A Unit of Water, a Unit of Time: Joel White's Last Boat

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Doubleday, 1999 - Transportation - 302 pages
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At the Bronklin Boat Yard in Brooklin, Maine, local workmen craft boats of great beauty by shaping wood to the specifications of Joel White, one of the last great boat designers of his breed, father to boat yard owner Steve White, son to legendary writer E. B. White. In June 1996, Joel White began designing his masterpiece, the W-76, a wooden racing yacht with sublime lines and exquisite rigging. In January of that year, he had been diagnosed with cancer.

In "A Unit of Water, A Unit of Time", Douglas Whynott recounts the year he spent at the Brooklin Boat Yard, observing as Joel White calmly and with great dignity put his greatest dream to paper and as the flinty but proud boat builders brought his sketches and drawings to life. This is a portrait of E. B. White's New England, a gentle, timeless oceanside community whose slyly humorous inhabitants care for each other deeply but express their emotions in their deeds, not their words. Charming, colorful, almost meditative in its appreciation for the virtues of hard work and gifts of fathers to sons, "A Unit of Water, A Unit of Time" will delight sailors and armchair sailors alike.

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A UNIT OF WATER, A UNIT OF TIME: Joel White's Last Boat

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An affectionate, informative, yet lighter-than-air look at the life and work of Joel White, the boat designer and builder who also happened to be E.B.'s son, from Whynott (Giant Bluefin, 1995). Joel ... Read full review

A unit of water, a unit of time: Joel White's last boat

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

For this heartfelt tribute to boatbuilder Joel White, son of writer E.B. White, Whynott (Giant Bluefin, LJ 5/1/95) spent a year in Brooklin, ME, watching and writing about the building of wooden boats ... Read full review


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About the author (1999)

Douglas Whynott is the author of "Following the Bloom", "Giant Bluefin", and "A Unit of Water, A Unit of Time". He lives near Hanover, New Hampshire, and directs the M.F.A. writing program at Emerson College in Boston.

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