The Plan to Restore the "Sea Bird"



The restoration of the Sea Bird will be a partnership; a community effort. It will provide an opportunity to document the history of an historic and determined yacht club and its proven "one-design" club racer. Many organizations will have a hand in this project; new bridges will be built and existing relationships solidified. Interested individuals will also be given the opportunity to participate via several organizations that will physically restore the Sea Bird and support sailing in Hingham Harbor.

Hull SeabirdSail Nantasket will be the lead organization and beneficiary of this production. The restored Sea Bird will serve as an ambassador of the group's mission, and both the restoration and the documentary will serve as a vehicle to raise funds and awareness. This production will also hopefully discover synergies between Sail Nantasket's mission and those of both the Hull Lifesaving Museum and Hull High School Maritime Vocational Program.

The restoration of the Sea Bird will be open to all interested members of the participating groups as well a members of the community at large. Participants will be asked to donate their time to the project and also make a financial contribution to Sail Nantasket. It is intended for both beginners and those with boat building experience, and will teach the participants how to read plans and draw the shape of the boat at full size on the floor, an important construction/restoration practice called "lofting." Participants will also learn to make patterns for the pieces of the construction, as well as other boat building.

Chris Nelson will lead the restoration. Since graduating from the Landing School in June of 1998, Chris has really developed a passion for worked on wooden boats. He began his professional career as an apprentice shipwright at the Mystic Seaport Shipyard, working there from 1998 until 2002. He then started his own business as a shipwright, boat carpenter, and caulker. He has worked on a number of historic ship replicas including the Schooner Virginia and the Spirit of South Carolina and has served as boatswain on the Harvey Gamage. In January of 2009, Chris returned to Mystic to work as a lead shipwright on the Seaport's ambitious restoration of the Charles W. Morgan. He lives in New London, CT with his wife.

The project will use both traditional hand tools and modern power tools. Participants will learn and practice lofting, steam bending, edge-tool sharpening, cutting a stem rabbet, rib replacement, planking, fastening methods, caulking, finishing materials and techniques, and rig evaluation, repair, and tuning. Sail construction materials and methods will also be covered.

Discussion topics include different wood types, applications, and sources, books and periodicals, and necessary tools. This project will prepare the participants for any boat building project. All tools and materials will be provided.

Participants will also have the opportunity to learn the basics of half-hull construction by carving your own model of this classic sailboat. Following a demonstration of the basic techniques used to build a waterline-lift model, participants will work on their own model. Discussions of techniques, materials, tools and finishes continue throughout this day as the class works to complete their models.

The Daniel S. Gregory Ships Plans Collection Library at Mystic Seaport will provide Goeller's original plans for the yacht. These original drawings will be an invaluable resource in the restoration effort and a wonderful piece of memorabilia for the club.

The Hull Yacht Club is currently undertaking a renewed effort to document its proud history in conjunction with the Sea Bird project. Both efforts hope to illuminate the history of the club, its sailors, its commissions, and most importantly, its contributions to a the seafaring tradition and history of the town itself.

Hull Community Television will provide the needed production assistance to film and edit a commercial quality documentary about:

  • The restoration of a 1938 Hull Yacht Club “One Design” sailboat
  • The history of the yacht club that produced the original fleet
  • The HYC sailors who have and will triumph in various sailing comps 
  • The efforts to support sailing in Hull thanks to SailNantasket & HYC
Hull Community Television will also broadcast this production on Hull's local cable station (Channel 10) to help create awareness of the efforts of the aforementioned groups and reawake the community to the rich history and continued contributions to the town of the Hull Yacht Club and Sail Nantasket.

Saltwater Wood Productions, a small production firm in Cohasset, Mass, will serve as the executive producer and director of the documentary. Saltwater Wood will coordinate the entire project and all of the groups that participate.


"This program is supported in part by a grant from the Hull Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency."