Reuel B. Parker was born in Denver on 2/19/46.
grew up in Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts and New York.
Much of his
childhood was spent on the south shore of Long Island (Bay Shore), where he
learned about boats, boat building and boating.
built many models as a child, and began building and restoring full size boats in 1958, at age 12.
Captain Parker was educated at Colorado State College, State University of New York at Farmingdale and Columbia University in Manhattan.
studied physics, engineering and music.
studied oceanography and emergency medicine in California, attending night-classes at two community colleges.
After a "back to the land" stint in California in the early 70's, Parker
built a 54' LOA ferrocement cutter named FISHERS HORNPIPE , in which he
traveled some 35,000 miles, visiting twenty foreign countries in Central America and the Caribbean.
In 1985 he
built the 44' LOD cold-molded wood cat-schooner TERESA DE ISLA MORADA (the original Exuma-44), to directly test his
design and construction concepts for that type of construction.
next personal vessel was the 30' LOD 1926 Alden Malabar Jr. sloop IMAGINE, which he
restored twice, the second time in cold-molded wood/epoxy.
next and largest vessel was the 75' LOA Virginia Pilot Schooner LEOPARD (the original Pilot Schooner-60), on which he
lived and traveled for five years.
next cruising home was the 65' LOA ketch T'IEN HOU, a modernized Lorcha (a traditional vessel combining Chinese and Portuguese technology from the 16th century).
In early 2010 he
launched the prototype Maxi-Trailerable Sharpie-45 IBIS, a gaff-rigged schooner.
Captain Parker has worked in residential and commercial construction, boatbuilding, and restoration for over fifty years.
has designed, built, repaired and restored boats in wood (traditional and cold-molded), ferrocement, steel, aluminum and fiberglass.
has been living and traveling aboard his
own cruising sailboats since 1975, and intends to continue doing so indefinitely.
Much of Parker's design work draws on the wisdom and pragmatism of working sail from previous centuries, combined with contemporary materials and construction techniques.
also stays abreast of new technology and incorporates it into all his
work, even re-designing vessels when appropriate.
opinions about the ongoing battle between grass-roots marine architects like himself, and licensed naval architects/marine engineers, include the belief that competent designers should have experiences combining extensive offshore sailing, coastal cruising and gunkholing, and all kinds of boatbuilding . A college degree is a wonderful thing, representing years of dedication; but it cannot compare to knowing first hand what happens to different vessels in full gales at sea, or which construction methods can create the strongest, most durable yachts economically.
Learning from books is one thing; learning from experience is quite another.
A good designer must have plenty of both.
Reuel Parker created Parker Marine Enterprises in 1974, both as a design house and custom boatbuilding operation.
now writes Blogs for WoodenBoat Magazine's
website: www.woodenboat.com, under the heading: the whiskey plank