Sailing Through The Winter Solstice.

As we celebrate STTWS 2018, we decided to share the reasons our shipbuilders and designers had in mind for each boat, including construction and materials used. Enjoy.   

The Snallygaster. It started last year when Ed happened to see a Viking themed sailboat with a carved head and a big red sail.  This big red sail was perpendicular to the boat and it really caught Ed’s attention!  From then on, he only wanted to do a Viking ship. (Note: he over-ruled another, more whimsical Seuss-ish ideas that kids of all ages would like. And even though Ed LOVES the Dr. Seuss books, he only wanted to make a Viking longship).  When Ed purchased another boat to use for COTC, the owner said it had been modeled after Norwegian fishing boats, so that Norwegian link sealed the deal on the Viking ship.  We couldn’t come up with how to include people Vikings into the design, so Ed thought the ship could be overtaken by a sea serpent which threw the Viking men overboard.  That’s how the sea serpent came into the picture. We also thought that kids would love the dragon breathing fire!

About the same time, a neighbor, Thom Beckley (former owner of Endless Summer RVs) made a fish and crab baiting table base to replace a wooden one Ed had been using.  It was this table base that made us aware of Thom’s creativity and detailed metal cut work. We started to discuss our ideas for the boat with Thom and suggested that he get involved. We brainstormed ideas, names, design, details, etc. and the project came to life!  Thom said he “knew people” and could come up with the sea serpent design and fabricate it.  He said he can make the sail out of bent aluminum. And for the mast, we used an RV awning roll tube. It’s aluminum and its size was sturdy enough to hold the sail.

A friend suggested the name “Snallygaster,” saying that it was a Frederick folklore dragon – which was verified by a quick review on Wikipedia!

Construction. As far as materials, we applied at least 5 different sealing materials to the inside and outside to help stop / prevent leaks.  Then we used liquid wood and then wood epoxy in all the suspect areas.  We also applied fiberglass to the inside. We also coated the outside.

With help from a friend with CAD skills (Heather Smith), Thom created the design for the sea serpent to fit his machine and the scale of the Snallygaster came to life.  Heather also scaled and prepared the CAD program to create the Scottish dragon emblem for the sail and small pennant flag.

It was Thom’s creative genius that suggested making the sea serpent 3-paneled so that the inside white profile would reflect the green lighting on both sides and provide a 3-D effect.   The green panels of the sea serpent bodies are just painted plywood.  Thom made aluminum ring rims for each of the shields to allow us to mount the lighting inside the circumference. Thom also hand-hammered and antiqued each of the “bosses” (the hand protector piece of curved metal inside the shields). Each of these required over 200 mallet strikes to get the shape correct!  There are 10 bosses!

The vertical ribs of the sail were hand-rolled. Then we painted and antiqued the shields and attached the lighting to Snallygaster and the flag.  Ed did the rest of the lighting.  Marty Winpigler of Trim Excellence helped build and attach the decking and inner supports of the boat.  Thom also made metal brackets that would support each oar at a specific height and position to keep them from being repositioned by wind or the weight of snow/ice.  The cables used for the mast and concrete bucket weights were supplied by Gary Bloomfield of The Door Man Garage Doors.

Our charity. This was a pretty easy decision…. the five services provided by the Glade Valley Community Services (GVCS) programs. They include: a Food Bank, a Thrift Shop, an Emergency Relief Fund, the Holiday Toy Shoppe and a Back to School Supply distribution for parents and children. GVCS also administers the Peg and Orley Bourland Trade Scholarship annually and awards $1000 each May to a deserving student entering a trade or vocational field.



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