By John Fry
The pains and tribulations of a Canadian enterprise titan in the course of a desirable interval in 19th-century Quebec.
A brain at Sea is an intimate window right into a vanished time whilst Canada was once one of the world’s nice maritime international locations. among 1856 and 1877, Henry Fry was once the Lloyd’s agent for the St. Lawrence River, east of Montreal. The harbour coves less than his domestic in Quebec have been filled with colossal rafts of minimize wooden, the river’s coastline sprawled with yards the place vast square-rigged ships – many owned by means of Fry – have been built.
As the president of Canada’s Dominion Board of exchange, Fry used to be on the epicentre of wealth and impact. His domestic urban of Quebec served because the capital of the province of Canada, whereas its port was once frequently the scene of uncooked illegal activity. He fought vigorously opposed to the abduction of sailors and the harmful perform of deck loading. He additionally battled opposed to and overcame his own demon – psychological melancholy – happening to jot down many send histories and essays on U.S.-Canada relations.
Fry used to be a colorful determine and a reformer who interacted with the well-known figures of the day, together with Lord and girl Dufferin, Sir John A. Macdonald, Wilfrid Laurier, and Sir Narcisse-Fortunat Belleau, Quebec’s lieutenant-governor.
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Additional resources for A Mind at Sea: Henry Fry and the Glorious Era of Quebec's Sailing Ships
I chose for the midsection a sectional shape from a Carter design. His boats Aggressive and Airmail had been very similar, successful IOR two-tonners back in the day before the IOR sectional shapes got angularly radical. Both boats had nice, deep-deadrise midsections and a hint of tumblehome. This shape provided a natural bilge sump and lent itself to a fine entry. For a bow, I went back to Garden’s Bolero design. This is where I probably went wrong. I liked the profile of Bolero’s bow with its hint of concavity, but when I adapted it to the Valiant I gave the sectional shape of the bow a lot of flare, maybe too much.
The answer was obvious. That underbody shape could and would make a far better cruising stern as long as possible. Flat buttocks were the key, and this would require a stern that, while based upon the Scandinavian-inspired stern of Holger Danske, would take the shape to a new extreme. The result was the Valiant’s tumblehome canoe stern, in which the buttocks carried way aft before being tucked and rolled abruptly upward into the sheer. ) Did I “invent” that stern? No, it was there from the days of the Vikings.
A short search led us to dead squid stashed in lockers around the boat. We figured it was the work of the Westsail people. Nathan and I were both 30 years old and proud fathers of a boat that would go on to become a modern classic. After building 150 Valiants, Uniflite faltered and went out of business in 1984 due to a fiasco with its Hetron fire-retardant polyester resin. Hetron was One of the later Valiant 40s, built just before we switched to the Valiant 42 model with the bowsprit. Note the boarding ladder obscuring my beautiful stern.
A Mind at Sea: Henry Fry and the Glorious Era of Quebec's Sailing Ships by John Fry