smallCraft NC

Capt Suz & Tybee Rowe sail the SOBX of North Carolina~

19 July 2019 | Peletier Creek, NC
08 August 2017 | Bogue Inlet to Shackleford Banks, North Carolina's Crystal Coast
13 February 2017 | Sparrow
08 May 2016 | Beaufort, NC Maritime Museum Wooden Boat Show & Plein Air Competition
17 April 2016 | New River, Jacksonville, NC
04 September 2015 | MHC, NC
21 June 2015 | Crystal Coast - NC
21 April 2015 | New River, Jacksonville, NC
07 April 2015 | envoyage from MHC to Jacksonville, NC
20 August 2014 | Morehead City, North Carolina
30 May 2014 | Morehead City, NC
28 March 2014 | Russel's Boat Yard, MHC-NC
27 March 2014 | Morehead City, NC
11 January 2014 | Cedar Point, NC
06 October 2013 | Port of Swansboro
03 October 2013 | Bogue Inlet
03 October 2013 | Canp Lejeune to Swansboro ICW
02 October 2013 | back side Camp Lejeune Marine Base

SPARROW's Progress

19 July 2019 | Peletier Creek, NC
capt.suzan wallace | HOT!
SPARROW has been heavy on my mind because I've not been able to get down to work on her any this summer. It's been miserably HOT but the need to work two jobs takes me away from her restoration progress~

We've come a long way this year though, from finishing up the wainscoting around the cockpit coaming and bench seat faces. The cockpit re-fiberglassing caused some adjustments to how we attached the facing. We've been piecing together the trim from mahogany nose guard to a sweet rope-twist.

The bench seats are getting a coat of primer and then a couple coats of deck texture paint. Everything else is getting a coat of stain and finish.

The interior has had some improvements, but until the cushions are done, it just feels empty. The new green water-resistant carpet makes the green and pine wainscoting below look real cozy.

At this point, the restoration has taken so long, I've been wondering why I took on this project to begin with. But whenever I have been able to get down there and see her just waiting for me....I feel bad. She's so pretty and has such character, I'm wondering when we'll sail again...I hope before hurricane season!

Been a While- We're Back!

22 April 2019
capt.suzan wallace
(photo from 1972 onboard 51' yawl, 'Ole', Dad & I)

I realize it's been quite some time since I posted and it would be remiss to not explain the fallout.
I lost my father, Captain James Wallace in the Fall of 2017 and spent most of 2018 sailing on other folks vessels, attempting to surround myself with other sailors as I grieved the loss of my Dad.

As I traveled to far off shores, my grief heavy, it was the only thing I knew to do, to feel closer to him. So I flew off to England and sailed on an 110 year old wooden studio boat, the "Golden Vanity" along the SW coast of Devon. The crew & guests were there for one mission, and that was to paint the coast and enjoy our aesthetic voyage in good company!

I also returned to an American sailor's mecca, Mystic Seaport. Stayed aboard a tall ship and gave a small craft Watercolor workshop with a dear friend. Meeting new fellow sailors and browsing amongst all things maritime at their Wooden Boat Show improved my mood tremendously!

And my last long distance destination was to sail and carve up the coast of Maine! It was this trip that brought me full circle back to the woodworking and craftsmanship skills my Dad brought me up on. But while I was sailing their fleet of catboats in the evenings and carving Sparrow's transom board for days, the Wooden Boat School brought me full circle to the joy of boat ownership and why we sail!

These are the things my Mom & Dad taught me as I was raised sailing on old woodies. Set goals in the distance, challenge yourself to go somewhere new, go with good folks, be welcoming to new friendships you'll make along the way and always allow the experience to make you grateful for the life you have lived~ _/)

Love you Dad!

Summer Fun in the Sun- introducing........

08 August 2017 | Bogue Inlet to Shackleford Banks, North Carolina's Crystal Coast
summer sun and light breezes
The Ivory Belle's story begins in late spring with a weekend trip to the Chesapeake Bay. She had been sitting in a garage there for a decade, waiting for someone to come love her and put her to sea.....that was me~
Her lines just grabbed my attention, having seen two smaller 14' versions of the Penobscot design at the Wooden Boat Show in Beaufort the last couple years. But this beautiful swimmer was all of 17 feet with a mahogany and ash deck and traditional sails hung on a gunter rig. I was in love~
Upon her maiden voyage, I soon surmised why she may have been sitting in that garage so long. The centerboard would neither go up or we rowed around and sailed her back downwind. First project, bang the hell out of the centerboard until it was free of the trunk. I set out to manufacture a new centerboard, much thinner and fix the leaking pivot pin with a floating great!

To try out her new centerboard, I accepted an invitation to sail with the Women Sailing Club up on the Neuse River with an assortment of other small boats. Not much wind, but a day to really stretch the Ivory Belle's legs and see how she handled....jibless. Happy to report she sails very well under main only-

The next sail was long & coming. I had been waiting for a very long time to take my son and daughter-in-law out for their first summertime visit from LA. We sailed for two days and exhausted me! The first day was a perfect light wind to sail with the NC Maritime Museum sprits'l fleet. The second day we sailed with quite a bit more wind into the Bogue Inlet near Swansboro. Ended up breaking the tiller off from the rudder. Quick thinking and sailed back to shore by balancing her rig. My son set about finding an abandoned tent pole on the beach so we could jury rig a tiller for the sail home, worked great.

The next sail was for the Fourth of July rally out to Shackleford Banks with the sprits'l fleet. This distance sail is always a great time, this time we had to rely on the safety boats because there wasn't much wind down the creek. The rest of the day was good wind and sand bar jumping back into the Beaufort Inlet. I had some wonderful crew I had been mentoring that took to the day's adventure with ease and soaked up every minute.

The Ivory Belle has had a wonderful introduction to the Souther Outer Banks and will soon be sailing out of Cape Carteret's day dock this late summer into fall. Tucking in between sand spit islands, bridges and salt marsh grass is all in a day's good sail for a sweet sailor & I.

Homestretch of Cockpit Renovation

13 February 2017 | Sparrow
unseasonably warm
Well the Cockpit Renovation has taken a bit longer than anticipated, but have spent the past year tearing it up, rebuilding the structure and now resurfacing all the wood. This reno came with a total redesign as well, so that added to the complexity of the project.
We removed the steering box and replaced it with a stern elevated curvature bench. This was done mostly for the additional seating, but also for the comfort of the helms-person.
Also adding more tongue-n-groove surfacing to the lower lazerette faces as well as the coaming.
Half-way through the project, my local supplier of marine grade mahogany ply decided to discontinue carrying the product. So I had to finish the last faces and bench with marine grade fir. That made the surfacing decision easier....cover it up!
We're shooting for an April finish date so I can head south to the New River Plein Air Paint Out. I hope we make it this year!
*will load photos of the finished project in the next month~

Beaufort Bound..........

08 May 2016 | Beaufort, NC Maritime Museum Wooden Boat Show & Plein Air Competition
What a rewarding way to end the week and spring semester. Today's special day began by arriving on the docks while my fellow sailor's were readying the sprits'l fleet for the day's schedule of races and boat rides for the Wooden Boat Show guests. Maybe it all played out this way so I could literally see a new perspective~

I had been preparing the s/v Sparrow and her sailing dinghy, Twinkle (little star) for the new season and had every intention to sail her down to Beaufort for the weekend. Fate had a different plan.
This past winter I purchased a kit 4x4 trailer to haul both the dinghy and/or my kayak from Harbor Freight. Having put it together with some help from my daughter and did a test run with Twinkle, it was clear that the trailer's tongue bar was too short. It would need a longer tongue bar to accommodate the length of the two boats. So having acquired a 10' steel squared bar from Gulfstream in Holly Ridge, I was excited to make the transfer. But as I grabbed the end of the bar I did not notice the ragged edge left from the cutting tool and as I unloaded it and the other end dropped off the trailer, the ragged edge sliced right into my left hand's fingers. After stopping the blood flow, cleaning up the wounds and bandaging them, I realized this had just put a kink in my weekend plans.
I had to decline skippering for the Museum sprits'l fleet and sailing the s/v Sparrow to Beaufort due to the injury and subsequent nerve damage.

Determined to not allow my weekend to be a total loss, I decided to just drive down to Beaufort and set up my easel on the dock I had tied the Sparrow to in previous years at the Wooden Boat Show.

As it turned out, it was the most wonderful morning of blending my two passions of art & sailing and feeling fate was forcing my hand to realize this was my bliss.....and all things were working for me~ TYL

As I nervously attempted to finish up my painting of the sprits'l fleet and submitted it to the judging and wet paint sale, I told myself, no big deal, the reward was in spending the morning at the office on the water anyway.
Having enjoyed the lunch the Arts Council had prepared for all the plein air artists from Clawson's, the Council staff announced it was time to put price tags on our paintings. Before I could even finish my lunch, I was being hailed. Someone was anxious to buy my sprits'l painting and needed a price. Wow!

A sweet local woman on her bicycle approached me and haggled over the price until I told her I had a floater frame to put it in and she agreed to pay more than what I was asking. How sweet! So I took her picture with the finished framed painting and before the judging was called, she had proudly put my morning work into her basket and was anxiously riding off to hang it in her home~ I headed back down to the docks to hang with the sprits'l skippers, taking a break between races~

Little Star goes Plein Air

17 April 2016 | New River, Jacksonville, NC
Sunny but bitter cold wind
As we gear up for the 2016 season, my attentions turned to Sparrow's dink that was passed down from my parent's S/V ARIES.
I have decided to repurpose her to be a petite bateau atelier....a mini painting boat. Last year when we entered our first Plein Air Painting competition I ended up using my kayak, "Magic", a Native Watercraft vessel. But the kayak proved to have space limitations, and I could not set up an easel. Hence the move back to the Little Star. She had been stored beside the cottage for a while waiting for restoration energy to come her way. Seeing how I needed a break from the cockpit project going on Sparrow, and the plein air competitions always give me motivation, I pulled out Little Star and began the sanding and scraping and painting process...and viola....she has such beautiful lines for a sweet little dink.
I tested her out locally to see how she would fair with the extra painting gear aboard. She worked out fantastic! I have room to set up a complete French Easel and Pochade Box and alternate between them. It was so nice to have space to set the water, brushes and paints right there on the wooden thwart seat. I do plan to put down some type of rubber mat for stability. I do know that my pup had a hard time without slipping on the fiberglass.
So on the first day of the plein air competition, after a good many hours of painting, my hands and feet were getting a bit cold. The wind was picking up and I had turned to reach for my pochade box in the bow. As I leaned forward, the Little Star lurched to starboard and SPLASH, overboard went my French Easel, the Pochade Box and my paintings!! I am a firm believer in if I wasn't before. In my state of panic, bringing up the anchor and pulling out the oars as fast as I could, I had forgotten that because they are made of wood and the paintings stretched in wood, they were all floating down river waiting for me to come along side and pick them up. You can never forget your man-over-board maneuvers...they may turn into Art-Over-Board or Easel-Over-Board! Who knows what will happen next onboard the studio boat fleet~
Vessel Make/Model: Marshall 22' catboat & Penobscot 17' gunter rig skiff
Hailing Port: Bogue Sound, NC, USA
Crew: Capt Suz & Tybee Rowe (Kelly Belle in spirit)
About: Tybee Rowe is a newbie to the sailing scene, we're hoping he'll take to it. As for me, the seas in my veins & my tradition remains~
a lifetime of boats: 11' cat-rigged Penquin 16' Hobie catamaran DN Iceboat 26' Seafarer sloop 41' Corinthian trimaran (liveaboard) 23' San Juan sloop 23' Venture of Newport cutter 17' O'Day daysailor Native Watercraft Kayak 14' Hobie catamaran 14' Hilu proa Mistral Windsurfer 17' NC [...]
Home Page:
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Created 17 October 2018
5 Photos
Created 8 August 2017
The SPARROW's mission is two-fold: to document for beauty and science.
7 Photos
Created 4 September 2015
This album will be dedicated to all the MANY projects the SPARROW and I have encountered in bringing her back up to a "beautiful swimmer" status~
4 Photos
Created 4 September 2015
Highlights from the Voyages of the Sparrow
4 Photos
Created 27 September 2013
s/v SPARROW enVoyage
12 Photos
Created 12 September 2013