Masts made on MDI headed to Columbia

BAR HARBOR — Two huge wooden masts at Elk Spar and Boat Shop are getting finishing touches this month before shipping out to the yacht Diara in Cartagena, Columbia. The two-masted boat has an unusual rig, with a marconi-rigged main and a gaff on the fore. Diara was built in the 1950s and was designed by the owner’s father. The last time the masts were pulled for maintenance, major rot was discovered.

The order came here to Jim Elk, via a rigging shop in Miami, for new ones. They are made of laminated douglas fir, much stronger than a solid piece cut from a single tree would be.

Elk built this shop 17 years ago, just after his daughter was born. He had learned how to build wooden spars in the 1970s, working for a builder in Maryland named Jim Richardson.

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Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.