Now on Exhibit through the fall
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, boat building on Long Island
was both an art and a craft. The design and construction of boats required
the skills of carpentry, smithing, sailmaking, ropemaking, rigging and
more. Inherent in this was the obvious fact that the majority of this work
was done by hand — power tools and computer aided design programs were
both unknown and unimagined. What was known, and nurtured, was the
craftsmanship of these shipwrights, their talents and their tools.
“Crafted by Hand” explores the “how” of boat building, including, the
requisite tools and equipment. Just as the boats designed and built by Gil
Smith are valued for their beauty, style and historic significance, so
too, are the tools of this bygone age of craftsmanship, which are now as
much a work of art as the boats they were used to create.
When it comes to boats and boatbuilding, there’s a whole menagerie of
animals associated with the craft. In fact, you could say that a
hand-built wooden boat is pretty much a Noah’s Ark. Very often 19th
century shipwrights named their tools or parts of a boat after animals
because they thought they either looked like them or accomplished a
similar purpose. Sometimes you can look at a tool or a part of a boat and
say, “I get it, it does look like that!” However, there are times when
you’d really be surprised by how these items got their names. Visit the
Museum, tour “Crafted By Hand,” grab our big game check list and then
explore our buildings and grounds tracking down these nautical animals.
In The Good Old Summertime
Wings on Ice Exhibit
View all projects and exhibits at the Long Island Maritime Museum.