Biz Helps Raise Ship

It’s a balancing act as Bob Larsen of Hicksville and Bruce Levinson of Glen Cove help Ed Peterson of Syosset handle the electric saw to cut a beam.

Bill Gagliano of Sailon Auto Electric, Inc. of Syosset has earned the profound thanks of the volunteer crew at Oyster Bay’s Ida May Project, which is an effort to build an oyster sloop using methods and parts from a bygone seafaring era.

“He’s always helping us out and does a lot of our electrical workgratis,” said project manager Ed Peterson of Syosset. “He generously only charges us for parts and not labor.”

Gagliano is high on the project team’s list of people to thank. People who make it easier for the not-for-profit group to construct the wooden boat, Ida May, an oyster harvester, based on the original that lasted 85 years, working in Oyster Bay Harbor.

A great deal of lumber goes into making the boat and the volunteers use their outside saw mill to cut logs into planks that then are brought into the shipyard building to be sized and shaped. One of the problems of working with wood is the amount of dust that can fill the air if precautions are not taken. That interior sawing machine has a vacuum system hooked into it that feeds four large canvas bags and one tank outside the building. The smaller particles go into the bags and the larger chunks go into the tank.

Bill Gagliano of Sailon Auto Electric, Inc. of Syosset working on the dust collecting motor. (Photos by Dagmar Fors Karppi)

Gagliano keeps coming back to repair the motor that runs the dust collector vacuum system. The vacuum system was one of the first things installed in the boatyard when the wooden boat building workshop was designed. It started as an empty steel building.

The original motor self destructed, it was repaired, only to need the most recent repair, which included re-balancing the motor to make it run better.

“With the help of Sailon Auto Electric, Inc. of Syosset and Bill Gagliano, things are coming together,” said Peterson.

While at the Ida May Project recently, the team offered Gagliano a spare generator they have on site. “No guys,” he said. “You’re going to need it because the generators are not designed to work in a sawdust filled environment.”

A Friends of the Ida May group is being formed and Gagliano looks as if he will be a charter member. For more information about the Ida May Project, see them on FaceBook or on the web at or call 516-305-9204.


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