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Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?

27 Jun 01 - 04:17 PM (#493304)
Subject: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Clinton Hammond

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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27 Jun 01 - 04:27 PM (#493318)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: vectis

Trawler. A beam trawler, I think.


27 Jun 01 - 04:28 PM (#493319)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Walking Eagle

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.


27 Jun 01 - 04:36 PM (#493325)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.


27 Jun 01 - 04:41 PM (#493332)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Clinton Hammond

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


27 Jun 01 - 04:49 PM (#493341)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Jack the Sailor

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.


27 Jun 01 - 04:52 PM (#493342)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Clinton Hammond

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....


27 Jun 01 - 04:56 PM (#493350)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Liz the Squeak

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

LTS : )


27 Jun 01 - 05:18 PM (#493369)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Jack the Sailor

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!


27 Jun 01 - 05:23 PM (#493375)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: GUEST,Banjo-Flower

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


27 Jun 01 - 05:36 PM (#493384)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)

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


27 Jun 01 - 06:42 PM (#493445)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: GUEST

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


27 Jun 01 - 06:53 PM (#493459)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: kendall

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!


27 Jun 01 - 06:59 PM (#493471)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: McGrath of Harlow

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.)


27 Jun 01 - 07:04 PM (#493478)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: SeanM

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


27 Jun 01 - 07:05 PM (#493479)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Jeri

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...


27 Jun 01 - 07:11 PM (#493485)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: ChanteyMatt

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


27 Jun 01 - 07:40 PM (#493506)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: kendall

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


27 Jun 01 - 09:31 PM (#493560)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Tony Burns

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.


28 Jun 01 - 09:59 AM (#493880)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: A Wandering Minstrel

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


28 Jun 01 - 10:12 AM (#493895)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: MMario

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


28 Jun 01 - 11:20 AM (#493973)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Willie-O

"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


28 Jun 01 - 11:23 AM (#493981)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: DonMeixner

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


28 Jun 01 - 11:28 AM (#493988)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: GUEST,Naemanson

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.


28 Jun 01 - 12:29 PM (#494046)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: kendall

...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?


28 Jun 01 - 12:39 PM (#494055)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: GUEST,JohnB

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


28 Jun 01 - 12:44 PM (#494060)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Clinton Hammond

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...


28 Jun 01 - 01:12 PM (#494078)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Jack the Sailor

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.


28 Jun 01 - 01:36 PM (#494098)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: GUEST,Melani

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


28 Jun 01 - 03:59 PM (#494195)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: kendall

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


28 Jun 01 - 05:51 PM (#494278)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Tig

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!


28 Jun 01 - 05:51 PM (#494279)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Charley Noble

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


26 Dec 01 - 02:02 PM (#616574)
Subject: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Jack the Sailor

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.


26 Dec 01 - 07:02 PM (#616694)
Subject: RE: Help: Mary Ellen Carter? What kind of boat?
From: Gareth

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