Brave Tars

by Vermont Rice

I have a facsimile of an old English broadsheet used to recruit for the Royal Navy, calling to “Brave Tars of Old England, all you who love King and Country (and hate the French) Now is the Time to Shew your Love.” We here at the Vermont Sail Freight Project, the would-be tars of the 21st century Champlain-Hudson agrarian merchant marine say to you, dear readers, if you support the ideals behind this project as I have been laying them out on this blog for this past year, now is the time to Shew your Love.” Lend a hand if you can. If you can’t there’s this:

The video is neat (executed by Finn Yarborough) and of course you can check out the rest of the campaign too. Please pass along to whoever you know who takes an interest in sustainable transport, NYC farmers markets, creativity on the water, and regional resiliency. Truth be told, if this campaign falters I will still find a way to make Vermont Sail Freight a reality–I am not discouraged very easily–but it will be harder. And slower. And more personally costly. But I’m confident we’ll succeed, and will therefore continue to nail the benchmarks in the timeline of this project right up to the point of sailing our load of cargo under the G.W. bridge this September.

Here at the farm we are anticipating success. Winter is the time for pondering, considering, drawing inward, but winter is ending. Spring is coming, and spring is a time for action, for investing the reserves of energy we’ve built up over the winter to make this season the best it can be. In short our sailing barge is coming together swiftly, and coming together well.


Here you can see the frames for the stern section. These will help define the bend in the plywood, reinforce joints and stiffen the deck. I assembled both on the shop floor in a few hours, then hung them on the end of the barge, as you can see next. The after ends have to be temporarily supported with some bracing. The rectangular space between the frames in the back will be recognizable as the transom before too long.

Today we had a good crowd at the worksite, with Damien and Dale from Walden as well as Mac and Hannah. Channel 5 news coming to scope out the project, and of course Dante the dog was very much in evidence, wondering why with so many people around there was so little stick-throwing going on.

Also, you can check out the evening news segment at WPTZ news here: