Chuck Cole: Sunspirit

by · December 7, 2009

This book ultimately brought Chuck to my attention.

Chuck Cole

Deb, seen here sailing Moondancer, is a recent addition to Chuck’s crew, in the role of first mate.


Chuck built his Lynaes dinghy Moondancer from the book above, adapting the drawings to his needs.

She has traditional pine tar finish, though the lug rig is Chuck’s adaptation.

The first Sunspirit was a 22′ Block Island Pinky

The boat appeared in Block Island: The Land by Robert M Downie

Chuck’s sail loft in a yurt

Mast construction for the more recent, larger pinky, with what looks suspiciously like a Hobbit dwelling in the background.

The larger, newer (building commenced in 1983) boat is a 37′ Block Island double-ended cat schooner, built lapstrake with white cedar on black locust.

I said 37′ lapstrake! Double-ender!

Could Chuck Cole be a reincarnated Viking?

Trying the rudder

From the stern

From the cockpit before…

and after stepping the masts

all photos courtesy Chuck Coles

Living off the grid, in yurts, heating with wood, building traditional boats by traditional methods, using wood felled and milled on his property in Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Chuck Cole is living a life that many of us would envy! (Maybe not all of us.)
I found Chuck on a WoodenBoat thread while searching out info on Christian Neilsen, a Danish traditional boatbuilder and historian. I’m not going to say a lot more other than to refer you to the thread and discover Chuck for yourselves, except to add that in recent email conversation Chuck reports that he’s found his ship/mate, Deb, and that they hope to launch the ‘cowhorn’ sometime in 2010 and to begin cruising more southerly climes. I wish them godspeed in doing so, but not before I can arrange a visit to Wellfleet, maybe for the launch!

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