Beginning early in 2018, Noel discovered the "Acorn to Arabella" boat-building project on YouTube, and was delighted to join their virtual community in support of the construction of a 38' wooden sailboat "from scratch" using the original 1934 plans of yacht designer, William Atkin.
The goal of the project is to educate and inspire by enthusiastically documenting every step of the work, from milling logs to setting sail, and sharing the experience with people around the world through video. As a self-taught cabinetmaker and furniture designer, in his spare time Noel indulged a special passion for wooden boats: he contributed his talents to the restoration of the 1929 John Alden schooner, Allegro, which still sails on Lake Michigan, and recently rescued a wooden yacht tender, rebuilding her from stem to stern . . . in the garage . . . for fun!
Noel identified immediately with Steve and Alix, the two young men he watched every week on his iPad as they worked to master the tools and materials of boat building. In August 2018, he visited the project on his annual cross-country trek to Cape Ann, Massachusetts. Noel was welcomed as a patron and friend; he shared his experiences, lent a hand (or two) [see above image of Noel helping with the assembly of the bow timbers], and contributed tools he knew would be useful to the shop.
It was truly one of the brightest moments of his last year.
Noel would love to know his support and appreciation of the project continues.
Noel’s family and friends invite you to join them in contributing to the “Sails for Arabella” fund, established in his honor this year.
Your contribution will go toward the purchase of rigging and sails for the Arabella, a double-ended ketch anticipated to set sail in 2021.
For more information on the project itself please visit http://www.acorntoarabella.com