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Reuel Parker (Parker Marine Enterprises) has been building boats under the tropical sun of south Florida for more than 35 years.
By Reuel B. Parker, PARKER MARINE ENTERPRISES
Reuel B. Parker was born in Denver on 2/19/46.
He 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. He 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. He studied physics, engineering and music. He 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. His 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. His 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. His 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. He has designed, built, repaired and restored boats in wood (traditional and cold-molded), ferrocement, steel, aluminum and fiberglass. He 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. But he also stays abreast of new technology and incorporates it into all his work, even re-designing vessels when appropriate. His 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. Reuel Parker now writes Blogs for WoodenBoat Magazine's website: www.woodenboat.com, under the heading: the whiskey plank
The Articles are original copies of Reuel Parker's magazine articles before publication and editing (or un-published), and include diverse subjects like cruising, designing, boatbuilding, restoration and rigging.
Please see our BOOKS PAGE for available titles. We will add more as we can make them available. The Sharpie Book is available again--please see out BOOKS PAGE. Reuel Parker's third book, THE VOYAGES OF FISHERS HORNPIPE , is available for $35 including domestic shipping. The book, in the works for decades, is about building Capt. Parker's first cruising sailboat on a California beach in the mid-1970's, and sailing her 35,000 miles to twenty foreign countries.
Canadian first mate Becky on IBIS in the Bahamas, early 2016 Captain Reuel with big dorado, Bahamas, 2016
2010 RESTORED ANTIQUE FOLBOT, BY REUEL PARKER. FOR SALE FOR $2,500 (new price) Reuel Parker paddling with his neighbors Claire and Cabot Adams. LEOPARD was remodeled in early 1999 by Reuel Parker and Bill Smith to her new owner's requirements.