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A Look Back Into the History of Boatbuilding | Soundings Online

Just yesterday: The life of a lifesaver

just_yesterday_lifesaversThe U.S. Life-Saving Service grew from roots planted along the shores of Cape Cod in the 18th century, with men assembling at times of need to pluck mariners from the sea along that long and sometimes treacherous Massachusetts coast. By the mid-1800s, the official service had come into being, supported in part by federal funds. The men who braved the weather to save others were called “storm warriors.” By the time the service was folded into the Coast Guard in 1915, it had been credited with saving more than 180,000 lives.

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The life saving service

A good crew means the difference between life and death for shipwrecked sailors. 

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Just Yesterday: What’ll you have?

jy_sailboatinpoolWhat’s this sailboat doing in a swimming pool? It’s a curious image saved from oblivion when Soundings moved from its Essex, Connecticut, waterfront office to a new location inland. In the process, hundreds of black-and-white prints were cast away just as the age of the digital image was dawning, making the print photo obsolete. The Soundings darkroom, and its big reproduction camera, would soon go the way of the dinosaur.

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Just Yesterday: Boats Illustrated

just_yesterday_0417A big flybridge motoryacht barrels through the chop in this 1959 magazine cover by Lester Fagans. Little known today, Fagans was a top commercial illustrator and painter through three decades, honored by the American Merchant   Marine Institute as “one of the country’s leading contemporary marine artists.”

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Just yesterday: Better-built barbours

better_barbourHerbert W. Barbour opened his New Bern, North Carolina, boatyard on the Trent River in 1933, building and repairing small commercial vessels. It was a modest operation, catering to the local fishing fleet and harbor craft. Few could have foretold that decades later Barbour and his company would be hailed as a “vital force” that was “important to the economic landscape of coastal North Carolina.”

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