The Time It Takes to Take the Time
One question I am asked, quite frequently, is: when will the boat be done? The answer to that question is somewhat complicated. Why? Because you can't set a completion date when it comes to boat building or boat restoration. There will always be snags, delays, and unforeseen mishaps. If I had to be pinned down for an exact answer, the Orca will probably be completed in late 2025 or ealy 2026. This project is a marathon, not a race. When you rush things, mistakes happen, and half-assed work is done. My goal is to have a safe and shipshape vessel, not an imitation that sinks in the harbor. Season 2 of my YouTube videos has finally launched after a year delay. I often think that as people watching a project come to fruition, whether it be a car restoration or building a boat, that we often forget that the creator of said project has a life of their own. My whole world does not revolve around Jaws or the Orca, although both are very much on my brain. The Orca Rebuild project is a passion project and a fan project. The Orca will be completed when it is completed, and it will be done RIGHT.
Putting a Face to a Name
After several weeks of searching, I’ve finally found a picture of the man who built the Betselma. Ralph E. Wooster built boats for the Camden Shipyard in Maine during the 1940s and presumably until he died. Not much is known about this man at all, there is little to no information about him. The Betselma herself was built at the Steamboat Landing in Camden in 1945, but she wasn’t register with the Coast Guard until 1962. That’s a 17 year gap that no one knows what Wooster did with the boat. It’s presumed that she sat in dry dock for a while or Wooster only captained her on the weekends. It’s very settling being able to put a face to the name of the man who built the Betselma. In the middle of June (1945) Camden Cruises started their excursions, with Captain Ralph Wooster at the helm of the Wildfire and Captain Gustave Gundersen in command of the Gallant. Credit goes to the the Stormy Bok Collection of the Walsh History Center at the Camden Public Library for the photograph. Mr. Wooster is the man in the middle.
April 05th, 2018