Tancook Whaler


TANCOOK "VERNON LANGILLE"
This project was the first known replica of these Nova Scotia fishing schooners, strong lines, excellent sea boats, fast, spirited, thought to be the loveliest of the inshore workboats, a pagan privilege to sail. As a "hub of a wheel" project it had five spokes: research, construction, documentation, "campaigning" (to Tancook Island, Long Island Sound, New Brunswick and all the Maine coast) and publication (an article in WoodenBoat gave the Apprenticeshop a widespread and clear reputation for wood, maritime traditions, a revitalization of small craft heritage through skills training, and initiated a much-underscored international exchange.

Tancook Whaler
Tancook under construction

The Apprenticeshop received a handsome grant from the National Endowment for the Arts which funded the construction of the Tancook and the cost of a publication, The Tancook Whaler. The project also launched an echo (or homage) to Gustaf Erikson, the Ă…land Island ship owner who ran bottom line freight and sea apprentices in a fleet of the last great cargo-carrying barques and full-rigged ships to the Australian Bight for wheat and the Chilean coast for guano. The Apprenticeshop ran labor-for-learning trainees and cargo aboard the Vernon Langille: firewood, sheep, cranberries, granite, fiberglass resin and cast iron stoves from Lunenberg, Nova Scotia to Nantucket, Monhegan Island, Newport and Plymouth. Through this, the Vernon Langille illustrated the theme and practice of sail freight revival in the severe oil shortage of the 1970s, the example made widely known through a cover article in the National Fisherman.

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