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Bayle's Boat Yard - TravelStorys

North Shore Maritime Back Story

Location Trip Time Travel Type
New York 1 hour

Bayle's Boat Yard

Narrator Kevin Rogan: Welcome to the North Shore Back Story tour, where you can hear stories about local traditions. Along the North Shore stand several historic boat yards, including the Bayles Boat Yard, now used as the Village Center. The Village Center is one of the restored shipyard buildings from the original yard. A few yards away there is the Bayles Boat Shop, a volunteer run effort by the Long Island Sound Eco Center. On any given day you will meet a tight knit group of men and women of all ages who love to work on wooden boats, past and present. The group started in 2006 when the shop was built. Listen to Charles Kenny, a volunteer who we interviewed in 2011. Charles Kenny: I grew up on the water, Great South Bay, Bay Shore, Long Island, New York. I had a fascination with boats. Of course, we were still using wooden craft in the mid-50s. My first boat was a 15-foot Old Town cedar lap strake on oak frames. I was ten years of age. I maintained that vessel for five years. We did some structural repairs when the boat was damaged, and that interested me. As youngster we would build boat houses and little rafts that we could launch in the water. I’ve been part of [building] 12 or 13 vessels at this point. We’ve been operating this program for twelve years. We always have one or two boats [projects] going on at any one time. We are right now restoring a circa 1928 / 1930 SS Sloop. It was designed in 1906 by Benjamin Hallock from Center Moriches. It was donated to us. We are now completing the restoration. We replaced all the ribs. We are replacing some of the planking. We are replacing the decking. We are replacing the stem. We are replacing the transom and some other structural pieces in the vessel.  We use a broad range of tools. We use everything from a band saw, a thickness planer. We use a lot of hand tools, wooden planes, shavers, Japanese pull saws. The skills are fairly broad-based. The most important thing is to be able to read a set of plans. Then do offsets. You use the offsets to define the dimensions of the pieces that you are working on whether it’s a plank, a stem or a rib. A restoration project generally involves many surprises. You have to understand what the builder was thinking. Why he fashioned pieces a certain way, even if you have a set of drawings or plans, frequently a builder will utilize different approaches which are not depicted in the plans or drawings. It is a lot of fun, it’s detective work. But it is slow going.  Narrator Kevin Rogan: The Bayles Boat Shop volunteers work year-round. To support their efforts visit [href=http://www.lisec.org/boat-shop]www.lisec.org/boat-shop[/href]. Ready for more stories? Continue on our North Shore Back Story tour, curated by Nancy Solomon and produced by Long Island Traditions. This project is funded by the New York State Council on the Arts and the Robert Gardiner Foundation.

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