A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

10.5- Harkers Island Flare

Capt. Hodges circles Jenny back around in Raccoon Creek
(click on image to enlarge)

I have mentioned the 40-foot F/V "Jenny" in a couple of prior postings, where she appeared in the background... but today I decided to take my last opportunity to feature the boat as the subject of the daily photo.

Jenny is a prime example of a Down-East NC heritage treasure... the flare-bowed wooden workboat style known as "Core Sounders" or "Sink-Netters," developed since the advent of gasoline engines by the boat-builders of Harkers Island, NC.
Boat building has taken place on Harkers Island (see map, right or View Larger Map) since 1730, when the island's namesake, Ebenezer Harker, purchased the island and set up a plantation and boat yard there.

There are currently three boat-builders on the island, all small operations... one boat at a time, hand built, and without plans - only tried and true "rules of thumb" for achieving the shallow drafts and flared bows that make the boats perfect for navigating the "thin waters" above the shoals of NC's Bogue, Back and Core Sounds, and for taking on the steep waves stirred up in the sounds by frequent squalls.

Jenny was built by Clarence Willis, who learned his craft from the master of the style, boat builder Brady Lewis.

Lewis is credited with developing the "Core-Sounder" archetype in the 1930s, particularly the signature flared bow. He is the "grandfather" of the style, and his methods have been passed down to the current generation of Harkers Island builders.

I was really lucky that Capt. Hodges circled Jenny back around after leaving the dock at the Oriental Yacht Club, or I could not have gotten the above shot of her head-on... A friend of the crew was lucky, too... He had forgotten his beer, cigarettes and lighter on-board, so Capt. Hodges came back around and First Mate "Fuzzy" made the hand-off:

(click on image to enlarge)
... Then Jenny and crew (including the ship's dog, Belle) left in search of green-tail shrimp:

(click on image to enlarge)

Some links related to Harkers Island style boats:

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