Blue Goose, 28 ft Cape Cod Catboat, built in 1928 by Brown Boat Co., Taunton, MA
last edited 6/08/17
to see recent pix of the cabin and cockpit, see CabinPix
you may see the articles, in .PDF format, that have been published in The Catboat Assn Bulletin:
Blue Goose Memories
The Blue Goose Story
Power Windlass Installation
2014 Annual Maint
The House Leaks
Hailing port, Chatham, MA
Beaufort, NC ca. 2013
I am preparing this page in Feb., 2014. (updated 6/08/17) (any pic may be clicked upon for a full sized view)
Back in 1957 I was running a boat rental business for a fellow in Stage Harbor, Chatham, MA. I didn't have a driver's license at the time, and the owner of the rental boats suggested I commute to work using one of the boats. I was living for the summer in my Grandfather's cottage in West Chatham, about 2 miles from Oyster River. I had a homemade motor scooter that I'd ride, overland, to the River, park it in a fishing shanty there, and get aboard a boat, which I'd anchor there each night, then go the 5 miles or so to Stage Harbor. I would often see a beautiful large catboat named Blue Goose, at mooring, in the harbor.
f ca. 1960, Chatham, MA (thanks to Tom Ennis and John Kimball, of Chatham, for these pix) They were taken moments apart, they are slightly different, both displayed here for closer examination of details. Note, the hull is grayer than the cabin top, it was blue then.
Jump forward now, to 1998. My wife and I have moved to New Bern, NC, and in the Fall are "poking around" looking for boats on Radio Island in Morehead City. What do I see there, but a large transom of a boat "on the hard", and it said, "Blue Goose Chatham". I told Pat, my wife, a Cape Cod girl, "I know that boat", from Chatham. I guess stranger things happen. We didn't think much more about her then, or for about another 5 years, when we were walking the docks in Beaufort, NC, and there she was, tied up at the fuel dock, and her owner was nearby. We struck up a conversation with him, and learned he was Tom Harper, who had lived on Cape Cod, graduated from Harwich High School, and had owned a house in West Chatham, about a quarter of a mile from my Grandfather's cottage. He was a retired Navy Captain, had moved to inland NC some 20 years earlier, and also had a house in Beaufort.
Forward again to Dec., 2013. I see on the internet that the Blue Goose is for sale, on a Catboat Assn. website. I showed the listing, and linked pix to my wife, Pat, and reminded her of our "history". Several days later we were having dinner on the waterfront in Beaufort. We both admitted to each other that we missed sailing, as we'd turned to power about 5 yrs earlier. I said, "we could remedy that by buying Blue Goose". I thought that maybe a night’s sleep and the light of day would bring us to our senses, why should we buy an old wooden boat? Not to be, the next day I called the number from the ad, talked with Tom, and he said he did remember our meeting almost 10 yrs earlier.
To fill in a little back history, Blue Goose was built, in 1928, by Brown Boat Co., in Taunton, MA. We don't know who the original owner was, but apparently she was bought in the early 1930's by Spaulding Dunbar, of Chatham, Mass., on Cape Cod. Dunbar was a Naval Architect, boat designer and builder. He operated a boat yard in Mill Pond, Chatham, for many years, I remember it there in the mid-50's. He may have sold Blue Goose in the late 1940's. He died in 1991. The boatyard is now owned and operated by the Pease brothers, Brad and Mike.
At the Kinney Boatyard dock, ca. 1954, probably awaiting haulout, hull obviously a dark blue.
Further search finds:
1956 Lloyd's Register lists Blue Goose as owned by Charles H. Kimball of Chatham. I have been in contact with his son, and will be receiving more info and some pix. He said, as a start, "My father was Charles Kimball and I remember fondly many cruises on her when I was around 15 (in around 1956). I'm glad it has a new home. Those pictures are very interesting. It looks a lot more comfortable than I remember with pipe berths, a wood stove my mother had to cope with, and a chest of drawers shoved up against the mast."
Charles and Millie Kimball John Kimball, (chest of drawers at the mast) both pix mid-50's
1966 Lloyd's Register lists the owner as David G. Morgan of Chatham. Sometime, probably in the late '60's, the Morgans moved her to Florida. About 1978 Charles Morgan had her hauled back to Chatham, and she resided in a barn there until 1990 while some work was undertaken, a new BMW 3 cyl. 50 HP diesel engine was purchased, but not installed.
ca. 1970?, Florida ca. 1978, back in Chatham, into the barn
1990 BG was purchased from Charles Morgan, by Tom Harper. He kept her in Chatham until 1998, when he moved her to Beaufort, NC
Tom passes the $ in 1990 1990, out of the barn, after 12 yrs to Pease Bro.s, Harwich, MA
2014 Blue Goose was purchased from Tom Harper by Al & Pat Parker.
After a couple of outings on Blue Goose, and several dinners with Tom and Sandra, his wife, he "allowed" us to make an offer on Blue Goose. On Jan. 27, 2014, she was surveyed, in Beaufort. Due to the forecast of coming rotten weather (snow), Tom and I moved her about 2 miles closer to home, and put her in a marina to await a better day to make the 5+ hour motor trip home to New Bern. 5 days later, Jill, our older daughter, and I brushed off the snow from her cover, moved away from the skim of ice between the slips, and made the trip home, overcast and about 50F temps.
Jill, holding true course Jill and Pop
June 1, 2014 close hauled, New Bern, Al and Pat Parker, with Tom Harper as guest helmsman. Tom's first sail with us.
If, after looking at all the pix, anyone can suggest who the designer might be, we'd be interested in hearing from you. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
lots happened in 1990 - 1993 She was completely rebuilt, stem to stern by Pease Bro.s Boat Co., she received many new ribs, garboards, transom, cockpit, decks. A new engine, tanks and head. The cabin was stripped, gutted, and rebuilt.
(details to follow)
(to be continued, but a preview of coming historic events)
Here are some pix of our good times in the Spring of 2014 (added 4/12/15)
The above pix thanks to Jim and Tom, on Belladonna, the Nimble yawl.
At the Wooden Boat Show, Beaufort, NC, and on the way home, Jill at helm (lost the wind)