The Dory Shop

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada | (902) 640-3005 | info@doryshop.com

Stories from the The Dory Shop


The CALANOVA Chronicles Chapter 10 - CALANOVA's engine

Aux-oil-screw schooner engine installation….

The first most obvious question is this.

Why sully such a sweet model of a perfect sailing schooner like the Amazing CALANOVA with an internal combustion engine??? Why cut a hole right where you don’t want one to put in a propellor to drag along like a bucket? Ruin the sweet run of water past the rudder?  Why, indeed? Is the wind being rationed or rented out elsewhere? Does not the sun and the moon keep these winds stirring over the seas and oceans for the express purpose of soothing the sailing ships soft ambitions? Why jam a chunk of iron down in the bilge? Here it will be doing its damnedest to blow up in a cloud of fire, shrapnel and smoke – and guaranteed to spew oils and fuel over time into the otherwise sweet bilges. This is a certainty.

So why not simply sail this sweet sliver of wood using the angels own breath to move she along? Tack your way into delightful hidden coves. Sail off the hook with no noise or fuss. Never push your ship into a bad spot just BECAUSE you can. Never sail unless conditions are right, avoid coming back in anything but fine clear weather. Joshua Slocum sailed his SPRAY around the world with no engine. Never seemed to bother him. Well, master-mariner that he was he did know what he was doing. So did the Maynards, a family of five in SCUD, a perfect sister-ship to Joshua’s own, down to the last detail, including pas de la bonne machine. And no through hull fittings. Why punch holes in the bottom of your boat if you are actually, on a daily basis, trying to keep the ocean OUT? The Maynards sailed their SCUD some 80 years after Josh’s ocean walkabout. And they had a great voyage with no engine too. Long sweeps (oars), a kid or two on one as the pulled their way into Papeete on a perfect day – of course.

Lunenburg harbour with its SW winds have schooner sailing on a reach written all over the rocks and pines. Even barks and brigantines can pull this off much of the time.

Well, never mind all that, an engine is going into CALANOVA and that is that. Pretty handy for getting back in if wind has gone light or looks like the weather has a mean streak coming on. Good for towing other less able craft too, in a pinch, if needed. Handy for clawing off a lee shore when you get right down to it. As long as it wasn’t the fact of having that engine that fooled you into getting too close to the bricks to begin with. Watch out for that, eh? To Be Avoided: an engine assisted catastrophe.

Anyway, onward…

So, you all remember the engine coming down to the wharf on a big slow ox-cart after getting unloaded from the freight train over to Railway Wharf. There is waterfront talk of shutting the RR Wharf down, in fact, talk of shutting down the entire railways that circle the province and acts as a life-blood for the communities along the shore. Terrible nasty rumour, we must trust that it is all devilish nonsense. What is better than a train for keeping things going in a land like Nova Scotia? Getting rid of the railways? Pish, posh perish the thought. No one nuts enough for that. Crazy idea, no bureaucrat would be fool enough to seriously consider such a notion. Fugetaboutit.

Field Testing CALANOVA’s new engine…in a field…where else would ya ‘field test” sumpin? Jeesh…

Aperture and propellor of CALANOVA’s AUXILIARY POWER SYSTEM…look at it and weep…

Photo credit: H. Watson

As one would expect with an auxiliary plant as sophisticated as that of CALANOVA, that a proper machinery control room would be the savvy way to go, no?

The Amazing CALANOVA at The DORY SHOP last fall…..