier to line them up when it is square. Once all of that is done you eight side the lower part of the mast so you can roll it a little bit easier. Now on this mast Andros had to glue on pieces of wood for the fl are, just before the hounds to make a little spot for the cross trees to sit on. Presently he was working on rounding the top and fi tting the hardware. Once all this is done he will start working on the lower section. There are not many who know how


to do this type of construction as there are not many large wooden vessels left. Andros learned how to do this on the job. He said, “My mom is from Vermont


and my dad is from Cyprus. They met over here, I was born over here, then we moved to Cyprus when I was like eight months old and I grew up over there. My parents split up and my mom moved back to the States and I was planning to go to college here anyway. I was looking at schools that had a good ocean studies program. After I got to Maine Mari- time Academy I realized that marine biology or writing extensive papers wasn’t really my gig. My fi rst class in marine biology the


Andros Kypragoras shaping a section of the mast for schooner BOWDOIN.


professor says that for every 15 minutes you spend in the lab you are going to spend two hours writing a paper. I walked out of there and said that’s not going to happen. So I went and found my freshman orientation guy and asked what other majors the school had and he said you could do nautical science. I said, ‘is there a lot of writing involved?’ and he said, ‘no but are you good at math?’ I did that for three semesters. I left to go work on


the containership, because, I was getting a lot of hands-on but I really didn’t have any oceangoing experience, understanding the industry. My plan was to leave and go work for a year and come back.” “When the job on the container ship fell


through and I ended up in Milwaukee work- ing on this 95 foot lumber schooner, which


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