The following was written by Bill Todd, public relations representative for Atria Woodbriar Place in Falmouth. Bill visited WHHM’s boat shop in February 2023 to see what retired MD, boat enthusiast, and Atria resident Ed Thieler has been up to.

It’s already March, and the Cape Cod sailing season is not far off.

Here’s a story from Woods Hole about how 86-year-old Ed Thieler, who came to Falmouth six months ago as a resident of Atria Woodbriar Place, is passing along his shipbuilding knowledge to local shipwrights. Each Saturday, Ed is at the Woods Hole Historical Museum’s community boat shop shipbuilding sessions that bring together multiple generations to preserve the art of Cape Cod boat building. Ed is a retired orthopedic surgeon and is a longtime boat enthusiast who helps younger shipwrights with restoring boats and building new ones.

Thieler himself builds scale models of classic Atlantic watercraft such as the shellback. Ed was previously heavily involved with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. He brings his knowledge of boat building to the Woods Hole project. The group is currently building two shellback vessels – one to be sold to the public this spring, and one that will be used by the youngest apprentice shipwright at the shop, who is a student at Falmouth High School.

Besides Ed, the group includes professional local shipwrights Jake Fricke and Chuck Verbeck (pictured above), as well as the high school student. There’s even talk of a racing season this summer in Vineyard Sound for the boats they are building!

Bill asked Jake what it was like having Ed ‘on board” at the Boat Shop. Here is what he had to say—

Photos and video courtesy of Bill Todd.