Reid and Lucia chartered Chicane in Bermuda in between day jobs from 1976 for 14 years until a massive re-build began in 1990 under the loving and skillful care of shipwrights Joe Postich and Wendy Bliss. Joe and Wendy are products of the first Apprenticeshop in Bath, Maine, the brainchild of the legendary Lance Lee. The Apprenticeshop was one of the first ‘woodenboat’ institutions and lead the way in the woodenboat renaissance in the US and worldwide.
Early advice and support for the re-build was forthcoming from such luminaries as Ian Nicolson and David Ryder-Turner of A. Mylne and Co. and Gordon Swift and Giffy Full of Woodenboat School fame.
Chicane is a classic wooden yacht of the highest pedigree having been designed and built in 1926 by Scottish legends (on the Clyde) Alfred Mylne and A.M. Dickie and Sons respectively.
Chicane was referenced in the lead article of Classic Boat issue (February 2006 – p. 23) by Tom Cunliffe as being the inspiration behind the Fairlie 60 (the first being the yacht Niebla) which are offered by Fairlie Restorations on the Hamble in England.
Chicane was also referenced in Woodenboat issue (July / August 2009) in which the legendary Olin Stevens was reported to have stated that the Chicane restoration was one of the finest he had ever seen!
Chicane spent her early years on the Solent in England and was sailed to Bermuda by William Kempe in 1958 where she has remained ever since. Nephew Reid Kempe and wife Lucia bought her from Uncle Bill in 1975, so she has been in the Kempe family, and in Bermuda, for over 50 years, having had only two owners in that period.
Here you can see how the Chicane has evolved over time. The bowsprit was removed in the 1940s but is being re-introduced along with a taller mast and longer boom.
The skill, dedication and aesthetic sense of Joe and Wendy have been key to the quality and authenticity of this restoration. Their methods have been traditional with the use of some modern materials when appropriate. So the work has involved tens of thousands of silicon bronze fastenings, miles of caulking and traditional laid teak decks (sprung).
Joe and Wendy have received input, support and advice from a host of woodenboat and system experts such as Paul Goss, Tom Cunliffe, Theo Rye, Harry Spencer, Bob Snow, Mark Ratsey, Mark Webby, Donn Costanzo, Jeff Law, George Moffett, Joe Liener, Luther Goff and John Ford. And most of this input was donated free of charge, straight from the heart!