The Boatbuilders is a documentary series that explores the historical and present day legacy of the boatbuilding community in the Northeast, United States.
Treatment Episode 1:
We start our story in the mecca of design and boatbuilding at the Herreshoff Museum in Bristol, Rhode Island. The brothers Nathaniel Greene Herreshoff and John Brown Herreshoff revolutionized boatbuilding with their innovation and design by producing some of the finest wooden and metal boats ever developed at the Herreshoff Manufacturing company throughout the late 1800’s through the 1940’s. Their true claim to fame came from designing and building sailing vessels that successfully defended the America’s Cup six consecutive times. The socio-economic perspective is in full display between the gilded age of industrial magnates in relation to the everyday man—boatbuilder, and the sailors destine to sail these designs for glory and country.
Our story travels to IYRS, a training ground for young boatbuilders focused on maintaining the legacy of Herreshoff boats, among other designs. IRYS has been training women and men at the art of restoring and building designs of the past and present. We segue into present day boatbuilders, sailors, and owners speak about the realities of boatbuilding in Rhode Island today, along with the challenges and rewards of maintaining the legacy, and beauty of these works of art on the sea.
The episode wraps with a brief perspective of where the series will head to in the future teasing with the current state of the America Cup crafts, and touch on American Magic, one of the challengers for the most recent America’s Cup races taking place in New Zealand. Focus swings to the environmental aspects and impact on our seas, because if there is no stewardship of our seas—in turn there can be no legacy of these fine and cherished crafts. Our episode ends by teasing the next stop on the The Boatbuilders tour of the Northeast.
Gregg Seibert currently serves as Assistant Professor of Communications and Video Production at Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts.
R. A. Lawson
Producer & Historian
R. A. Lawson is an historian of American culture with wide-ranging interests the arts, both performative and material. Dr. Lawson earned his Ph.D. in History at Vanderbilt University in 2003.
Social Media Director
Amelia Schneider was born and raised in Wrentham, MA. She has always been a very successful individual. Motivation and passion are the two biggest parts of her personality.
Animation Artist/Graphic Designer
Bonnetta has been with Purple Turtle Productions, Inc. since 2013, where she has worked with actors, written and re-worked scripts, set up green screen, handled boom mic operations, and well as edited on 3 non-linear platforms: Avid, Final Cut, and Adobe Premiere.