Vineyard Harbors Report Active Summer; Weather Bolsters Boating Business

Manning the front lines of the Island economy, Vineyard harbor masters often see business trends before merchants do. As summer draws to an end, four of the five Island harbor masters told the Gazette that a season typically busy in some regards was even busier than normal in others.

Saturday Fire Destroys Sailboat in Harbor; Two Towns Respond

Vineyard Haven harbor was lit up on Saturday evening by a fully involved boat fire. Tisbury firemen and harbor masters from two towns responded to a blaze aboard a 30-foot Catalina sailboat called Tippy Canoe, owned by Tyler Weggel of Port Washington, N.Y.

There were no injuries. The vessel, a total loss, now lies partially submerged, a black shell, in shallow water at the foot of Grove street.

Owner of Quitsa Strider in Menemsha Sells His Fishing Rights, Ending an Era

One of Menemsha’s most respected fishermen, Jonathan Mayhew, has quit fishing the high seas.

Mr. Mayhew recently sold his federal permits, giving up his license to ply the offshore waters of Georges Bank for cod, flounder and other fish.

A Vineyard native who grew up in a family of generations of fishermen, Mr. Mayhew, 56, said a chapter has closed in his life. He said he worries now for the future of young local fishermen facing current fishing rules.

The changes that have come down are killing the fisherman and not necessarily saving fish, he said.

Boat Builder Launches His Dream

After 27 years of building the wooden boats of other men's dreams, Nathaniel Benjamin, 60, built a boat for himself.

They christened her Charlotte under parted skies on Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of onlookers spilled onto the beach, down to the end of the dock and up to a rooftop of the boat yard. The potluck was plentiful and the beer flowed from a rowboat packed with ice. Boat launchings mean big parties at Gannon & Benjamin and this was no exception.

Island Dragger Roann Returns to the Sea

MYSTIC SEAPORT, Conn. — A 60-foot Eastern dragger named Roann, a living example of Vineyard maritime history, was relaunched under sunny skies here last Saturday.

The Roann is the last of an era. No one makes fishing boats like this anymore.

The restoration of the Roann cost $1.2 million, lasted three and a half years, and involved a team of 50 boat builders, aided by another 50 volunteers. Mystic Seaport Museum, the owner of the Roann, organized the restoration of the vessel at its on-site shipyard.

Maine Shipyard Restores, Relaunches The Black Dog Tall Ship Shenandoah

A thoroughly refurbished schooner Shenandoah was relaunched Saturday morning at Boothbay Harbor in Maine.

The Shenandoah, one of the Black Dog tall ships that sail from Vineyard Haven harbor, had undergone about six months of extensive rebuilding at the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard.

“We essentially did what is referred to as retopping — a rebuilding of the vessel from the waterline up,” said Bob Foster, a spokesman for the shipyard.

East Chop Shore Best Spot To View Moffett Sailboats

Fifty-two boats are scheduled to start tomorrow in the 31st annual George Moffett Memorial Sailboat Race. Sailboats from 60 to 17 feet will participate in the race which begins off Eastville Beach in Oak Bluffs.

The sailboats will race across Nantucket Sound on a course still to be determined.

Size No Drawback as Sailboats Battle in Race Around Vineyard

A Vineyard sailor in one of the smallest boats was among the winners of Saturday’s ’Round the Island Race.

Roger Becker, in a bright red 24-foot sailboat called Gloria, was one of four first-place winners. The race was part of this past weekend’s 85th annual Edgartown Yacht Club Regatta.

Thirty-seven sailboats participated in this year’s ’Round the Island contest. It truly was challenging because of the lack of enough wind.

Menemsha Crowd Raises Sunken Sailboat

A 23-foot sunken sailboat in Menemsha harbor was hauled up on Wednesday morning by a crew that included Menemsha Coast Guard, the town harbor master and the captain of a fishing boat and his mates.

Chet Wisniewski, 88, of Menemsha, said his sailboat, called Water Music, sank at noon in its slip on Saturday for no apparent reason.

Storied Schooner Once Owned by General Patton to be Sold

When and If, the 63-foot John G. Alden schooner built in 1939 for the late Gen. George S. Patton that has been a familiar presence in waters from the Vineyard to Maine and beyond, is for sale.

The historic schooner was recently appraised at $680,000.

Owner Candace Ruitenberg confirmed that the boat has been placed on the market due to an impending divorce.

Mrs. Ruitenberg said she hopes someone else will now step in to give as much love and attention as she and others have already given the When and If.