Beetles Before Restoration by Keith R Wahl, Made From RI Gallery
Beetles Before Restoration (select link to see a larger photo)
Beetle Cats in shades of worn buff stacked and awaiting restoration at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island.
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that will make me wax nostalgic than the view of a Beetle Cat. Next to that would be the restoration of a Beetle Cat. I have the model of a Beetle Cat over my shoulder as I write.
The summer of my fourteenth year, I shelled out some of my quahogging money and bought a Beetle Cat. I spent my summer sanding, painting, and repairing. There were no broken frames, but there was a need for a deck canvas. Replacing canvas meant learning to replace moldings and steam bending some wood.
I was fortunate in that I grew up in the maritime world as the son of a captain and marine surveyor. This brought me to the dean of Beetle Cats, a legendary figure, Mr. Leo Telesmanick.
Mr. Telesmanick offered a wealth of education and advice "off the books". How to build a steam box to bend wood. How to stretch canvas. How to make bungs to cover hull fittings. These were lessons that I never forgot.
By the end of summer, I had an oak framed, clear cedar-planked dream with fir trim and spars. I had painted the boat out with white hull sides, a green bottom, "Block Island" buff deck, and a grey cockpit. The brightwork gleamed with fresh varnish with no bubbles to mar the finish. My last touch was a bit of marlinspike work with a "turks head" knot on the tiller.
The Beetle Cats pictured are at the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport. This is a gem of a Rhode Island institution. And we are certain that these Beetle Cats will be "Shipshape and Bristol Fashion" in short order.
Learn more about Beetle Cats: Beetle Cat Boat Shop
Learn more about the International Yacht Restoration School: IYRS SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY & TRADES
© Keith R Wahl, Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keith R Wahl and Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Keywords: beetle cat, boat, catboat, international yacht restoration school, iyrs, Keith R Wahl, Made From RI Gallery, newport, Photography, restoration, rhode island, sailboat, waterfront
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