CWB October Speaker: Bill Harpster – Building and Sailing Joshua


Each month the Center for Wooden Boats finds a speaker of wit and experience to talk about his or her special knowledge. It is also an opportunity for CWB members to meet one another and the staff. The program runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., with opportunities to ask questions. October’s 3rd Friday lecture will be held on October 21st.

In the early 1890s, after a career as a ship’s officer, Joshua Slocum accepted a friend’s offer of the rotting hull of a hundred-year-old oyster sloop, the Spray. After rebuilding her as a gaff-rigged yawl and testing her in the waters of New England, he set out on an extraordinary voyage, a single-handed circumnavigation of the globe. When he returned home in 1898, he penned the book that has inspired thousands of sailors ever since: “Sailing Alone around the World”.

Slightly more than eight decades later, In San Francisco Bay, Bill Harpster launched his historical replica of Spray and named her, most appropriately, Joshua. Built of cedar on white oak and fastened with galvanized steel nails, Joshua was a joint undertaking by Bill Harpster and William Elliott of Bay, Ship and Yacht in California.
Fast forward to 1997, the owner and crew sailed Joshua up the coast to

Read the full post on the Center for Wooden Boats blog.


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