Pine Island’s off-season has a predictable rhythm. The turning of the calendar triggers familiar tasks year after year – October is Registration Month, December yields The Pine Needle, and each May we pass an exciting milestone as the first docks go in the water. As alumnus Ned Bishop says, “Once the big docks are in, everything is possible.” This year putting the docks in is especially exciting because it brings us tangibly closer to our long-awaited Opening Day. Once the docks are in, the KWS – our 28-foot launch – arrives, and soon our fleet of catboats and rowboats will be moored and bobbing in the cove, awaiting beginning and experienced sailors and oarsmen alike.
Six of the boats that will be moored in the cove are Pine Island Skiffs designed specifically for Pine Island by boatbuilder David Stimson. Returning campers will remember John, Paul, George, Ringo, and Stu, but there’s a new addition this year – Pete.
Pete is the result of a small but successful fundraising campaign supported by many generations of Pine Island oarsmen as well as hundreds of hours of time donated by the talented and generous alumnus and super-volunteer Rob Whitehouse. With the original plans to our first skiffs lost, Rob re-created them using a combination of engineering skills, complicated math, and possibly some magic. This monumental project caught the attention of the folks at Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors and is featured in their May/June 2021 issue. I hope you’ll all take the time to read this excellent article by Donnie Mullen – The Essence of Summer and a Skiff Designed for Lake Use – whether or not you’ve spent time in these skiffs. And I hope you’ll join me in thanking Rob Whitehouse for his tremendous work.