The History of MP&G
MP&G began when Ben Philbrick and Ed McClave, who had already worked together on several projects, began the long and interrupted restoration of the Herreshoff “New York Fifty” Spartan in 1981. Until 1989, Spartan was a part-time project; Ed and Ben were also major contributors to the second phase of the restoration of the Herreshoff cutter Neith, and they completed a number of other projects in a shop on Ben’s property in Stonington, CT. Andy Giblin joined in 1987 after having served as mate and then captain of Neith’ he also worked on the restoration of the big Fife sloop Hallowe’en. The partnership became “McClave, Philbrick & Giblin.”
1980s and 90s
In 1989 the Spartan project was suspended by her owner, and Ed took a leave of absence for graduate school and then employment in the marine engineering field before returning to the shop in 1995. After the major rebuild of Dolphin and the restorations of Snipe and Vitessa, MP&G moved in 2001 to the current shop in Mystic, which was built by Andy. The major rebuild of Mischief and the total restoration of Rose were the first major projects in the new shop.
Ben left the partnership in 2006 to help Bill Mills set up Stonington Boat Works (they built many of Spartan’s spars). Andy had specifically designed the new MP&G shop to accommodate Spartan’s height and beam in case that project ever resumed, and in 2006 it did, thanks to new ownership. Spartan’s hull, sans-ballast, was moved into the temporarily-enlarged shop for the completion of her restoration. During that period, the shop crew expanded to as many as twelve people managed by Andy, with Ed working full-time on design and producing plans, templates, and patterns related to the project. Ed and Andy shared the interaction with numerous subcontractors. Spartan was launched, complete, in 2010.
In 2010 and 2011, MP&G completed the total restoration of the Herreshoff “New York Thirty” Amorita in the shop while another crew, working mostly off-site, did some finishing touches and performed systems upgrades on Spartan—after her first successful sailing season since 1980.
Today the shop is busy under Andy’s management. Ed continues to do design work in support of current and future MP&G projects.
Photo: New York Fifties racing