Messing About in Boats, Boots, and Byways:

Industrial Strength Dockware


Visiting a shrine on Erie's bayfront

    01 May 03: While visiting Erie, PA with the Reverend, we went down to the waterfront and discovered a shrine place -- the Bayfront Center for Maritime Studies. Although it was dinnertime, the director invited us in and told us all about the programs that the center runs for kids. He and kids in several different remedial programs are building a classic Erie boat right out of Chapelle's book on American sailing workboats, titled American Small Sailing Craft. The design is an Erie pound net boat, a two-masted, round hull design of 28 feet. The hull is strip-build using edge-glued stock with 1/4-inch rabbets and 1/4- by 1/2-inch splines.

    Erie fishermen used these pound net boats in the 19th century to drive pylons from which to drape fishing nets. Oddly enough, I purchased a copy of Chapelle's book in February when we were in Erie to try out the Splash Lagoon.


I loved the ripple pattern in the water at the Erie bayfront and hoped that the photo would show it. Success! That's a rusty, trusty mooring ring to the right.

Serious-sized bollard with ears moors a stern wheeler on the bayfront.
Erie pound boat has been abuilding at the Bayfront Center for Maritime Studies for 31 months so far. As the director told us, they are building kids with boats, not boats with kids. The day we were there in the evening, the crew had just finished installing the sheer, two laminations of 1/2-inch by 6-inch mahogany.

This detail shot shows the stern and floors of the Erie pound boat. All the materials are donated.

This view of the pound boat shows the bow and deck carlins, plus part of the centerboard case. In the background is a working Chris Craft of ancient vintage.
Big Tony sits around the corner from the Bayfront Center.
Pilgrim sits next to Big Tony.

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