|History of the Col. Lewis||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.