Bringing the Block Island Double-Ender Home

John Puckett, a graduate of the wooden boatbuilding and restoration program at the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) in Newport, RI, has set out to create a replica of a historical Block Island double-ender sailboat. He plans to restore the boat to historically accurate conditions with help from the Block Island Historical Society.
Author:
Publish date:
 Photo courtesy of John Puckett

Photo courtesy of John Puckett

John Puckett, a graduate of the wooden boatbuilding and restoration program at the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) in Newport, RI, has set out to create a replica of a historical Block Island double-ender sailboat. He plans to restore the boat to historically accurate conditions with help from the Block Island Historical Society.

Block Island double-enders were the main method of transportation for Block Islanders in the 18th and 19th centuries, until schooners and catboats became more popular. Double-enders were designed and built on the island and have been considered one of the most seaworthy open boats ever built.

Screen-shot-2013-07-23-at-12.58

The unique boat design was key for maintaining the fishing and agricultural lifestyles of the early Block Islanders. The pointed ends were ideal for the rolling waves that consistently crash on Block Island’s shores. A light and strong hull design allowed fishermen access to shore without a harbor and the ability to pull boats onto the beach with ease. The rig provided an array of options for sail area in the ever-changing New England weather.

Puckett said only two double-enders were reported lost in their 150 years of heavy use; one hit a rock and sunk, and the other was resolved as lost at sea.

In 1942, the Block Island Historical Society made a new logo that featured a double-ender. The image also became part of the Town of New Shoreham Coat of Arms. There is even a Double Ender Committee that takes the lead on Block’s annual July 4 parade.

According to Puckett, original double-enders have become extinct and very few replicas exist nationwide. He dreams of having a full-size replica in the place where the quirky boats originated, Block Island. 

Click here to donate to this awesome homegrown project

Related

Before-and-after-1_silo

Know How: Cleaning Stainless

Without a doubt, the best way to “clean” stainless steel parts is to have them electropolished. Electropolishing is an electrochemical process that cleans the stainless and removes any surface iron particles, leaving a shiny and far more rust-resistant surface. The downsides of ...read more

catstory

Cruising: Sailing With a Young Family

The dark is alive when you are surrounded by water. Black is tinted blue and silver, and sky meets surf with electricity and the lapping sounds of silence. Inside our 36ft catamaran, moored off Cooper Island in the BVI, the raw nature outside, just now settling down from a late ...read more

IslandPacket349

Boat Review: Island Packet 349

After years of quiescence in the wake of the Great Recession, iconic Island Packet is back with its new 349, a re-boot of the old Estero that not only looks great, but takes the Island Packet style of sailing performance to a new level. Design & Construction First among the many ...read more

190219NEEL51

Video Tour: Neel 51 Trimaran

At this past fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, SAIL magazine had a chance to corner Neel Trimarans founder Eric Bruneel and have him give us a tour of the accommodations aboard the new Neel 51, winner of the “Multihull over 50ft” category in the 2019 Best Boats contest. For a complete ...read more

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more