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Profiles of People and Boat Manufacturers

Moving history forward

Harold Burnham’s passion for wooden boats keeps a tradition alive

Room with a view of the H.A. Burnham yard in Essex, Mass.The craft and culture of building and sailing traditional wooden boats is embedded in the life and work of master shipwright and charter captain Harold Burnham, and in his passion for what is a dying way of life in his hometown of Essex, Mass.



A magical boatyard

Dan Tobyne photos

Ardelle is lowered onto the bilge way in preparation for launch.Nestled on a marsh island along the Essex River and overlooking the river basin, the H.A. Burnham boatyard strongly resembles an Andrew Wyeth painting, with that texture of a Maine yard from days long past. It’s an ideal site for building large wooden vessels, and there has been a yard here almost continuously since the 1800s.



Iron Woman

You can finish “oldest woman to …” several ways, but that’s not what motivates solo circumnavigator Jeanne Socrates


At first, the boat is a hazy outline on the horizon. Framed by the snowcapped Olympic Mountains, her contours fade in and out of the mist that blankets the Strait of Juan de Fuca, a cold and often treacherous body of water that separates the United States from Canada.



Man on a mission

Sailing solo and non-stop around the world requires a fit body, a sharp mind and incredible discipline. Stanley Paris, who has swum the English Channel three times, believes he has what it takes. By the way, he’ll be 76.

Kiwi Spirit, a 63-foot bluewater yacht, wallows in the moderate swell. Huffing and puffing on the coffee grinder in the cockpit, it seems to take an eternity to crank the mainsail up the carbon fiber mast until the halyard lock finally clicks, 82 feet above deck.



Ted Hood: sailor, innovator, sportsman, builder

A man in full: Ted Hood was 'incredibly unique.'Frederick E. “Ted” Hood was a passionate sailor who won the America’s Cup on Courageous in 1974 and parlayed his love of the sport into a 64-year career as a sailmaker, boatbuilder, boat and rigging designer, spar maker and innovator. Hood died June 28 in Middletown, R.I. He was 86.



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