By Kent and Audrey Lewis, Chesapeake Bay Chapter members

We have been boating for decades, in craft ranging from 8 feet up to 22. Through the years we have gravitated to small sail, oar and paddle boats, with one vintage Sorg 15 lapstrake runabout thrown into the mix just for fun. About a decade ago we got into restoration as a hobby to supplement our boating adventures.

Within the vein of restoration our focus is vintage Alcort sailboats, our current fleet includes a prototype wooden Sunfish from 1953, a 1953 Alcort Sailfish and another 1950s wooden Super Sailfish. We have built a Penobscot 14 and are currently building a 7′ 7″ Nutshell Pram.

In 2016 we were fortunate enough to be given the honor of restoring the 1880s Mississippi River Skiff BARBASHELA, originally designed and built by Captain T. P. Leathers of steamboat Natchez fame. BARBASHELA was a mess, almost destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, so we could do no wrong with bringing her back to life and taking her out for a row once the restoration was complete.

Our blog adventures are logged at and we are happy to answer questions for folks embarking on their own small boat restoration.

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