Issue: November 2000
Diminutive Dreamboat

Curiosity brought them to the Bay; a lightning bolt made them stay. Now, their workshop turns out half-hull models, furniture and, most recently, a dazzling little sloop.

 

    The idea hit Ron and Sue Fortucci like a bolt of lightning. Actually, it was a bolt of lightning. Eleven years ago, as the Fortuccis cruised through the Chesapeake en route to their home port in Massachusetts, lightning struck Wanderer, their 42-foot wooden ketch. “It killed our batteries, our charging system, everything,” says Ron. “We had thought about [moving to] the Chesapeake Bay area before. The lightning storm kinda helped make the decision for us.”

    After the snowbirds doused their smoking masts, they continued the vocations that had allowed them to cruise for the five years leading up to that fateful lightning strike. Ron set to building half-hull models, wooden spars and boats, while Sue continued to ply her canvas-work trade. Eventually, they named their Easton, Md. business Anything Wood, and today it’s thriving quite nicely, thank you very much.

    The latest craft in the Fortuccis’ repertoire is a Haven 12.5, a little gaff-rigged sloop, yet to be named. Based on the much-ballyhooed Herreshoff 12.5, the Haven 12.5 has lines adapted by the late New England designer Joel White. Her fore-and-aft planking is all steam bent. She is trimmed in white oak and mahogany. The sails, which Sue made from a kit, are Dacron but are hand finished with an old-fashioned look to go along with the traditional rig.

    This is the second Haven 12.5 Fortucci has turned out and, like her predecessors, she’s certainly pretty-and pretty expensive. Asking price for the diminutive dreamboat, with its hand-bent planks, all-bronze hardware and 1,000-pound lead keel: $27,000.