Boatbuilders come and go, so it’s no surprise that virtually all of the vessels in my earliest sailing memories are now out of production. Most of them, though, survive in boatyards and have fan clubs online, so information about them is never more than a Google search away. Not so the Wesort.
Before I was even big enough to hold a tiller, I remember my father teaching older kids how to sail at Indian Landing Boat Club on the upper reaches of the Severn River. The club had a sizable fleet of a type of boat called a Wesort. As I recall, it was about 12 feet long, had a daggerboard and a cat rig, and seemed well suited to the light, variable winds and shallow waters of the upper Chesapeake. Looking back, I now think it was probably some variation on a sharpie.
Web searches on this boat are completely uninformative, though, at least with respect to the boat. I did learn a bit of the fascinating history of the Piscataway Indian tribe, also known as the We-Sorts. So did the We-Sorts build Wesorts, or was Wesort a corruption of Westport, a neighborhood in Baltimore? Or was Elmer Fudd somehow involved in the design?
These are the kinds of things I ponder in my spare time.