Boats, mostly classic ones, have been my fascination for many years. I’ve been “messing about in boats” for most of my adult life; I was recently married, out of the Navy, and missing the water…and I had just read the book, “Tinkerbelle”.
It took a few years (3 toddlers) but I bought an old fishing boat and felt compelled to make some cosmetic changes. I can’t even remember if the boat had a name, but I never really loved it (and of course never had enough time).
I bought the plans to create a motorsailor and built it in my garage. I named her “Change of Habit” , she was 24′. Took the kids up and down the CT River for a few seasons and then I sold her.
Switched my interests to motorcycling and “Jeep”ing but the water called me back; I saw the plans for a Glen L sloop in an ad, 22′, and decided to build it. By that time the kids were all over 20 and I wanted to do some serious sailing, esp. after I’d read “Serrafyn” by Lin and Larry Pardey. I even changed the Glen L sloop into a cutter rig so “Jacana” was a bit of custom work.
I sailed a few years in the CT-RI-MA area but kept reading about solo ocean passages and wanted very much to cross the Atlantic. Made plans to do it in Jacana and sailed her to Bermuda and back in 1993.
Jacana was great for one but just a bit too small for 2 plus full time living aboard; by that time I’d found someone crazy enough to try sailing around the world with me so I built a Lyle Hess 29′ 6″ Bristol Channel Cutter and we moved aboard; we sailed to Bermuda and the Caribbean where misfortune took our lovely Plough, one of our cats, and half of my right thumb.
We returned to CT to pick up our lives and bought a Grand Banks, “Emma Lou”. I completely refurbished that 36′, 1966 all wooden vessel and we spent a few years traveling up and down the Intercoastal Waterway for summers in CT and winters in FL.
But I wanted to make that Atlantic crossing…before we sold Emma Lou, we found “Argonaut”, our first fiberglass boat but still of a vintage (1979) that included a ton of wood; she’s a 45′ Brewer Center Cockpit ketch, full displacement and really heavy, a perfect cruising boat.
Of course I had to modernize her as well so the first couple of years I worked on many changes. We left CT for FL in autumn 2006 intending to start our crossing from there in spring 2007.
We accomplished the goal instead in May 2008 from CT, arriving at Gibraltar mid-September after stopping in Bermuda, the Azores, and some of Atlantic coastal Portugal and Spain.
After a year in the Mediterranean, having visited Spain, Italy, Tunisia, and Greece, we left Gibraltar for the second time in October 2009 and stopped in Atlantic Morocco and the Canaries before a long 30-day crossing to Barbados.
We island hopped to FL, crept up the East Coast to CT, and arrived exactly 2 years to the day we’d left.
Since then, we’ve been living aboard and are just this autumn 2011 moving off the boat. I returned to making models (see Billsboatmodels), and got into a major renovation of a friend’s boat.
So this site is for photos of work that is not models. I’ve lost a lot of photos over the years but hopefully this digital-only, web-based site will help preserve what’s left.