A bit about Karl’s boat building experience.
There were several boats built between my childhood and married life – but couldn’t find the photos to share so here are some of the highlights.
The first boat I built in the dining room with my Dad, brother and sister. As we nailed the sawhorses to the floor my Mother looked on with horror. We were at the shore every weekend since I was 2 weeks old – was she really surprised? From that point it was all hands on deck.
We enjoyed that boat for years at Ocean City, NJ. We tried to sail it, put a motor on it, sink it whatever three kids could possibly think to do in a boat we tried it! It was so much fun! It’s the memories like this one that I have that prompted the starting of the Tennessee Boat School – take a look at this too.
Fast-forwarding, while working as a machinist, I researched lobster hulls – looking for the best lines – I found one in Maine at Holland’s Boat Shop. I ordered a 32’ bare hull and spent the next year and half building it out part time. Christened it the Sandra Lynn.
That boat too brought so much fun to the family! Lobster hulls are so stable in the water – think of the lobster fisherman navigating those huge Maine waves – working their traps and still coming back into shore after all day out. That’s the perfect boat for families.
After 17 years as a machinist, doing all that there was to do with metal back in those days – I headed to Florida to build wooden boats. I was able to work at Merritt’s Boat Works in Pompano Beach, FL where the finest hand built custom sport fisherman yachts in the world are still being built. I worked there for 15 years and had the most incredible experience building these magnificent ships. We, as team of guys, used to build one per year, but with technology they can build one plus per year out of fiberglass.
While at Merritt’s I was able to work on all facets– from the keel to the top of the tuna towers, woodwork, paint, metal work, mechanical and hydraulics. The last few years I worked on special projects – the impossible to do things – you name it – if couldn’t be done – they came to me. What an incredible opportunity – everyone should have that level of job satisfaction at least once in his or her life.
When I was off the clock, so to speak I would work on my own boat projects. I retrofitted the Sandra Lynn for lobster fishing. I ran 300 lobster traps and I’d troll back into the dock to a hungry crowd of people all anxious to buy fresh lobsters. There were many trips to the Keys for R & R in this boat – or quick cruises off the shore after work - it handled so nicely!
Is one boat ever enough for any guy? NO! So soon afterwards I built the Cheryl Lynn.
I choose this boat because by the plans it looked to be stable, with fair lines and well proportioned. Plus a 20’ boat is usually easy to handle putting it on and off a trailer as well as being a good one-person boat not to mention rowable in an emergency. The look is typical of the 1800’s as far from the high tech and cutting edge as you could get. Degree of building difficulty was not a concern. It is a plywood lapstrake plank built glassed over hull. I redesigned the high tech mast so it fit into the 20’ boat for ease of trailering it and refigured the rigging, changing it to sprit rigged with no boom. The cross-seats were changed to side seats so you could walk one end to the other without tripping.
Over the next few years for fun, a bowsprit was added; sewed up a flying jib – it was
So much fun to sail Biscayne Bay in the Cheryl Lynn enjoy the photos.
Next was a 26’ St. Pierre Dory. This was my least favorite boat. Even with 1200 pounds of lead for ballast – it was unstable in the water – they are meant to be filled with 10,000 pounds of fish for it so move easily in the water. Once or twice on this boat was plenty – glad to have built it and glad it wasn’t mine! The Old Pro.
Does every good sailor deserve a sailing ship? Yes! I was newly married and my bride encouraged me to look around – (she didn’t know I had exhausted the search locally). One day I returned home later than usual from work and she asked where I had been. I told her I found a boat, but didn’t think it was in our budget. She asked the right questions and we decided we could afford it. A few days later we were packed and headed to St. Petersburg, FL to bring home our new boat – four days of motor/sailing.
We planned on a four day round trip; however, just when we were ready to head south on the Intracoastal – we saw a bridge, an old railroad bridge – one that raised up and down – the 50’ mast wouldn’t fit under it – due to a two day storm the wind pushed the water up against the lock! The water level was up a foot and a half – We have to go back! We’d have to retrace our tracks (4 days) and head down the west coast of Florida (through an incredible storm) then, around the Keys and head up the east coast of Florida. So a four-day trip turned into a ten-day adventure.
It took 18 months part time to completely redo this boat from stem to stern. Everything came out of the boat – engine, masts, cabins, floor EVERYTHING! When she was done she was a SHIP and we had an entourage follow us every time we headed out. Please enjoy the photos of our Sandra Lynn. P.S. we’re still married.
The sale of this sailboat left me wondering if I could improve on the lobster hull I built out several years earlier. So I ordered it and began to build it out. I ordered a 32’ bare hull from Holland’s Boat Shop. I wanted the engine completely out of the cabin – good for mate seating while I piloted. The wheelhouse was built high to accommodate my son who is 6’4". I added a stand up shower. Added very comfortable gally, lots of storage and cozy V bunks. We christened her the Sandra Lynn.
There have been many boats over the years that I have remodeled or rebuilt personally or while at Merritt’s Boat Works. If you have a boat project in mind please give me a call and perhaps I can work on your boat project. Mean time enjoy the web site and all the pretty boats. Looking forward to hearing from you – Karl Weinert (731)584-2103 OR by email at email@example.com.