A recent graduate of the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, R.I., is spearheading a project to restore to historically accurate condition a full-size replica of a double ender on Block Island.
"The Block Island Double Ender is a type of small open sailboat which was designed and used on Block Island from the early 1700s through the late 1800s. Its design allowed the early settlers of the island to fish offshore and run cargo to and from the mainland without the benefit of a harbor,” said John Puckett, a member of the 2013 graduating class of the IYRS’s wooden boatbuilding and restoration program.
“The boats were light and strong so they could be pulled up on the beach, but they were also extremely seaworthy. The unique rig of the double enders allowed the sailors a wide variety of options for sail area in heavy weather. They were well known for their ability to go to windward in the strongest of gales.” Puckett said.
He said the design is considered to be one of the most seaworthy open boats ever built. During more than 150 years of use only two were recorded as lost, he said.
The hurdle he is trying to overcome is that there are no surviving originals left and there are only a handful of replicas scattered around the country.