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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Nostalgia

Taking a look back, 2010 was a great year for the WFC. The amount of people we provide access to the Oyster Bay estuary continues to rise year after year. The secret is out and we are thrilled to share the beauty with anyone who will listen. Our fleet of boats and kayaks and our teams of naturalists and sailing instructors are ever eager to engage with people who come down for a day outside, exploring and discovering! We were excited to see people take advantage of the opportunities we provide and we were fortunate to have great weather, good breeze and a fun group of people always around.

The WFC began preparations early in 2010 prepping the Christeen for another busy season with new bottom paint and black paint for the topsides.  By early April we were off and running towards a record setting year aboard the Christeen and nearly 3,500 passengers stepped aboard for a sail, WOW!

Our Community Nights were a big hit offering free kayaking and discounted sailboat rentals to the public. We were excited to see people come down and take advantage of the opportunities to spend time on the water and enjoy it in a responsible way. New hourly rentals for sailboats and extended seasonal hours made it easy to come down and go for a sail in the morning or in the evening to catch a sunset. Kayak rentals were available seven days a week and people took advantage of an easy way to relax and get some exercise. Many people kayaked down to the Bayville Bridge and many others explored the tidal marshes along the western coast of West Harbor.
The staff of the WFC is extremely grateful to all of our customers and volunteers who make the WFC the place to come on Long Island if you want to rent a sailboat, learn how to sail, kayak, charter a sailboat and learn about the marine environment. Thank you for helping us create such a fantastic place.  Without your smiling faces and love for the sport of sailing and the marine environment, the WFC would be a much different place.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! See you in 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Mast, On its way

Christeen's new mast seen above, being turned at Historical Seaport's spar shop is about ready to be shipped over from the great state of Washington to the Western Waterfront. Historical Seaport did a rough turn for us getting the mast down to the approximate dimensions. The shipwrights and volunteers will then shape the mast as needed as to recreate an identical, historically accurate replica of the existing mast. The mast should arrive by early January along with the new keel. Preparations for both are moving along nicely, but there is much work still to be done!

Below is a video of a similar mast being turned for a replica of the one of Columbus' ships, the Nina.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Keel NO more

December 17, 2010

Christeen's original keel removed from her framing - watch the video as the keel drops from the boat.

The next video is of the keel being pulled out from underneath the boat with a forklift and metal pipe rollers.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Christeen’s deconstruction has been moving along this winter, volunteers have been pulling their oars coming in each day to assist Josh and Joe and manage their own projects like working on the centerboard, standing rigging, the wheel house and other projects going on simultaneously alongside the major keel repair. 
Volunteers have given more than 100 hours working on the centerboard thus far
Josh Herman - courtesy of Peter Braune
Friday may be the big day, with all the frames marked and removed from the keel, the shipwrights have ventured to say they may attempt to drop the keel very soon, as soon as Friday December 17th – ahead of schedule! This is due in no small part, as has been mentioned before, to the way the boat was built by the volunteer effort in 1998 when Christeen was re-launched. However, the effort the volunteers are putting in this winter cannot be overlooked, because of them the cradle for the boat was built with little help from the shipwrights along with a multitude of other jobs and tasks like sawing lumber for the project with the saw mill. The effort the volunteers have put forth has been tremendous and the WFC is extremely grateful for the time these people have given to the project thus far, and look forward to working alongside them as the Christeen is put back together.

Some of the frames removed from Christeen; labeled, cleaned and ready to be reinstalled

If you ever have a chance to stop by during the busy holiday season, this week and next week will be high activity weeks with a lot going on. Make the trip down to the Western Waterfront and say HI to the Christeen and meet some of the guys involved in getting her back in the water in the spring.

Josh & Joe - What's next?

Friday, December 10, 2010


The temperature is dropping and winter has officially settled in with ice forming in Cold Spring Harbor and Oyster Bay not too far behind with more cold weather on tap. However, the colder weather has not slowed the pace of the shipwrights and volunteers working on Christeen. The deconstruction process is approaching its half-way point as most of the frames have been cut and removed from the keel on the starboard side.

Volunteers remove nails from planks

Volunteers plug the nail holes in the frames

It is exciting to imagine a boat suspended from the strength of its frames, deck and deck beams but if any boat can handle the stress as she has over the past 10 sailing seasons dutifully taking people of all ages out on the bay to learn about the marine environment; Christeen has proven she can handle the pressure, literally.  As frames are cut away from her keel more and more weight is transferred away from the keel and into the skeleton of the boat. She was built or overbuilt as a working boat and the frames and deck beams are broad and strong easily handling the weight of the hull transferred from the keel. 
Frames removed from keel
This is an exciting time and progress can easily be seen, if you were thinking about stopping by but weren’t sure of the time, you can’t go wrong with any of the days leading up to the end of the year.  The guys will be here until they take the week of the 27th off for the holidays.

Shipwright removing frames

Volunteers sharpen rip saw blades

Monday, December 6, 2010


The past week was a busy one for Christeen as her repairs over the winter continue to move forward.

All planks necessary for the keel repair both outboard and inboard were removed from her frames. All but one plank was removed completely intact and undamaged. The planks, which were removed, are getting treated and prepped so they are ready to get refastened to the boat once the keel repair is finished. The fact the removal of the planks went so well is a testament to how the boat was constructed during her restoration in 1998. The volunteers and shipwright deserve a big round of applause for building the boat so well. Even the wedges used to hold the frames in place where they were mortised into the keel were easy to remove - a huge relief. Because of how well everything has progressed to date the project is ahead of schedule. Work on the centerboard has even begun.  Volunteers have been working the centerboard under supervision of the shipwrights.  During the past week it has been completely stripped down to new metal, cleaned and repaired.  We will begin to cut wood to sandwich the metal board in the middle to give it greater torsion strength and rigidity.  Once the wood has been fitted fiberglass and epoxy will wrap the entire piece to make it water-poof and strong.

Even though the repairs began just two months ago, a lot has already happened and fortunately the project has gotten off to a very strong start!
Volunteers working on the centerboard

Interior and exterior planking removed

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