Archive for » August 12th, 2013«

Children on sailing course rescued off Sligo coast

A group of children on a sailing course in Sligo Bay were rescued by the Sligo Bay RNLI this afternoon after their boats were caught unexpectedly in a swell.

The children and their instructors were in five small sailing dinghys when the swell caught them.

Two of the boats were capsized but one made it ashore.

The instructors from Sligo Yacht Club called for assistance immediately and were complimented for the actions by rescue personnel.

The RNLI launched a lifeboat which rescued nine of the party of 17 and later recovered the boats.

The children, who were aged between nine and 12, were medically assessed but did not require further treatment.

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85-year-old sailboat back in the water thanks to dozens of volunteers

Seasoned aficionados were on hand, old salts reliving sailing lore, as a restored 1928 Duxbury Duck sailboat called the Merry Wing was launched Saturday on the high tide at the Jones River Landing Environmental Heritage Center.

“These are absolutely beautiful boats. They’re very sweet to sail,” Sherm Hoyt said.

Hoyt is a Duxbury boater who has a Duxbury Duck and donated the beaten hull of another in need of “a new backbone” to the Landing for restoration.

“The boat will sail itself,” he said, telling tales of his son sleeping on the deck as the boat was being sailed at night.

The Merry Wing is an 18-footer that was restored by a crew of about 80 volunteers over the past seven years. They worked for two hours every Wednesday evening at the Landing and were led by Peter Arenstam, the Landing’s boat shop director and captain of the Mayflower II.

“There is some emotional connection that people make with boats,” Arenstam told about 100 people at the gathering Saturday. “That’s what has happened again with this.”

He described how the volunteers bonded with a unique camaraderie on the project.

“I am extremely pleased to be part of this process. Jones River Landing has the growth opportunities to do so much for the community and for the river,” he said.

Rick Stetson, president of the Jones River Watershed Association, said the boat was in “very poor condition” before it was brought to the same shipyard where renowned boat builder George Shiverick had his shop from 1895 to 1940. It was “lovingly restored” by volunteers who spent hours handcrafting the wooden planks, he said.

The Landing is said to be the oldest continually operating boatyard in the nation.

Pine duBois, executive director of the watershed association, called the opportunity to restore the historical boat “an honor and privilege.” She said she was proud to continue shipbuilding traditions that Shiverick established.

Hoyt paid $5,000 for the hull and then challenged the Landing’s first boat shop director, Reuben Smith, to have the shop’s volunteers restore it. Hoyt said he would pay for the needed materials.

Arenstam took over as boat shop director in 2008.

The boat was christened by Doris Johnson of North Plymouth, who lived in Kingston for 40 years and served as the town historian.

The Merry Wing was one of a historic class of vessels built by Shiverick. His boats were seen throughout Kingston, Plymouth and Duxbury harbors.

The Duxbury Duck has a centerboard and was designed by one of Boston’s famous yacht designers, John Alden, Johnson said. He adapted an 18-foot design for the Duxbury Yacht Club to give it “a little more show.” About 20 were ordered by the club.

“They are easy to sail and not expensive to build, and not as wide as a catboat but wider than the fin-keeled boats that are tippy,” Johnson said.

The Ducks were so popular that they used to have three racing heats in Duxbury to accommodate them all.

Volunteer David Wood read a poem he wrote celebrating the restoration. Titled “Merry Wing,” the poem contains this verse:

“Put a hand on my tiller and a hand on my rail, let’s dance with the wind and bend on a sail.”

Reach Sue Scheible at, 617-786-7044, or The Patriot Ledger, P.O. Box 699159, Quincy 02269-9159. Read her Good Age blog on our website. Follow her on Twitter@sues_ledger. READ MOREGood Age columns.

READ MORE about the Duxbury Duck.

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