Daily Archives: August 30, 2012

Old Sloops in Salem Harbor

I returned to Salem and the coast in time for the Antique & Classic Boat Festival at Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem Harbor, a great event that was cancelled last year because of Hurricane Irene.  This year, the festival’s 30th, the weekend weather was perfect. It’s a nice event because it’s intimate:  there are perhaps 30 boats with their owners right there, very ready to talk about their vessels and even invite you on board (at least some of them).  Plastic is seldom in sight:  it’s all about wood. There are both sailboats and power boats on view from different eras; this particular year, there seemed to be a preponderance of boats from the 1930s.

Several Sloops:  The “Loon”, built in 1937 at Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and two Dutch-built sloops from 1951:  the last sloop, “Rum Shark”, is owned by a Salem artist friend of mine.

I learned all about catboat variations and inspected some beautiful cabins on old power cruisers, often the party boats, with quite a few people on board.  Again–lots of wood. These custom-built boats all dated from the 1930s:  I had no idea that boat commissions flourished during the Depression.

A few sailboats, including Victor, a Cape Cod Catboat dating from 1916, the oldest boat in the festival, and then the power cruisers, including Satin Doll from Salem and Ghost, built in Islesboro, Maine in 1934.

I searched in vain for my favorite boat from past festivals:  Chris-Craft speedboats from the early 1960s.  No luck this year, but the 1960 advertisement below brings them back.