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A Look Back Into the History of Boatbuilding | Soundings Online

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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Just Yesterday: The icemen cometh

jy_icebreakerThis tranquil scene of an icebreaker leaving harbor belies the fact that from December until spring, ice owns the Great Lakes. In 2015, more than 80 percent of the surface water was frozen; Lake Erie was 94 percent covered in March. In 2013-14, there was ice on Lake Superior into June.

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A ‘hurricane of fire’

jy_hurricaneIt started like a biblical plague. Insects and snakes came down the trembling, smoking flanks of Martinique’s volcanic Mount Pelée in the spring of 1902, sweeping over farmers’ fields, infesting villages, attacking livestock. Deadly pit vipers wriggled in the streets of Saint-Pierre, known as the “Paris of the West Indies,” a glittering island city of 30,000 people. Soldiers were assigned to shoot the snakes on sight.

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Record-setting run

justyesterday_1216Imagine driving the runabout pictured here from New York to Florida. In 1930. That’s exactly what Frank Morley did. The adventurous college student from Mount Dora, Florida, took just over 14 days to complete the passage. And he set a speed record — yes, a speed record — in doing so.

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