Top News

Letter: 100-year-old Cape Sable Island boat still sailing

The Rodney P.
The Rodney P.

None

I thought that this story of a 100-year old boat that was built in Cape Island would be of interest to your readers.

About the year 1970 when my son, Peter G. Doane M.D. was 13 years old (now 58) and wished he had a boat, we were in Nova Scotia during through Barrington on a side road to Sherose Island. There was an elderly fisherman walking home, the late Levi Hopkins. I stopped and asked him if he knew of any small boats for sale for Peter. He said he had one, so we gave him a ride home.

His boat was a double-ender and needed a lot of work. Said we could have it for $15.00. I bought it and did a lot of work to keep it afloat with only primitive tools at hand. He told me the boat was very old, was built in Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia well over 50 years earlier! It was pulled up on the water’s edge in his back yard.

We had a small summer place with a lake and ocean and for many years in Atlantic and had more enjoyment in that boat than we would have had in a cabin cruiser! I had the boat fiber-glassed by the late Don Mahaney because it took a long time to “swell up”. That’s what saved the boat to this day.

In the 90’s we sold our cottage and left the boat in the care of a retired fisherman friend, Rodney Perry, living in Ingomar. He used the boat, sailing it and enjoyed it immensely until four years ago. He is now 94!

Last fall, Peter and his brother David Jr. decided to drive the 600 miles with a trailer to bring the boat home. It ended up in my garage for more repairs and a lot of patching inside and new gunnels that Peter and I put on in two Saturdays. The rest of the world was done by dad, (me) and I am now 90! Had a good time doing it though. By the way, the mast and boom I had made when I was 15 for a sailing kayak and ice boat that I made.

I had written a similar article to the magazine “Small Boat Advisor” which reaches readers in Canada, USA, New Zealand, UK and Australia. I never mentioned it to my son and it was published this summer! Needless to say, Peter was really surprised.

Recently, he bought a new sail and sailed it on St. Froid Lake in northern Maine where the boat now is and name it “The Rodney P”.

David P. Doane

Wolfeboro, NH

I thought that this story of a 100-year old boat that was built in Cape Island would be of interest to your readers.

About the year 1970 when my son, Peter G. Doane M.D. was 13 years old (now 58) and wished he had a boat, we were in Nova Scotia during through Barrington on a side road to Sherose Island. There was an elderly fisherman walking home, the late Levi Hopkins. I stopped and asked him if he knew of any small boats for sale for Peter. He said he had one, so we gave him a ride home.

His boat was a double-ender and needed a lot of work. Said we could have it for $15.00. I bought it and did a lot of work to keep it afloat with only primitive tools at hand. He told me the boat was very old, was built in Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia well over 50 years earlier! It was pulled up on the water’s edge in his back yard.

We had a small summer place with a lake and ocean and for many years in Atlantic and had more enjoyment in that boat than we would have had in a cabin cruiser! I had the boat fiber-glassed by the late Don Mahaney because it took a long time to “swell up”. That’s what saved the boat to this day.

In the 90’s we sold our cottage and left the boat in the care of a retired fisherman friend, Rodney Perry, living in Ingomar. He used the boat, sailing it and enjoyed it immensely until four years ago. He is now 94!

Last fall, Peter and his brother David Jr. decided to drive the 600 miles with a trailer to bring the boat home. It ended up in my garage for more repairs and a lot of patching inside and new gunnels that Peter and I put on in two Saturdays. The rest of the world was done by dad, (me) and I am now 90! Had a good time doing it though. By the way, the mast and boom I had made when I was 15 for a sailing kayak and ice boat that I made.

I had written a similar article to the magazine “Small Boat Advisor” which reaches readers in Canada, USA, New Zealand, UK and Australia. I never mentioned it to my son and it was published this summer! Needless to say, Peter was really surprised.

Recently, he bought a new sail and sailed it on St. Froid Lake in northern Maine where the boat now is and name it “The Rodney P”.

David P. Doane

Wolfeboro, NH

Recent Stories