In the winter of 1993 our family did something impetuously reckless by purchasing BUCKRAMMER, an almost 100-year-old, leak-and-rust-plagued, repair-hungry wooden boat... Sound familiar? We thought so.
The humour with which Conway tackles family cruising aboard his 1908 24 ft. (7.3m) Charles Crosby Catboat is guaranteed to keep the reader chuckling, as he slides from past to present and back again, each time drawing in another catboat from his past with its own unique character.
The narrative is real and unfussy and, frankly, funny as he chronicles a decade of cruising New England waters. The useful appendix at the end reveals technical details of the ongoing restoration process of BUCKRAMMER, including the tools involved, the best sources for materials and plans for improvements. Fun for all the family.
In Catboat Summers, the anecdotes, discoveries, dangers, frustrations and laughter blend seamlessly together to form a poignant tapestry of boating family life. And it's easy to feel affection for this catboat. BUCKRAMMER grows in stature with every chapter, becoming a full fledged member of the Conway family in her own right. It takes a true craftsman to bring a boat to life on the page in all her throbbing color.
This delightful book illuminates one of the least common and most involving of the potential pleasures available to adventurous boat owners the stewardship of a beautiful and noteworthy antique wooden boat. John Conway is a man who takes seriously his role as caretaker of an irreplaceable treasure.
The author, through a process intimately connected to his personal and family history, acquired one of the historic catboats built at the Crosby yard in the early 20th century. Conway calls his boat a woodpile and refers frequently to the uncertainties and frustrations of maintaining a boat fast approaching its 100th birthday, but his affection for BUCKRAMMER shines from every page.