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wooden boat building
 
Harold Burnham and Randall Robar, wooden boat building, 2006; Essex, Massachusetts; Photography by Maggie Holtzberg
Harold Burnham and Randall Robar, wooden boat building, 2006

Essex, Massachusetts
Photography by Maggie Holtzberg
 
The Isabella being built at the Burnham shipyard; Apprenticeship - wooden boat building; 2006: Essex, Massachusetts
At work on Isabella; Apprenticeship - wooden boat building; 2006: Essex, Massachusetts
Launch of Isabella; Apprenticeship - wooden boat building; 2006: Essex, Massachusetts
 
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Harold A. Burnham
Essex, MA
Web Site
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Randall Robar
Georgetown, MA
Harold A. Burnham is an 11th generation wooden-boat builder whose ancestors arrived in Essex, Massachusetts, in 1635. Harold uses his skills as a logger, sawyer, loftsman, shipwright, mechanic, plumber, electrician, spar maker, sail maker, and rigger to build his boats, however, it is his skill as a mariner that make his boats uniquely effective. He uses hand tools familiar to an 1800s shipwright, works out-of-doors through the winter, and launches vessels the old way using wedges, grease, and gravity.

Nearly a decade later, Harold began work on a commission from William Greene to build the schooner Isabella. In July of 2005, the MCC awarded Harold and Randall Robar a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship. The timing couldn't have been better. Randall used the opportunity to document every step of the year-long process of building Isabella To read a week-by-week diary, visit the Essex Shipbuilding Museum Essex Shipbuiliding Museum.
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