Buzzards Bay 30: Restoring Mashnee


Mashnee, a 1902 Herreshoff Buzzards Bay 30, was completely rebuilt and relaunched in 2008 by Darling’s Boatworks in Charlotte VT. The boat had been highlighted in the “save a classic” feature in WoodenBoat magazine – a stunning boat in deplorable condition – and Jan Rosenthal decided to step up and save her. The project was run in the shop under the supervision of George Darling, who drew on numerous marine resources to get it done.

Doug Hylan designed the rig, built the spars, and designed the new interior. The cabin top, centerboard and rudder were built off-site by French and Webb, who happened to be restoring three identical boats at the same time. The vast bulk of the work however was done by George’s in house team of builders and finishers, whom I had the good fortune to join for the project.

I came into the project as lead builder after a brief pause in her restoration. She had been reframed and given a new keel, as well as some of her deck structure. Once I came on, we faired her up a bit, added some more floor timbers and began to completely replank the boat in the Herreshoff fashion: single thickness caulked carvel below the water line, and double layer tight seam above.

With the hull complete, we went on to the new deck, a composite of tradition and modern with laid Port Orford cedar planks, topped by a layer of plywood (continuously scarfed sheets in all directions) overlaid with Dynel set in epoxy.

The interior was next, with full accommodations, systems, and luxuries. Along the way we tackled the nearly endless job of joinery and brightwork both above deck and below, as well as all the other myriad details that need to be attended to in a boat this size. The finished vessel is stunning, a testament to what careful planning, a dedicated vision, and a willingness to build to the highest standards can accomplish.