A fortunate encounter during Lin and Larry Pardey’s visit to Sausalito introduced them to the perfect home for all of the patterns used to make the bronze deck, mast and windvane hardware on Taleisin
their 29’6” Hess designed cruising cutter. When the Pardey’s were completing Taleisin
almost 23 years ago, they found they could not buy hardware that was appropriate for the boat. So they spent about four days making 40 wooden foundry patterns and had a local foundry cast bronze fittings, which matched the boat and worked perfectly (for a pattern inventory list and closeup image of the fittings click here
). By the time Taleisin
was complete, three other builders were creating sister-ships to this handsome Lyle Hess designed 29 footer. “When one approached me and asked if I minded loaning her the patterns I was really jazzed,” Larry said, “I told Linda Smith of course, these are tools and tools should be used.” Over the next years, the wooden patterns including those to make the boom gallows, the bow fair leads and the gudgeons and pintles for the windvane steering gear have been shipped to 7 different countries and used by approximately 40 different builders.
With Lin and Larry often out of touch when they are sailing, and based in New Zealand when they are on shore, it has become ever harder to arrange for shipping and retrieval of the patterns. A chance encounter as they set off to explore the San Francisco Bay area before voyaging southward, provided an elegant solution to the problem. In true cruising fashion soon after they anchored off Sausalito, they headed ashore where they met Mark Welther, executive director of the Spaulding Wooden Boat Center. “Do you have time to take a look at our center?” he asked, “It’s only a few blocks from here.”
That few minutes became a three week long visit and haul-out at one of the most traditional working boat yards left in California. Almost serendipitously, the final agreements were being reached by the foundation that owns the yard and is also dedicated to the preservation of traditional sailing craft, to share their space with the Arques School of Wooden Boat Building run by Bob Darr. Their first joint project, the restoration of Freida, the oldest yacht in San Francisco, was underway in the main shed. One of the unique parts of Bob Darr’s program is the small foundry he has set up to round out his students’ education. This of course lead to a discussion of Taleisin’s foundry patterns and soon it was decided to place them on long term loan at the center, with the agreement that they would be available for use by any interested builders either to be cast by the school foundry, or after receipt of a substantial deposit to assure they are returned in good condition, by the builders foundry. The deposit (less shipping costs) is then refunded to the user. Within five days the first of the patterns, the dinghy chock bases, had gone out to be used by the owner of a Bristol Channel Cutter on Bainbridge Island.
A complete list of the patterns plus photographs can be seen on the Pardey’s Website at www.landlpardey.com
. Two more patterns will be added to this list soon, the production boards for making the 1/4” and 3/8” clench rings used through out Taleisin’s
construction. You can see a discussion and diagrams of these patterns in the last chapter of Details of Classic Boat Construction by Larry Pardey. You can also see most of the bronze fittings created using these patterns on the Pardey’s DVD’s, Get Ready to Cruise and Get Ready to Cross Oceans.
For further information on the use of these patterns contact the Spaulding Wooden Boat Center, (415) 332-3179 www.spauldingcenter.org.