youth of the nation


youth of the nation

John Brady, classic boat designer, carpenter, life-long sailor, teacher, rigger, museum director and all-around good guy will accept the Whitehall Award from Rocking the Boat—a nonprofit Bronx River organization that we like a lot—on March 27 in New York City. John hails from Barnegat Bay, a sailor’s paradise halfway down the New Jersey coast between Manhattan and Cape May. He ran the Independence Seaport Museum’s boat shop, Workshop on the Water, for 25 years and last year was named the organization’s CEO. His association with Rocking the Boat spans 10 years. John has designed three boats in Rocking the Boat’s fleet, advised on the construction of many others, including the 29-foot whaleboat currently being built for Mystic Seaport, and has hosted students on many visits to his boat shop and museum as well as on thrilling sails on the sandbaggers Bull and Bear and the catboat Silent Maid. A tip of our hat to John on this much-deserved honor.

We continue to follow Rocking the Boat with great interest, not least because the illustrious Sailing Anarchist Michael Robinson is the Board Secretary. For the uninitiated, Rocking the Boat runs programs that get high school kids from the South Bronx building, repairing, rowing, and sailing wooden boats, and then using them to restore the Bronx River. A shortlist of Rocking the Boat’s recent activities includes:

20 students building a 17-foot carvel planked Whitehall rowboat based on a design by John Gardner, the 36th handmade boat in their fleet

8 apprentices making progress on the initial construction phase of a 29-foot whaleboat they have been commissioned to build for the Mystic Seaport Museum. The work has included lofting the boat, building the keel, and steam bending the 1½-inch frames and the 3-inch stems. The apprentices expect to complete the boat in spring 2013 and sail it to Mystic, where it will hang from the davits of the restored Charles W. Morgan, the last remaining wooden whaling ship in the United States.

20 students and apprentices receiving advanced sail training aboard Rocking the Boat’s new 30-foot keelboat, a Pearson Flyer, donated over the summer. The Flyer is not only serving to teach kids about engines, rigging, tuning and racing, it will be used as a platform for silent auction items at the Whitehall Award.

8 apprentices working with an ecological artist, environmental engineers, and contractors to install a 10,000 square foot wetland on the banks of the Bronx River. They planted the area with over 8,000 native salt-tolerant grasses, shrubs, and perennials in order to capture and filter the dirtiest quarter inch of rainfall that had been running off a 30,000 square foot parking lot into the River.

The same 8 apprentices collaborating with professional scientists and university professors on a two-year project to grow mussels and seaweed to filter stormwater releases from the Hunts Point Wastewater Treatment Plant at the mouth of the Bronx River.

You can see why we love supporting this group! And thanks to POD for the title inspiration.