Cape Henry 21 Halfway Party

Anne Ryerson

Apr 11, 2017

Anne and Ryerson Clark

In traditional plank on frame boat building it is the custom to have some sort of celebration when the shutter plank is put in place. The shutter plank being the last plank to be fitted, usually somewhere near the waterline.

In modern plywood boat building, there is no shutter plank, but that didn’t stop Anne and Ryerson Clark from throwing a party at Big Pond Boatworks when the hull of their Cape Henry 21 was completed. An enthusiastic crowd were on hand to inspect progress on the little gaff cutter, which will be turned over to the Clarks once Big Pond have completed the decks and other major parts.

Dayna Pat KeithDayna, Pat & Keith Nelder

Anne and Ryerson are familiar with boat building, their last boat, a 16’ mini Friendship sloop, was built while they were living in Yellowknife. Once they decided they wanted something larger and more comfortable, but still easily pulled by a small vehicle, they searched the Internet for a suitable design. There are lots of small boat designs that could fit the bill, but having had previous building experience, the Clarks knew just how much time even a small project can take. Having a professional boat shop do the major structural work, while they undertook the finishing, rig and fitting out, seemed to make the most sense.

Cape Henry PlansDiscussions with their friend and professional boat builder Keith Nelder, of Big Pond Boatworks, lead them to the Dudley Dix designed Cape Henry 21. Keith had an arrangement with Dix which meant he could get the design’s cut files allowing the plywood panels to be produced locally, rather than incurring the cost of shipping a kit boat to Nova Scotia, or the considerable expense of laying out and cutting the panels in house. Things moved quickly and last fall a stack of nicely labeled panels arrived at the boat shop’s Martin’s River location. Work by Keith, assisted by daughter Dayna, has progressed well and the project is on schedule for a summer launch and an even bigger party!

CH InteriorCH Interior 2

Ryerson posts on Facebook at “Cape Henry 21 sailboat”. More information at and .

all photos G. Cairns

Fuel By Saltbox



















Fuel courtesy Saltbox Brewing


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