Reuel B. Parker was
born in Denver on 2/19/46. He grew up in
Maine, Massachusetts and New
York. Much of his childhood was spent on the south shore of Long Island
(Bay Shore), where he learned about boats, boat building and boating.
built many models as a child, and began building and restoring full
boats in 1958, at age 12.
Captain Parker was educated at Colorado State College, State University of New York at Farmingdale and Columbia University in Manhattan. He studied physics, engineering and music. He studied oceanography and emergency medicine in California, attending night-classes at two community colleges.
After a "back to the land" stint in California in
the early 70's, Parker built a 54' LOA ferrocement cutter named FISHERS
HORNPIPE, in which he traveled some 35,000 miles, visiting
countries in Central America and the Caribbean. In 1985 he built the
LOD cold-molded wood cat-schooner TERESA
MORADA (the original Exuma-44),
to directly test
and construction concepts for that type of construction. His next
vessel was the 30' LOD 1926 Alden Malabar Jr. sloop IMAGINE, which he restored twice,
the second time in cold-molded wood/epoxy. His next and largest vessel
was the 75' LOA Virginia Pilot Schooner LEOPARD (the original Pilot Schooner-60), on
which he lived and
traveled for five years. His next cruising home was the 65' LOA
ketch T'IEN HOU, a modernized
Lorcha (a traditional vessel combining Chinese and Portuguese
the 16th century). In early 2010 he launched the prototype
Maxi-Trailerable Sharpie-45 IBIS,
Captain Parker has worked in residential and commercial
construction, boatbuilding, and restoration for over fifty years. He
designed, built, repaired and restored boats in wood (traditional and
ferrocement, steel, aluminum and fiberglass. He has been living and
aboard his own cruising sailboats since 1975, and intends to continue
Much of Parker's design work draws on the
and pragmatism of working sail from previous centuries, combined with
contemporary materials and construction techniques.
But he also stays abreast of new technology and incorporates it into
all his work, even re-designing vessels when appropriate. His opinions
about the ongoing battle between grass-roots marine architects like
himself, and licensed naval architects/marine engineers, include the
competent designers should have
experiences combining extensive
offshore sailing, coastal cruising and gunkholing, and all kinds of
boatbuilding. A college degree is a wonderful thing,
of dedication; but it cannot compare to knowing first hand what happens
to different vessels in full gales at sea, or which construction
methods can create the strongest, most durable yachts economically.
Learning from books is one thing; learning from experience is quite
another. A good designer must have plenty of both.
Reuel Parker created Parker Marine Enterprises in 1974, both as a
house and custom boatbuilding operation. Although Parker Marine no
builds boats commercially, we still build an occaisional prototype,
hull/deck package, masts, keels, rigging and other components. Parker
Marine can also be coaxed into woodenboat restoration projects,
especially if the boat is of a high pedigree. Parker's cruising
powerboats fit the category LDL (Low-Displacement-Length) in an effort
to make them as effecient and environmentally friendly as possible.
Capt. Parker began writing books and magazines articles in the 1980's. He is a regular contributor of articles to WoodenBoat Magazine and BoatBuilder Magazine (now defunct), and he has started writing articles for Good Old Boat Magazine, Professional BoatBuilder Magazine, and Latitudes and Attitudes Magazine. His Sharpie Book is published by McGraw-Hill under the International Marine imprint. The New Cold-Molded Boatbuilding is now published by WoodenBoat Publications. THE VOYAGES OF FISHERS HORNPIPE, about those first long cruises along the Pacific Coast, Central America, the Caribbean and the U. S. East Coast, is published by Parker Marine Enterprises. There are several new books in the works, including Seabrights and Garveys; Workboats of the New Jersey Shore, Practical Woodenboat Restoration, and Second Editions of The New Cold-Molded Boatbuilding and The Sharpie Book.
Capt. Parker spends summers in Maine, and winters in South
Florida and the Bahamas.
You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Reuel Parker now writes Blogs for WoodenBoat Magazine's website:
www.woodenboat.com, under the heading: the whiskey plank