Suzanne Leahy, Spar Builder at the Beetle Boat Company in Wareham, Mass. and her crew have been taking the work of building the mast for the sailboat Eleanor very seriously. The Hudson River Historic Boat Restoration & Sailing Society contracted with the Beetle Boat Company last summer to build the 35’3″ mast, the 25′ boom and the 14′ gaff. The light weight mast is built using staves cut from Sitka Spruce from the north western part of the United States. Suzanne says that the spruce stock is some of the best/clearest she has ever seen. The photo shows the staves in the birds mouth technique of spar building before they are clamped. The mast will be loaded onto a 40′ lathe which will shape the mast into its final round shape.
The goal of $18,000.00, the cost to build the three spars, was achieved through sales of souvenir hand crafted wooden Eleanor ornaments, tee shirts, contributions from members and friends, and fund raisers; the most recent one, The Great Lawn and Grand Porch Party held in May at Rokeby, Barrytown. The next major fund raising effort will be for the sails which are being custom made for the 1903 Clinton Crane sailboat by Nat Wilson, in East Boothbay, Maine. To insure that all parts of the rig are in balance it was necessary for Wilson and Leahy to collaborate on the sail and spar plan.