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The setting: Wood Island, off the coast of Phippsburg, Maine. My father's former co-worker and friend Steve Winter co-purchased the island and Steve got access to what had to be the best lot on the island.
So how do you get materials out to an island? Well, if you live 20 minutes inland by boat, you buy a center console boat and load it up every morning.
Carrying that much lumber the 200 yards uphill from the beach to the summit would be brutal. Steve devised a highline with a tensioned steel cable that, with the help of a gas-powered lobster pot hauler and me loading lumber and supplies from staging down below, supplies were winched up with minimal effort.
After a fair bit of site prep and the pouring of some rebar-reinforced concrete footers, the first lumber was put in place.
The basic platform skeleton grew, piece by piece.
Footer by post by joist, the basic platform skeleton grew. Much of the work was done on staging since the lower corner was 14 feet off the ground.
Happy with a day's work before heading back to the boat for the most enjoyable commute I'll ever have (a 20 minute ocean boat ride with Steve's dog at my side, swaying gently side to side as Steve dodged lobster buoys).
Season one ends
At the end of the first season the platform and deck access ramp were complete and materials were stashed for next year.
Year two begins
The second year began with the construction of bents which were raised to form the frame.
Tongue-and-groove spruce was used to roof the cottage.
The same tongue-and-groove spruce was also used to side the cottage after window and door frames were built out.
Though not finished at the end of two seasons, Steve (with the help of others) eventually completed the project. It is a magnificent place to visit!
The final product
The cottage has weathered the severe coastal weather on the island very well. I hope to visit it for years to come.
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