Our Fleet

We’ve recently had two boats donated to us: Peanuts, a Blue Jay, and an El Toro. Both boats were made by hand by the donor. He was nice enough to share a little bit of the story with us and we wanted to share the story here too:

El Toro

“While living in Fairfax, VA I crewed for Dr. James Gilbert on his Lightning class sailboat. In 1961 he obtained the jib for building the El Toro dinghies. We formed a group to build about 8 or 10 boats. I purchased enough 4×8 sheets of 1/4” mahogany marine plywood and some mahogany planks from Stenerson Veneer mill outside of Baltimore. Stenersons was a strip veneer mill and the planks were the “back boards,” that were left from strip cutting the logs. When I took a new job on Long Island, in early 1962, no one else could take on the project so I took the material with me to Long Island. I used up a lot of the plywood and about one half of the mahogany on various boating projects I got involved in, like the Blue Jays, while on Long Island.  After moving to North Carolina I decided I should make some El Toros using the mold I had been carrying around since we moved to Long Island. I decided to make four boats, one for each of my children and one for me. I had to buy more plywood since I had used up all but four sheets that I originally purchased in 1961. In 1961 the 4×8 sheets of 1/4″ mahogany marine plywood cost around $8.50 per sheet. In 2000 the new plywood cost $85 per sheet.”

Blue Jay

“The first building project was in 1958. It was headed by Fred Horn. They built forms (2 I believe) to assemble the frames. Each member took a form home and built all of that frame for the project. They also made 2 jigs to assemble the boats. They then formed teams and assembled 23 boats working nights and weekends. I was told the boats were picked by lot. I moved to Sayville in February 1962. I met Fred Horn at a party and he talked me into building a Blue Jay. He loaned me the forms and jig to assemble a boat. I was assigned no. 2979 in March 1962. I finished the boat that winter and spring and raced it that summer in the Blue Jay senior class. While building the first boat I made a second set of frames so I could build a second boat for my children later on. At the end of the 1963 season I purchased a Great South Bay R boat. I then sold my boat to E.A. Kratzman who summered in Bay Port. In 1963 William Bock organized a second project using the forms and jigs from the first project. In 1966 the Wet Pants hosted the Blue Jay Nationals…In 1967 I finished my second Blue Jay for my children. It was no 4640 and named Peanuts.”