Wooden boats, on the water

Nancy Rich photographed wooden boats for her book. Nancy Rich photographed wooden boats for her book.
December 6, 2009

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Though she lives on the landlocked campus of the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Nancy Rich returns constantly to the Atlantic to pursue her photographic muse.

Rich, the academic dean at Dana Hall, is exhibiting her photos at the school through next Tuesday, and will appear at the Hingham Public Library at 7 p.m. tomorrow to talk about her new book, “Afloat on the Tide,’’ which includes a short story by noted maritime author Peter H. Spectre.

Rich, who has taken thousands of pictures of boats, says the 200 photos in the book were taken over 10 years, and stretch from the Canadian Maritime Provinces to Rhode Island.

“Peter [Spectre] is very knowledgeable about wooden boats, as a lot of people are, so we decided to pull out all the synthetic boats from the book and include just wooden boats,’’ Rich said.

“It’s funny, I think of Cohasset as such a well-to-do town, and some of the most broken-down boats in the book are from Cohasset, but they’re beautiful,’’ she said.

Rich said one of her main motivations for creating the book was “to preserve a photographic record of the [wooden] boats. There’s a place called Sorrento, Maine . . . Ten years ago, if there were 35 boats there, you would probably see seven or eight wooden boats. Now you’ll go and see just one or two.’’

“Wooden boats take a lot of TLC, a lot of resources, so people replace them with aluminum boats, and fiberglass boats, and rubber boats,’’ she said. “But a wooden boat is just a classic, beautiful, artistic thing to behold.’’

Globe Staff

Further information on Rich’s appearance in Hingham is available at or by calling 781-741-1405.

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