Picton Clinker & Classic Boat Club
Maggie : A Pulling Boat from Southport, Maine.
12ft x 3ft 10 in
John McConway farmed at Cape Campbell and as a boy fished with nets for Butterfish and Moki amongst the sheltered and winding channels of the reefs around the Cape. A delightful area to row along the quiet waters at low tide after the nets were set.
So after owning a wooden H28 for a number of years, the decision was made to go back to a historic style rowing boat. Long research into types of craft available, he chose a Boston Ship Chandlers Whitehall Rowing boat, a 16 ft x 4ft 2in from Howard Chappelles ‘American Small Sailing Craft’
Further research determined the best boat builder available was Lionel Jeffcoate of Governor’s Bay, Lyttelton and he completed her beautifully as a traditional Whitehall rowing boat.
Whitehall’s naturally have a lovely shape but she was an exceptionally fine example with a beautifully crafted sheer, delightful wineglass transom and a spritsail sailing rig.
Unfortunately she was burnt in an arson attack while stored in a Picton Boat shed in 2006. It took John some considerable time to get over losing her, but in 2009 he decided a similar but smaller craft would be ideal as a replacement.
More research followed and a plan from Mystic Seaport, Connecticut in USA showed a pretty little craft of 12ft x 3ft 10in beam. The 1920 original, named Capt Hook was discovered and donated to the Seaport Museum in 1973. In fair condition it was restored and put into Seaport livery. Some years later it was retired for display and replaced in the livery by a museum built replica. However, her pretty lines and offsets were taken off to produce in their catalogue ‘A Pulling Boat from Southport Maine, Capt Hook’ Accession no 1974 – 472, Catalogue No 7-102.
With a remarkably similar sheer line, she is described as a typical Whitehall in construction and served many years in the Mystic Harbour Boat Livery as a favourite craft for a rower and passenger or two until finally being retired.
While Lionel Jeffcoate was still actively building boats, despite Johns request to build his latest venture, Lionel was unable to do so and John approached Roy Jones to build her for him.
The Plans called for carvel planking but John decided to have her built in Clinker style with some very minor modifications such as increased curvature to the transom top edge and fitted sculling nock.
In shape she is similar to a Whitehall with a good bit of deadrise amidships but more rake to the stem, however, her transom is not as pronounced in the wineglass shape and style as the traditional Whitehall’s generally display.
She rows very well. While an outboard can be fitted for Club runs, ‘Maggie’ is a simple rowboat with no concession to motor or sail, purely intended to enjoy the peace and sights of the shoreline on these clear calm winter days.