“On The Rocks” With A Twist Of Oak and Copper.


It could have been worse

On The Rocks Update. Well, she did experience some damage, but mostly cosmetic and she performed as designed and built. We try and stay up on her bottom and other parts, and it paid off big time. just last year we had replaced some softer wood that could have gone further, but why? And thats the area that was hit. So that simple choice to stay ahead of it saved her, and possibly us. Her bottom has been refastened about 10 years ago. I will let the photos tell the rest of the story

Prepping the Rails for Sweet Pea

Pushing the rail down in the water

Guiding her on her bunk

Slowly up she goes

And out

The rocks took out half of the Oak Skeg

It shredded the copper covering

It all performed as designed, and the bottom is okay. Some scars, but we stay on top of her bottom. Hold on, mind warp.

Looks horrible.

A little Keel damage

A chance to paint the bottom. Clean off all the Barnicles and put on some new sacrificial leads

Ya, I had some fun.

The guys had the Skeg removed by afternoon and ready for her new oak one today. Bottom painted and some other repairs. Should be off the rails by tomorrow. Amazing.

This is one of my favorite places on the planet earth. It’s a wonderful time warp, before anything digital, hell, before anything electrical.

She is a cornerstone of Reedvilles history.

These photos could have been taken 100 years ago, and nothing would be different.

Spending timeless time is one of the truest gifts of life.

Regarding the rocks in the Bay. I have sent off a note to our Congressmen to please assist in getting the Coast Guard to fix this. No one is happy about this around here. Putting a marker on it may seem simple for us to do. BUT, it opens up all sorts of liability if it goes bad, and the Coast Guard knows how to do it right. This area can be rough. But the Rocks need to be dealt with. And we will be pounding away at that. While pounding away at Sweet Peas, keel. Thank god this wasnt in WECATCHEM, and the experience although jarring, is just another wonderful chapter in boating. I consider myself lucky to live here and have the support of our friends!

17 replies
  1. Dave Clyne
    Dave Clyne says:

    What a story today ! Amazing process, fabulous photos and happy ending in sight. Well done, Matt. Sweet Pea deserves a little lovin’

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Even though it could have been worse, I got chills just looking at the damage. You are so fortunate to have the Marine Railway and the guys that run it. A great boat yard with people that know what they are doing is getting hard to find. Great story!

  3. Murdock
    Murdock says:

    Glad all turned out well for the crew AND Sweet Pea!
    This also shows that we need local and competent help when it comes to close disasters such as this.
    Support your local marina and all that surrounds your waterways. Whether it’s a tow, fuel, storage, service, lunch or a shoulder to lean on for times like these, we need a working waterfront. NOT another condo development!
    Stay safe, stay strong!

    • Dennis Mykols
      Dennis Mykols says:

      Amen, brother and I am glad you are one of those gentlemen that put your money (soul) where your mouth is, (as the old saying goes).
      Thanks from all us woodyboaters from Michigan, for stepping up and saving the Howe Marina.

  4. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    That keel certainly did her job protecting the rest of the boat and you all.

    Glad everyone is safe!!!

  5. Cameron
    Cameron says:

    Matt, great sharing that experience with everyone. The pictures really tell the story. Great place, good people.

  6. Cameron
    Cameron says:

    Matt, great sharing that experience with everyone. The pictures really tell the story. Great place, good people.
    Can you explain why Sweet Peas hull looks ‘wrinkled’ in your photo like fingers too long in a bath? I’m interested, not criticising.

  7. Darthtrader
    Darthtrader says:

    My first job when I was 15 was at a Keffer’s boatyard in Deep Creek, VA. where I used to have to scrape barnacles off boats that had just been hauled out. Then we painted the bottoms with red paint. Obviously, NOTHING has changed in 60 years of marine railway design. This story was like a time travel adventure for me. You are lucky to live in Reedville.

  8. Speedboat Outlaw
    Speedboat Outlaw says:

    Visited Reedville before there was a Woodyboater Blog and still have good memories of the stores, museum, and boatyard. Don’t tell everyone what a great place it is, you don’t know how some people spell development ! Sweet Pea is in good hands.

  9. Frank@Falmouth
    Frank@Falmouth says:

    That piece in the photo “it shredded the copper covering” will make an excellent wall hanging piece of art…. as is ..
    great story and we are lucky to have people and places like George Butlers around still …

  10. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Boat, Keel, Skeg and especially George Butler…all performed perfectly. You are one lucky guy…. hit the only rocks in the whole Chesapeake and got away with it! Yeah…get those suckers marked…sadly aids to navigation maintenance has never recovered from the great recession.
    What a great railway, crew, and turn around time.
    Wooden boats: easy to fix….think of the nastyglass repair that would have required. Been Boating…John in Va.

  11. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    I have great memories of hanging out at marinas although my dad preferred airports because that was his thing (boring). Fortunately, my grandfather had a Chris Craft docked at Albert G. Frost Marina on Sebago Lake. Living near the coast of Maine I was exposed to several marina railways at Yarmouth Boat Yard, Royal River Boatyard, Rockport, and Falmouth Foreside, Maine. Citizens of Falmouth get a town mooring for $50 a year and Handy Boat nearby had a rail system to use. And there’s a great rail system you can observe while munching on you fried clams or lobster from the Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster Company next to Brewer South Freeport Marina next time you go to LLBean in Freeport. A lot more interesting than flat and hot airports.

  12. 72Hornet
    72Hornet says:

    It is amazing to see the Sweet Pea get some love! Love seeing the marine railway in use today. Our old marinas on Lake Okoboji used to have them for the runabouts back in the day, but they are all long gone. Cheers to you both for keeping a good outlook!

  13. Duster
    Duster says:

    Brilliant! Out of adversity comes forth sweetness. Isn’t it wonderful what came from a crunch. Nice one Matt. From disaster to happy place.

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