Harold Burnham


In September 2012, NEA Heritage Fellow and boat builder sailed over 600 miles with a few close friends from Gloucester, MA to Washington, DC. The wooden vessel that carried him here, The Ardelle, was built to be a traditional pinky schooner. The truly amazing part of this story is that he built this boat with the aid of volunteers from his hometown of Essex, MA, a legendary shipbuilding center dating back to the 1800s.

As Harold said in this interview, "We built the Ardelle for $65,000. How are you going to do that in fiberglass? You couldn't even buy the glue. You can't buy the fastenings if it was screw-fastened for that. [The Ardelle] was built with sawn frames and tree nails in the old way."

A generous and gracious soul, Harold offered to take a few NEA staffers and Heritage Fellows on a short ride on the Potomac River. In this video, Harold delivers some interesting back story as we sail into the foggy evening.