October 2014: Sails & Rails

Sails & Rails

Sails & Rails

This fully illustrated history of seagoing vessels named Nahant was carefully researched by naval historians Daniel DeStefano and Gerald Butler. From graceful cutters with checkered pasts, to stalwart tug boats, the histories of these crafts named Nahant come alive...especially through the original watercolor illustrations painted by DeStefano.

"Some crewmembers brought their families on board the civilian barges to live, and within large ports, such as New York, the barge community grew to be quite large. Cabin areas were widened, and bright curtains adorned windows. On certain days, weekly laundry donated color to the vessels’ appearances, while during warm months, pots held flowers and vegetables." —page 65

An interesting read for those who love the sea, this history is the best we've come across of the ships named for the picturesque isle of Nahant...and will appeal to lovers of nautical lore, local history, and fine watercolors alike.

Order your copy here

Consider passing on your copy of Sails & Rails after you have enjoyed its many stories. Who do you know who would appreciate these fine illustrations and fascinating nautical history? By spreading the word, and sharing your book, you can help the authors reach the readers who will enjoy this content most!

Upcoming Author Talks:

Day: Sunday, Oct 19th
Time: 2:30pm
Host: Nahant Public Library
Address: 15 Pleasant St, Nahant

A Closer Look...
   ...at Sails & Rails

    "It seemed that almost the entire Town of Nahant was needed to haul the ninety ton, eighty foot long hull of a large fishing dragger (so-called because she dragged nets behind) onto the launch ramp at the Nahant Wharf on a warm fall day in October of 1963. The gala mood was momentarily quelled when the Valiant finally let go her towing cables, and bumped into the wharf with an audible thud! that some took to mark an evil omen. Only five years later, those pessimists may have been proven right.

    "Six years were consumed in building her, and three days to drag the cradled boat through the town’s streets and slip her into the sea. Courageously named Valiant, the dragger was built by Raymond Polombo and his neighbor, Frank McClain, Jr., in the yard between their two homes on Forty Steps Lane. She was the fifth boat built by Polombo, who grew up in Italy in the household of his seafaring father. McClain had also been around boats his entire life.

    "Planned for use as a lobster fishing boat, with a beam of 23 feet, the home-built dragger was greeted by twelve noisy salutes from the tiny ten-gauge cannon of Town Historian Charles C. Gallery. The huge hull was then towed to Gloucester for her outfitting with electronics and steering apparatus (“Home Made Dragger,” 1963). Polombo captained his creation until June, 1967, when the Coast Guard received a call from the trawler San Andria that Valiant was taking water..."

(from page 103)