Thursday, July 11, 2013

Coquina - Boat Building in SF - July 2013

Boat Building at The Workshop Residence
July 11, 2013

While walking the San Francisco Bay Trail (Candlestick Point, with a subsequent stop in Dogpatch, San Francisco, for food and drink treats) earlier this week, we passed by The Workshop Residence on 22nd Street, a few blocks inland from the Bay Trail. We peered through a crack in a door and were invited in (thank you Braden Earp).

The Workshop Residence is a unique concept that invites participation (and practical constructions) from different professional artists each month, and shares proceeds of sales with said artists. This month, July 2013, focused on boat building.

The boat being built inside, from locally sourced woods, was the 17-foot row/sailboat, the Coquina, originally designed in 1889 by Nathanael Herreshoff.

During this month (July 2013), boatbuilder and educator, Aaron Turner, is hosting 12 students per day ($50/day, $1,000 USD for all 4 weeks), leading them through the process of building the Coquina. All tools and materials were being provided, and no prior experience was required. For those reading this post this week, this looks like a blast, and I hope you're able to find out more. Space is limited, and if you're interested, contact The Workshop Residence, at 415.285.2050. Or contact The Workshop Residence in San Francisco.

Link for reserving a space:

Open house to be held this evening, July 11, 2013. Aaron Turner will be there until the end of this month. Below is a short interview with this talented teacher and designer, who is based in Santa Monica, CA.

Interview with Aaron Turner:

Q: What is your (water) craft of choice?
A: Anything that sails.

Q: How did you become interested in this type of craft/boat?
A: As a kid I remember picking my sister up in different ports on the eastern seaboard. She spent some time sailing on tall ships. I figured if I wanted to go sailing I better learn how to build boats.

Q: What parts of San Francisco Bay do you like best?
A: Anywhere you have access with a small boat. Having spent only a short time here in San Francisco, I am still discovering and exploring quite a bit. It was encouraging to see several spots in the Dogpatch neighborhood (of San Francisco) where you could put in.

Q: What makes what you do unique?
A: Next month I will be doing something different. (After this month's stay ends at The Workshop Residence.)

Q: What else would you like people to know?
A: I have been building and restoring wooden boats on and off for 24 years. The boat we are building at The Workshop Residence is the 29th boat building project I have been part of. The boat is a "Coquina" reproduction. Designed by Nathanael Herreshoff and built (in) 1889 (in) Bristol, Rhode Island, by the Herreshoff Mfg. Co. The type of boat and rig is a Cat Ketch. The steering is a continuous line, no tiller. Its length 16'8" x 5'0" and is lapstrake construction. The woods in the boat are Port Orford Cedar, White Oak, and Douglas Fir. The sails were made by sail maker Douglas Fowler and the hardware by JM Reineck and Son.

I asked Aaron if these boats were SF Bay worthy, and he replied yes, certainly in some areas. They might also be towed to other areas up-river, up the delta, perhaps. He also mentioned other local (SF Bay Area) boat builders (John Muir, SF Maritime Museum), and related trips and activities...Thank you Aaron for providing more ideas and information for future Water Trail Stories.

More about Aaron and the Coquina
Below are links to more information about Aaron and the boat he is building:

Photos: Boat (Coquina) in water with sails up, is from The Workshop Residence website. Image of San Francisco Bay Water Trail map is from San Francisco Bay Water Trail website.