Monday, October 02, 2006

IYRS/Spaulding Wooden Boat Restoration School

Mike Peterson calls me up kinda last minute to tell me about this IYRS event thinking I might be interested and I'm at a loss as to what this organization does. Mike gives me the low down and it sounded interesting. The International Yacht Restoration School - / Spaulding Wooden Boat Center - - was having a fund raiser to promote their up and coming vocational school. I walked in not knowing really what I was getting into, but found a nice spread of food and drink and walked in on Terry Nathan (IYRS president) giving his speech on the value and need of such a facility. I was intreged by his passionate words... he clearly believed in what he was doing. He was so convincing that I had to meet and talk with him about what I could do to help. I'm not a rich man, but I do have resourses and since Nordic Folkboats were mentioned as a candidate for restoration my interest was perked.

This is Terry Nathan, president of the IYRS.

The IYRS and the Spaulding Wooden Boat Center are attempting to create an accredited career vocational school to promote the restoration of indigenious wooden boats such as IOD, Knarr and Folkboat (specifially mentioned in his speech). The two nonprofit groups have come together dedicated to education and the preservation of maritime heritage on the Sausalito waterfront, just steps away from West Marine. The two year program will be designed to train boat enthusiasts, at risk youths and emplyees of the area in the skillful art of wooden boat restoration. After talking with Terry, the opinion is that the Nordic Folkboat is the perfect 2nd year project for their school. So is the Knarr and IOD. As the only pure Folkboat representative in attendance and current secretary of the fleet, I am so happy I got off my lazy butt and went to this. In about a year when the financial resources are acquired this school will need a project boat and I intend on getting them a Folkboat to work on. It's time to rally the Folkboat troops, find a messed up old wooden boat and bring it to them... once the boat is there someone will put up the money to fix her up. I can think of two boats off the top of my head that would benefit form this school, but we have time. I got so excited about the prospect of keeping wooden Folkboats alive and well here in the bay area I couldn't help but think of my new friend Anders Olson in Sweden who is currently restoring the 2nd Folkboat ever built (See the rest of my blog for details under "Adventures with Anders"). He's written a book about the intricacies of restoring a Folkboat... problem is it is in Swedish. But what a resource that would be to this up and coming school! When I mentioned this to Terry he got just as excited as I did because I basically presented him with an expert in the field with a how to guide book. If I get my way, Anders will be brought in as a consultant... wouldn't that be cool? Or at least an inspirational voice. Imagine being an impressional young wood worker and having the likes of Anders Olsen come in and talk about the wooden boat you are restoring. Now you have to read about Anders to know what I'm talking about... It's like all of this was meant to happen to me. To be the glue that binds all these pieces together. I'll gladly take the role because this is really all I can offer, I'm not a rich man.
Although I feel the Folkboat class was excluded from this and I only heard about through a Knarr sailor and after asking around no Folkboater was invited, I feel as though our fleet must make a serious effort to get involved with this organization and keep Folkboats in the same light as Knarrs and IODs. We can start fundraising, get our guys together and keep our stamp on the bay as a long lasting, high quality racing fleet with functional, race ready wooden boats. My hope is this project gets off the ground and fulfills the vision already created by Terry Nathan.

I welcome your comments.


Blogger Ontario's Sunset Country said...

Great idea! Preserving maritime history is very important and the skills you will teach will be invaluable.

We are trying to restore a wooden boat over here in Canada. Wish we had more visionary thinkers like you over here. The blog is at

This was a 73 foot boat called the Argyle II. It lied the waters of Lake of the Woods, a very large lake in Ontario, Canada.

Good luck!

9:56 PM  

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