The End is Just the Beginning

Day one of Merry Wing Restoration

Some of you may remember this photograph. It was taken very early on, if not on the first day of the restoration of the Duxbury Duck Merry Wing. I was not there but I have been told the boat was so tender that when it was moved into the shop the keel fell out of the bottom of the boat. For those of you without a strong background in boat building and restoration, that is a good sign your boat is in bad shape. The restoration process is well documented elsewhere and there is photo montage of out work on the main page of the MBMA section of this site.

Well, skip forward some seven or eight years of Wednesday evenings, and really what’s a year here or there when your having fun, when Merry Wing once again looks like the coquette she must have been in her youth sailing on the waters of Kingston and Duxbury Bays. (Again, there is a photo montage of the restoration process and re-launch ceremonies on the MBMA site.)

This is her on re-launching day: 

Re-Launching Day: August 10, 2013.

As you may be able to tell by the dates on these photos, things don’t always move quickly at the Landing but progress is made every day.

The boat was hauled from the water soon after this picture was taken, (we were all leery of leaving such a lovely creation to the whims of the wind and tide on the river).

After the champagne bottles were cleared away and the euphoria of the day waned, we began to think that, as Merry Wing is a sailing boat and we did spend much time and effort on her restoration it is only fitting that we actually step the mast, bend the sails and take the boat out for a cruise.

Sorting out which line goes where.

This picture was taken on October 25th of 2014.

As I say things don’t always move at lightening speed but things do happen if you are patient.

It was a lovely fall morning, just right for a test sail, calm wind, clear skies and a motorized chase boat (in the foreground of the above shot), just in case.

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I should add that in the above photo you can also see Kevin working a small pump in Merry Wing. The day we launched her back in the summer of 2013 the boat took on a negligible amount of water, much to our secret astonishment. On this day in October the boat also only took on a very minor amount of water, (really), but Kevin being the racing enthusiast that he is, insisted we lighten the boat as much as possible. I have to say, as it turns out, we were the fastest sailboat on the water that day.

The boat behaved beautifully, is very responsive to the helm and even put up with a crew still learning the lines. As the wind picked up that morning, so did our confidence.

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The lure of the islands called: We made a course past Captain’s Hill in Duxbury for Clark’s Island, until we looked back along our wake and realized we would have to pay for our exhilarating down-wind run with a long beat back up wind to the mouth of the Jones River, and… who could tell how long the wind would last.

Ah, but we had a secret weapon in the wind department: Those elegant turbines everyone thinks are there to make electricity.


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Just so no one worries we never came back, here we are, tacking our way back up the river to the boat ramp where our trailer was waiting to return the boat to the Landing. 

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As spring approaches look on this site for more opportunities to sail this magnificent boat on the waters she was designed and built to inhabit.

I will be updating this blog regularly as we gear up for MBMA’s next effort . This project will be new construction of a boat also designed specifically for these waters but intended to work for a living. There will be much more about it very soon. 

Please leave a comment here, write to me directly at peter@jonesriver.org or better yet, stop by the Jones River landing on Wednesday evenings from 7-9pm and see what’s happening.

1 Comment

  1. skeezichs

    she’s a beauty–nice job and glad you’re back in the blog business, Peter–

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