Report by Bette Heinzman – Southern New England Chapter Secretary

Saturday, April 21st dawned bright and sunny with a slight wind and NO RAIN! By the end of the day the temperature was in the low 60’s and the sun had come out.

Approximately 40 Chapter members gathered at the Lay House on the grounds of the CT River Museum in Essex, CT around 9:00 a.m. for a meet and greet “coffee and”.  Chapter President Lynn McFarlin welcomed everyone and gave a quick overview of what would occur during the workshop day.

We all went down to the Museum Boathouse for David McFarlin’s presentation on “Why Boats Sink”. 

David is an Accredited Marine Surveyor and works for a large insurance company doing boat/yacht marine claims.  David’s presentation was definitely an eye-opener!  One won’t think there would be so many ways or issues that would cause a boat to sink. Great questions were asked and everyone came away with a better understanding of “Why Boats Sink”.

Next up was Schuyler Thomson’s demonstration on Rib Bending. Schuyler had fired up the steamer earlier in the day so he was all ready to show the group the fine art of bending ribs.  He had a canoe that he had started bending ribs for and the group was able to almost complete attaching the ribs to the strong-back. This was a great “hands-on” activity and everyone had great fun participating. 

Cliff McGuire joined us back at the Lay House and passed out information regarding Boating Safety.   We all enjoyed seeing Cliff as he has been feeling a little “under the weather” and he definitely enjoyed being with the group.

Pizza, salad and homemade cookies were served for lunch and it all disappeared very quickly.  DaVinci’s Pizza in Deep River was the provider of the delicious food.

Back to the Museum Boat House we went to listen to Brenda Milkofsy (CT River Museum Trustee) give a talk on Boat Designer Erie Way.  Again, a very informative session and we thank Brenda for her time.

Kathy Muller (Muller Boat Works, Sunapee, NH) was next up on the agenda and gave a very informative session on Varnishing.  Kathy is one of the foremost varnishers in the country and she is often asked to give demonstrations during the Antique Boat Show in Clayton, NY.  Great questions were asked and everyone came away with tips on how to varnish their boats – small things that you wouldn’t even think of.

Chapter member Chris Johnson brought his beautiful Shepherd and explained to the group on “How to Properly Set up a Trailer”.  Again, a very informative session.  Unfortunately for Chris, he got hung up in traffic and 3-1/2 hours travel time.

On behalf of the Officers and Directors, we thank all of the members who attended as well as our presenters for making our Spring Workshop the success that it was. – Bette Heinzman-Chapter Secretary

Thanks, Bette Heinzman, for sharing this report about a full day of learning.

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