Chainsaws And Chisels

Author:
Publish date:
Leo Goolden shapes a scarf joint into a massive piece of purpleheart. 

Leo Goolden shapes a scarf joint into a massive piece of purpleheart. 

Purpleheart, as the name suggests, is a tropical hardwood with a gorgeous purple hue. It’s also extremely dense and rot-resistant, which makes it a great material for boatbuilding. That’s why shipwright Leo Goolden selected two huge purpleheart timbers for Tally Ho, a 1910 Albert Strange gaff-rigged cutter he’s rebuilding that has quite a history, including a 1927 Fastnet win.

The timbers weigh as much as 3,000 pounds each and are as long as 26 feet. Goolden had to procure two timbers for the job because a single length of purpleheart long enough for Tally Ho’s keel wasn’t available. An elaborate scarf joint was necessary to join the two pieces together. 

The wood is so dense that tool blades must be constantly sharpened to be effective. This video shows Goolden using a variety of tools to cut a precise scarf joint in the two timbers.

You can read all about Goolden’s quest to restore Tally Ho by reading Tally Ho, Adventure!, a feature that originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of Soundings magazine. 

Related

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 11.15.58 AM

Ships And Ladders

Watch as a Chesapeake Bay pilot makes a harrowing climb up the side of a bulk carrier ship near the Virginia Capes during a blow.

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 3.02.14 PM

VIDEO: Mast Hoop Loop-The-Loop

In the golden age of sail, a ship’s sails were attached to the masts with wooden hoops. Today only a few artisans have the tools and know-how to craft sailing tackle for traditionally rigged ships and other vessels. Ralph Johnson is one of them.

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 11.20.46 AM

VIDEO: Of Mouse And Mayflower

The Mayflower II, a 1957 reproduction of the original ship that brought Pilgrims to the New World nearly 400 years ago, is undergoing a complete refit at the Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut. Among the upgrades she is receiving are all-new stays for her three masts. This video from the museum shows how a rigger fabricates a mouse — an elaborate work of marlinspike seamanship — for each stay.

Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 12.42.23 PM

30 Days At Sea

Made from at least 80,000 images tied together into 1.5 terabytes of video footage, this 30-day time-lapse follows the journey of a containership from the Red Sea to Hong Kong, China. Watch from the bridge as the ship steams through storms, glides beneath a star-filled sky and ties up at ports along the way.

23275584_1744350632275926_5176968265281916683_o

VIDEO: Shipwrights: The Next Generation

Luke Powell is leading a team of boatbuilders who are crafting a recreation of a 68-foot Falmouth Pilot Cutter named Vincent, which was originally launched in 1852. The goal of the project is to train up aspiring young shipwrights in the traditional methods required to build these graceful wooden sailboats.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 12.30.55 PM

VIDEO: The Art Of The Prop

This video from Yamaha Outboards shows the art and craft of making modern outboard engines and demonstrates the surprisingly ancient techniques used to create cutting-edge propellers.

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 12.32.22 PM

VIDEO: A Global Issue

Whether it’s a light switch, the polyester fiber in your comforter or the packaging your fast-food came in, plastic is virtually impossible to avoid in the modern world. And millions of tons of it ends up in our oceans each year. This video from Vice News has more on the crisis and what is being done to combat the problem.