My SS Pilgrimage

Well, your humble blog editor is currently visiting Long Island (a once-a-year event) and this morning I decided to take advantage of the monsoon season here and visit the Long Island Maritime Museum in West Sayville. Greatly appreciative of the SS that I currently sail and my interest in the wooden boat world, I Carpe Diemed the day.

There are several exhibits and historic buildings on the grounds, and the one of particular interest to me was the museum's small craft building. I obtained a list of the some 76 vessels that are housed here for preservation. Included here is essentially a collection of boats built by the "who's who" of historic Long Island boatbuilders of the 19th and 20th century. There's a Herreshoff 12 1/2 (very impressed to see a Herreshoff in person for the first time), several Gil Smith's, Wilbur Ketchum's , and a few Benjamin Hallocks. Of course Mr. Hallock's designs are of note for the SS community, because he is our original designer and boat builder.

The Avalon, a Herreshoff 12 1/2, built in 1914, in prestine condition.
There are currently two SS's that reside at the Maritime Museum. One is the most recently built, the Barry-A which was built by a band of museum volunteers, with Martin Sievers as the main builder, in 2001. Officially SS #155, it is one of the last builds, just older than Beecher Halsey's Ghost, built in 2008.

The Barry-A was easy to find at the museum, it was actually outside, near the Penny boatshop (outside photo). It may sound silly and quite foreign to the rest of the SS community, but this was the first time I had ever seen another SS in person, other than my own. I spotted it a mile away.

The second SS in possession of the Museum, Eight Ball, is SS #8, built in 1914 by Benjamin Hallock! It was donated by Ed Dalmasse and the Hansen family to the museum, and subsequently the museum has had it on exhibition for years at the Islip MacArthur Airport in Islip, Long Island, where it greeted travellers. Only recently did SS #8 "disappear from the public" -- the past months several folks have even emailed me, wondering if I knew its whereabouts. 

Checking the list of vessels in the Museum's Small Craft Building, a list that was given to me very kindly by volunteers there, I found SS #8 listed in the building.

Many wonderful wooden boats are found in the SCB -- and you can peruse the boats up close, without any hindrance of ropes and such. Photographs are welcome too, and the curator there is happy that you have an interest in many of these wonderful gems. As I made my way slowly around the room, however, I did not find #8, only it's descriptive plaque.
A hearty two thumbs up to visit / support the Long Island Maritime Museum. They are doing great work there.

1 comment:

  1. Just want to let you know that as part of our winter lecture series here at the Long Island Maritime Museum, on Sunday February 9 at 12:30pm we will host a lecture on the building of SS #155. The speaker is Martin Sievers, who led our team of volunteers in the construction. There is no charge for admission.