Steve Chapin, Master Boatbuilder
Jim Buckley –
“It’s a better boat than we ever built” remarked Stan Pocock at the Christening of Steve’s first shell, Legacy, at the Seattle Yacht Club in 2007.
That’s quite a statement from the man who dominated racing boat building all over the world for fifty years, building on the Pocock legacy of building the fastest and best wooden rowing shells in the world for at least fifty years before that.
So, when Pocock Racing Shells decided to stop building wooden singles, Stan decided to donate the wooden singles factory (in a basket) to Steve.
In time Steve built probably the best wooden single racing shell ever built. At the christening Stan Pocock was heard to say, “We never built any boats this good”.
Not to take anything away from Steve, but to give Stan his due, in his heyday Stan built a single in one week and sold it for a lot less. But Steve, incorporating the best of the boats built by George Pocock, Stan Pocock and Bob Brunswick, nevertheless, builds the best wooden racing shells ever built.
Later that year at the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, Frank Cunningham, the best stroke Harvard ever had and arguably the best coach for sixty years after that, said he had never seen a man with a “better water sense” than Steve.
That’s quite a statement as well. Would you step into a brand new $20,000 shell from a high dock in front of the whole Seattle rowing community as Steve did?