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Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?

DigiTrad:
THE EENSIE-WEENSIE SPIDER
THE MARY ELLEN CARTER


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Lyr Req: Mary Ellen Carter (Stan Rogers) (6) (closed)
Tune Req: Mary Ellen Carter Bass tab???? (5)
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Correction: The Mary Ellen Carter (2) (closed)


Clinton Hammond 27 Jun 01 - 04:17 PM
vectis 27 Jun 01 - 04:27 PM
Walking Eagle 27 Jun 01 - 04:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jun 01 - 04:36 PM
Clinton Hammond 27 Jun 01 - 04:41 PM
Jack the Sailor 27 Jun 01 - 04:49 PM
Clinton Hammond 27 Jun 01 - 04:52 PM
Liz the Squeak 27 Jun 01 - 04:56 PM
Jack the Sailor 27 Jun 01 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,Banjo-Flower 27 Jun 01 - 05:23 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 27 Jun 01 - 05:36 PM
GUEST 27 Jun 01 - 06:42 PM
kendall 27 Jun 01 - 06:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jun 01 - 06:59 PM
SeanM 27 Jun 01 - 07:04 PM
Jeri 27 Jun 01 - 07:05 PM
ChanteyMatt 27 Jun 01 - 07:11 PM
kendall 27 Jun 01 - 07:40 PM
Tony Burns 27 Jun 01 - 09:31 PM
A Wandering Minstrel 28 Jun 01 - 09:59 AM
MMario 28 Jun 01 - 10:12 AM
Willie-O 28 Jun 01 - 11:20 AM
DonMeixner 28 Jun 01 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,Naemanson 28 Jun 01 - 11:28 AM
kendall 28 Jun 01 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,JohnB 28 Jun 01 - 12:39 PM
Clinton Hammond 28 Jun 01 - 12:44 PM
Jack the Sailor 28 Jun 01 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,Melani 28 Jun 01 - 01:36 PM
kendall 28 Jun 01 - 03:59 PM
Tig 28 Jun 01 - 05:51 PM
Charley Noble 28 Jun 01 - 05:51 PM
Jack the Sailor 26 Dec 01 - 02:02 PM
Gareth 26 Dec 01 - 07:02 PM
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Subject: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 04:17 PM

A chum has 'some artistic project in mind' and is curious... What's the take of Catter's here who are knowledgable about such things...

I do know that Ariel has said that MEC started off in Stans mind as a space ship... he was a big fan of hard science fiction...

That aside, what kind of boat do you think she was?

;-)


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: vectis
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 04:27 PM

Trawler. A beam trawler, I think.


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 04:28 PM

Realistically speaking, she would have been a Great Lakes Freighter. But then, what does realism have to do with this? I picture her as being one of the last of the great full sailed freight vessels.


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 04:36 PM

I'd envisage her as a scruffy working boat anyway, nothing to look at in particular, but tough. I know that's no help in answering the question.


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 04:41 PM

Realistically speaking? A Great Lakes Freighter? Why? I don't get it...

And I never pictured her as a sailing ship... Maybe because I read Stans bio where he talks about maritime insurance fraud being such big business that "whole shipping conglomerantes have been formed in recent years whose sole purpose is not, ..., the movement of goods, but rather the sinking of ships in as profitable a manner as possible"

From an unproduced radio play, "The Mary Ellen Carter"

The example that follows talks about 'a smallish freighter, as old and rickety as possible'

I guess that's how I picture The MEC


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 04:49 PM

From the size of the crew, the name and the value "She's worth a quarter million, sittin at the Dock." I pictured a small trawler like the hundreds I saw growing up in Newfoundland. But obviously those other descriptions would fit. I prefer to have it unspecified and picture my own boat. I don't think it was based upon a real incident was it? I always thought the story would make a good movie.


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 04:52 PM

It's not based on real events, no... no more so than say, Field Behind The Plow is about any one guy...

Small trawler eh... Hummmm....


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 04:56 PM

Not very good one by all accounts, they're forever trying to get her to float again.....

LTS : )


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 05:18 PM

Clinton

At the time I first heard the song, Late 1970's I guess, there were hundreds of such trawlers all under 65 feet in length due to Dept of Fisheries regulations. They'd cost between 1/2 to 3/4 million new, so I thought that 1/4 million salvage would not be unreasonable. I actually have no idea what the salvage value would be. I had heard of such vessels lost but usually in a gale and not salvageable. I guess I just superimposed the song over what I knew about the industry.

Liz

According to the song, she was a good ship with a bad captian. I think we keep trying to make her rise again because it is such fun!


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: GUEST,Banjo-Flower
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 05:23 PM

my thoughts were that she was a liberty ship from WW2 but why i do'nt know, (i guess it's all in the mind) Banjo-Flower


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 05:36 PM

The Mary Ellen Carter would be a small dragger (trawler)


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 06:42 PM

I've always pictured her a a small trawler, too.


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 06:53 PM

Not sure about the size of her, why would a small trawler need a Skipper AND a Mate? I also picture her as a working vessel of some sort.

She was probably a figment of Stans' mind, his line..and the laughing drunken rats who left her to a sorry grave... I smell libel and slander here!


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 06:59 PM

The second in command would be a Mate, informally anyway, on any boat - and there's always going to be a second in command. After all, the Skipper might fall,overboard mightn't he? (Especially if he'd been drinking.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: SeanM
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 07:04 PM

If you SuperMegaHappyForumSearch on MEC, you'll see some great input from a variety of sources, all trumped by the fact that the MEC as a vessel is entirely fictional. Well, not entirely, as ships DO exist, but you get the point.

Let it be whatever you want it to be. Let it be a renamed QEII, a leaky rowboat, heck, let it be an Invisible Pink Unicorn (tm)... just enjoy the tune.

M


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 07:05 PM

Somewhere in my life I heard that it had been a real ship and real incident and that attempts to raise her had been unsuccessful. Wonder where I heard it...


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: ChanteyMatt
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 07:11 PM

I always thought of her as a two masted schooner, but then what do you expect from a sailor. I think its quite interesting that so many people have a different image, one that's special to us. Now, a song that does that! There's a true gem

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 07:40 PM

The vessel I captained had a Captain, but, no official mate.


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Tony Burns
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 09:31 PM

If you want to try to learn some more or just see what other theories there are you should join the chat session tomorrow (Jun 28, 2001) night at 9:00PM eastern. You can get there from http://www.stanrogers.net/ and use the client there or if you have an IRC client use linkline.ca.us.webchat.org as the server and join #stanchat.

This is the second time one of these chats has been tried. Ariel was on the first one and is rumoured to be on this one too. Paul Mills (Curly Boy Stubbs) was there too and a few other people who knew Stan.

The 'panelists' for the upcoming chat are Bruce Steele, Paul Mills, David Essig and Mitch Podolak.


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 09:59 AM

A perrenial favourite at our club.

Strangely I've always had MEC in my mind as a small cargo or tramp steamer in the Masefield tradition


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: MMario
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 10:12 AM

I'd always assumed a Great Lakes freighter - I haven't the foggiest idea why.


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Willie-O
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 11:20 AM

"Just us five aboard her"

"Worth a quarter million"

..and she's got vents, hatch and porthole(s), and has a history of running through gales.

I never ever thought of the Mary Ellen as being anything other than a medium size, specifically Newfoundland trawler. But Stan didn't put a lot of detail in to spoil your own idea of what she was, did he? In fact, there's more detail about the salvage operation than about the prize. I think The MEC is very specifically a symbol, so any guesses that fall roughly within the few parameters specified are good guesses--cause that's not the point!

As for real life incidents, I think the song is fiction. But it has generated at least one real-life nautical survaval drama, as described in the video about Stan "One Warm Line". A sixtyish, hard-bitten and very salty looking Bluenoser tells how he was the engineer on an old freighter that went down in the North Atlantic somewhere between Bermuda and New York at 4 a.m. --he says he survived till he was picked up a few hours later just by singing the chorus over and over--it just came to him naturally at the time.

And that's the truth of that song--it's there to sing when you've just taken a real shitkicking!

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 11:23 AM

In 1978 I built a combination stern dragger and swordfisher for a fellow who planned to scallop his wayout to deep water and then set up pon the gulf stream and harpoon swordfish basking in the warm current. Not an uncommon practice I am told by the boats who fished out of Chatham, Mass. She was limited to 54' due to warf restrictions. She carried a D-10 Cat, Cort nozzle, Ford Lima generator and lister pump. I don't recall her range on fuel consuption but her Skip said the plain was to cruise for ten days on a circuit. When she left the yard she was fitted for a crew of seven, her booms were built and unrigged.

Our contract read Hull, Decks, and engines(Full controls, Loran C, and safety gear), painted and ready to rig. Our price in 1978 was $350,000. With probably another $150,000 in rigging to be done in Mass.

I always viewed Mary Ellen Carter as a 55-65' bluewater boat about 5-10 years old, already paid for and starting to cost the owners up keep. Non working owners and corporation sailors are a blight which along with foreign fishers and factory ships coming in from Europe just further weakening the North American fishing industry.

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: GUEST,Naemanson
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 11:28 AM

I always thought of her as a large schooner, though now that I think of it a schooner may or may not have a mate. And a smaller schooner wouldn't need five to sail her.

I just read a wonderful book titled, Around The World I 500 Days" written by Hattie Atwood Freeman. She joined her father's four masted bark in New York and sailed for Brisbane, the Chinchas, Gibraltar, Trapani, and then finally home to Rockland, Maine. My point is that the crew of the bark totaled 11 with 7 of them being the actual sailors. When they hit difficult conditions and needed every hand aloft Hattie would steer while the men worked the ship.

The song can be about almost any ship that the crew loves. The events could take place anywhere. That is what makes it a great song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: kendall
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 12:29 PM

...she gave 20 years of service.. There were just us 5 aboard her when she finally was awash.. so, I assumed that the rest of the crew, including the laughing drunken rats, had already gone over the side?


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 12:39 PM

A very WET kind of boat. oooo oooo ooo :) JohnB


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 12:44 PM

ya....

There was just us 5 aboard her when she finally was awash...

That line gives us NO indication how big the crew actually is... That's just who was left...


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 01:12 PM

I like DonMeixners discription. I always pictured the Newfoundland or Nova Scotia owners, happily pocketing the insurance and getting ANOTHER government grant to build another boat. More kickbacks to pocket building a boat than running one. I'm not saying anything like this happened and will deny all if asked to testify.

Willie-o is right! The is about how you act when the odds are against you.


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 01:36 PM

I always pictured her as a freighter. "Just us five" implies there was a larger crew than that.


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: kendall
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 03:59 PM

ok, tell ya what, you make her a freighter, or a schooner, and, I'll make her a big deep sea fishing boat. ok?


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Tig
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 05:51 PM

Strange i know but because I've never really thought about where the song was written I've always imagined her as the sort of smallish trawlers which sail out of Whitby!


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 05:51 PM

I always pictured her with sod sides and cornstalk masts, like those fresh-water whaling vessals that used to sail forth from Duluth.


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Subject: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Dec 01 - 02:02 PM

I just finished reading "Unfinished Conversation" A biography od Stan Rogers. Apparantly she was supposed to have been a freighter. There is a piece from an unfinished radio play editorializing about and "industry" of burning freighters for insurance.

Of course, even though Stan may have been thinking of a freighter, we of course are free to imagine any type of boat we want.

BTW, I just bought 10 CDs, the book, the One warm Line Video, and the songbook from Fogerty's Cove Records. If you are interested check out www.stanrogers.net.


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Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Gareth
Date: 26 Dec 01 - 07:02 PM

As a former Marine Assurance Adjustor of Claims I have always had this vision in mind, bearing in mind they were going to lift her on air and strops.

Trawler - 10 years plus of age. Rusty - high maintenance costs.

The Total Loss of the MEC, with Nets, Gear and Catch would be a "glittering prize" not a misfortune.

And a story written in small paragraphs in "Lloyd's List"

Gareth


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