McClave Marine

About McClave Marine and Ed McClave

Ed McClave has spent most of his working career trying to keep boats and ships afloat.

As a kid, he struggled constantly to keep various small boats floating.  

After earning his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer in 1972, he served as a U.S. naval officer, attending the Navy's Damage Control Officer course, then serving as Damage Control Assistant on a cable-laying ship and as a Damage Control officer for a squadron of service ships.

In 1975, Ed, along with a few friends, opened a small waterfront woodworking shop in Mystic Conn., doing repairs and restoration of  yachts and building small boats.  In 1976 Ed completed his first restoration of a Herreshoff sailboat.  Many more were to follow.

From 1977 to 1978, Ed worked with Barry Thomas and John Gardner at the Small Boat Shop at Mystic Seaport.  He left there to take over the boatbuilding shop at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH.

In 1980 Ed and David Urbinati began the restoration of the 53' 1907 Herreshoff cutter Neith, one of the first extensive and historically accurate restorations of a large Herreshoff sailing yacht.  In 1981, he and Ben Philbrick began the restoration of the 72' 1913 Herreshoff "New York Fifty" sloop Spartan.  Their partnership on that project and on a few previous ones eventually developed into the firm of MP&G.  Andy Giblin joined the partnership during the first phase of the Spartan project.  After a number of years of part-time-only work and a long hiatus in the project from 1990 to 2005, MP&G finally completed Spartan's restoration in 2010. 

During the period from 1983 to 1989 Ed taught summer courses on the technical aspects of wood boat construction for at the WoodenBoat School in Maine.  He also taught evening courses in physics in the Conn. State Technical College system.

In 1989 Ed began graduate studies at the University of Rhode Island, earning his M.S. in Ocean Engineering in 1991.  His course concentration was in Marine Hydrodynamics (the deeper mathematical aspects of which he has by now forgotten).  His Masters thesis was on fishing vessel stability; he did his research in URI's wave and towing tank.  From 1991 to 1994 he had one of his few "real jobs", as a senior ocean engineer for Mar, Inc., supporting projects, mostly concerning marine inspection, at the U.S. Coast Guard R&D Center.  With Mar, he also was involved in the testing of oil-pollution control equipment at the huge OHMSETT wave tank facility in New Jersey.  After working for Mar, he continued to work independently on Coast Guard R&D Center projects dealing with marine inspection.

From 1991 until 2004, Ed developed the curriculum for and co-taught all of the ABYC's Marine Corrosion Seminars at many locations around the U.S.  When the seminars were replaced by a certification course in 2004, he was one of the group that developed the certification exam, and he co-taught the first certification course.

In 1994, Ed served on the working group that updated the Coast Guard's guidance and policy on inspection of wooden small passenger vessels, and he contributed considerable material to the final product - NVIC 7-95.  

Ed returned to the MP&G shop full-time in 1995, as boat restoration projects became larger and more complicated.   From 1998 to 2001 he developed the computer software suite BevelGage, which performed useful calculations for woodworkers and boatbuilders, including procedures had had previously developed for fairing 2D curves and for predicting the bending springback of steam-bent wood.  BevelGage was a technical success, but a commercial failure.

Since 1983, Ed has contributed many articles and drawings on the technical details of wood boat construction to WoodenBoat Magazine.  Nine of those articles have been republished as chapters of the three books of The WoodenBoat Series in the mid-90s.

For a number of years, Ed has served on the Boatbuilding Program Advisory Committee of the Landing School in Kennebunkport, Maine.  Beginning in the mid-80s he was a frequent guest lecturer in the Design, Boatbuilding, and Marine Systems programs at the School.  In the 1980s he served on the Boat Collection Committee of the former Museum of Yachting in Newport.  Ed has lectured on wood boat construction, marine corrosion, and maritime history at a number of venues and for a number of organizations including the MIT Museum, Mystic Seaport, the Connecticut Marine Trades Association, the Museum Curators' Conference, the Herreshoff Marine Museum, IYRS, NAMS, SNAME, ASNE, the USCG Marine Inspection program, and the Classic Yacht Symposium.   

Ed's principal projects as of January 2016 are technical and design services for restoration of Little Gull II at MP&G; continued technical assistance to French & Webb for the major refit of Marilee; and he is just beginning technical and design services for the restoration of Doris at Snediker Yacht Restoration.  On the back burner right now, Ed is adapting the design of the 126' 1929 steel motor yacht Acania, for the eventual building of a near-replica, to be Spartan's "mother-ship".   He teaches several week-long courses each year on wood-boat inspection for U.S. Coast Guard small-passenger-vessel Inspectors and fishing-vessel Examiners. 

Ed has been a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) since 1989.

Ed continues, on many fronts, to try to keep boats and ships afloat.