History of the Col. Lewis

First Stages of Re-building

First float in 27 years

Re-building (frames)

Re-building (planks)



Fave Boat Building Schools

Assorted Details

Other Sharpie hull designs

Photos From WBF 2007

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According to family lore, Grandpa Berk and Great-Uncle Robert added a sail to the old wooden fishing boat they found on the shores of Lake Superior.  I have to confess that I am a bit skeptical that anyone fishing in a wooden boat on Lake Superior in the early 20th Century would have done so without multiple means of propulsion.  Outboard engines were only just being developed back then, and the prospects of rowing a boat-load of fish in anything but flat water would seem pretty daunting.  So personally, I would be surprised if the original hadn't had some sort of sail power.  Now, I think it is perfectly reasonable to think that Berk and Robert stitched a new sail and added their own masts, spars, and stays. Whatever the true story is, we will probably never know. 

What I do know is that Berk and Robert set up the boat with a gaff-rig sail and a small jib.  I don't know if it says more about our superb organization, or our inability to ever throw anything away, but even though it's been in storage in several different places for nearly 30 years, I was able to find nearly every piece of hardware and rigging.  Of all the bits and pieces, the only things that are missing are one turnbuckle, and 3 bronze rings that attach the sail to the mast (and one of those was swiped for the windchimes you can hear in the background in Colonel Lewis:  First Looks, which is a 26.3 MB QuickTime video).

In the short term, I will use a white nylon sail that was given to me by Brad Wright, via Peter Lape.  All I know is that it was originally on a Bermuda-rigged 22' sharpie.  Eventually, I will stitch my own replacement sail, which is currently being designed and cut by PT Sails.  But for now, I simply cut off the peak of the Bermuda rig and sewed it to roughly match the outline of the original mains'l.
Original gaff-rigged sail (with fire damage along the luff) overlying
the temporary replacement sail.  Note the difference in size of the 
jib sails in the upper right hand corner of the photo.
The Bermuda-rigged sail chopped for re-stitching.  I simply
folded the reinforced luff down to become the head of the sail.
The original sail in use in 1979.
The temporary replacement.  The throat angle looks a 
little bit too large in the replacement sail.  Ah, well.....