The Alliance continues its A Celebration of Nantucket Sound (ACONS) webinar series with a look at Boatbuilding and Design. The guest speaker is master boatbuilder and co-founder of Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway, Nat Benjamin. Nat will speak about boat design and building methods, as well as the rich history of boatbuilding in Cape Cod waters and the history of wooden boats in Nantucket Sound. Nat will also share some of his own work, such as the 65′ schooner, Juno.
A Live Q&A with Nat and Alliance president Audra Parker will follow the presentation.
Nat Benjamin has been sailing since his youth, doing his first offshore delivery to St. Thomas when he was 20. When he arrived in the Caribbean in 1967, there were many classic wooden yachts in the charter fleet including old schooners, ketches and yawls from the golden age of yacht design. Since then, Nat has delivered yachts and skippered charter boats across the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean, and to and from New England to the Caribbean. In 1972 Nat and his wife, Pam, sailed into Vineyard Haven Harbor on Martha’s Vineyard on a 1921 Johan Anker 10-meter class sloop.
In 1980, Nat, along with Ross Gannon, founded the Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway, a boatyard that specializes in the design, construction, repair, and maintenance of wooden boats. Since its founding, Gannon & Benjamin has built over 70 boats, ranging in size from 8' yacht tenders to the 65' schooner Juno. In 1998, a second shop was built across the street for the construction of the 60 ft. schooner, Rebecca, launched in 2001. At the beginning of 2023, construction began on the 26' gaff sloop, Marta—Nat’s design number, 100.