Robert H. Baker: A Legacy of Small Craft

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Bob's daughter Sarah has pulled-off quite the accomplishment by putting together her mother Anne's (aka "Pete") book on this remarkable man. Includes many drawings and photos.

We still have PICCOLO, Robert Baker's double-ended sailing canoe. And his PEGGOTTY design was known as the "party boat" of the WoodenBoat Waterfront many years ago, as she could carry just about the full staff, and beverages. PEGGOTY is now with Mystic Seaport.


Many were affected by Bob's work.

Jon Wilson, Founder, WoodenBoat magazine: "Bob loved things traditional, and taught others to love them, but he was not bound by tradition. His unfailing eye for proportion and detail was thus the object of considerable admiration for all who knew him. Bob spent his life with boats, sailing them, drawing them, restoring them, and, whenever possible, taking lines off them. His plans and drawings are a reflection of his love and understanding of design and of the sea."

Maynard Bray, Founding Director- Preservation Shipyard, Mystic Seaport and editor for WoodenBoat: "Bob, more than most people, had a real feel for the way of old time boat builders and designers and understood that proportion, shape, and simplicity have everything to do with grace and beauty. Because he had owned, studied, sailed and repaired a number of old Southern New England small craft, Bob was the authority on how they are rigged and painted."

Peter Vermilya, Creator of Small Craft, Mystic Seaport: "Bob was an artist and a craftsman of the highest order, and his interests and talents are evident in his work. Out of practical experience and careful observation, Bob arrived at his own remarkable technical and aesthetic understanding of watercraft developing his own design skills and principals."

Lance Lee, Founder of the Rockport ApprenticeShop: "Bob, some 20 years ahead of his time, acted to protect, cherish, and revitalize links between the past he revered and the future he honored. He found practical genius and frequent consistent beauty on the structures and methods of the sails and oars of the late 19th and 20th century."

Table of Contents

  • A Vintage Yacht
  • Restoration
  • How did this happen?
  • High School
  • The Dragon Boat Shop
  • A Love Affair
  • Commonsense Boats
  • Finding a Way with Lettering
  • An Auction
  • Fiberglass
  • A Telephone Call
  • A Pinky
  • California
  • Sunk Again
  • Nassau
  • Heading Home
  • Warren
  • Wherries & Whitehalls
  • Sandbaggers
  • A Launch
  • Woodshole Spritsail Boats
  • Moving
  • Ancient Boats
  • Teaching
  • A Whaleboat
  • Skiffs & Sharpies
  • A Thoroughbred
  • A Swampscot Dory
  • A Last Summer
  • The Two-Forty
  • Grand Old Ladies Don't Die Easily
  • Epilogue
  • Appendix I: The Love of Boats
  • Appendix II: High School Senior Thesis 1945
  • Suggested reading & RHB plans

    by Anne Baker
    230 pp., softcover
    6" x 9"

  • Customer Reviews

    Based on 1 review
    Robert Yaro
    A wonderful book about one of the great designers and preservationists of the late 20th century.

    Bob Baker was one of the greats in the wooden-boat revival of the last 50 years. This wonderfully written biography by his wife, Anne “Pete” Baker, brings this story to life.

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