June 28, 2018

Amazonia Rebuild 1Bill Lutwick has been making a name for himself as a go to guy for traditional wooden boat repairs and restorations. Having done extensive work on the David Stevens built schooner Atlantica he has now taken on a major rebuilt of one of the last true Tancook schooners, Amazonia. 

Originally built on Tancook Island by Harold Mason in 1935, Amazonia had a previous major re-build in 1964. Unlike many of the island’s working schooners, Amazonia was built as a pleasure boat for cruising and racing around Mahone Bay.

AmazoniaHer vital statistics are 44’ overall, 38.5’ on deck, 34’ on the waterline, she draws 6’ and has a slim 9’6” beam.

Lorne Leahey has been Amazonia’s caretaker for the last 30 years. You never really own an old wooden boat indeed many owners would say it’s the other way around. 50 plus years since her last re-build Amazonia’s galvanised fastenings and planking were at the end of their life. Bill and his crew, including Lorne, replaced the planking with White Pine and some recycled Yellow Pine. They also replaced the keel, which is not a job for the faint of heart.

Amazonia Photo 1964There is an excellent book by Wayne M. O’Leary called “The Tancook Schooners” which chronicles their history and evolution. It is available from McGill-Queens University Press. These little boats were quite famous for a time between the wars. Many ended up in the United States where they were studied and admired by major yachts designers such a George Stadel and others.

Amazonia Rebuild 2Old boats like this can go downhill fast and we are lucky to have some dedicated owners such a Lorne Leahey who are willing to spend the time and the money to keep these pieces of Maritime history afloat and active.

Amazonia Rebuild 3Bill operates as Lutwick’s Boat building & Repair from his historic shop in Indian Point.

Photo Credits: Amazonia (NSSA), 1964 (W. O’Leary), Rebuild 1,2,3,4,5 (L. Leahey)





Amazonia Rebuild 5Amazonia Rebuild 4