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Summer 2011 (Issue No. 52)



If you are interested in a Mudd Sharrigan Knife, give Mudd a call at the number in the ad above.

The Mudd Knife pictured on this page is the one that I own.  Mudd makes other models and does custom designs.




When I was a kid, I had the good fortune to have a few good role models in my life, one of which was "Uncle Ted". He was actually my great uncle, married to my mother's aunt. Ted was a true craftsman when it came to woodworking, but his interests were many. He also loved to indulge the hobbies of his loved ones. I recall my sister expressing in interest in painting once, and suddenly easels, fine brushes, and tubes of oil paint appeared. Ted didn't have kids of his own, and he didn’t skimp when it came to his grand nieces & nephews.

Fishing was in interest that Ted and I shared, and he was my main supplier of fishing gear when I was 8 & 9 years old. I remember afternoons at his house poring over this yellow catalogue that was as thick and pulpy as a phone book. It wasn't so bad having the pictures of hooks and sinkers in black & white, but you really had to use your imagination to see the colors of the lures. Ted would fill out the order form and write the check. Weeks would go by, and then I'd get "the call" to ride my bike to his house. The package had arrived.

One of these orders included a spectacular Norwegian steel-bladed fishing knife with wooden handle and a sheath -- for me. (Ah, those were the days when you could give a 9 year-old kid a four inch blade without giving it a second thought.) It said "Norway" right on the steel. That was about as exotic as it got back in the early 1970's! Naturally, Ted also sprang for the whetstone; he was insistent that your equipment be maintained meticulously. I'm not much of a fisherman these days, but that knife is still one of my prized possessions 40 years later. I call it my "boat knife" now. After all, having a good knife on board is a necessity.

I've never felt the need to replace my Uncle Ted knife, but recently I found one that was such an example of craftsmanship and artistry that I decided to get a second "boat knife." I drove up to the Maine Boat Builders Show in Portland in March. I was making the rounds when I spotted the Mudd Sharrigan booth. I've seen Mudd's ads in "Messing About...", and WoodenBoat magazine had just done a great article about his knife-making. A crowd gathered at Mudd's display table, and I spent enough time there to overhear a few wonderful conversations.

There were people admiring his work, seeing it for the first time. There were others who were current owners of Mudd Sharrigan knives who stopped by to just say hello. There was the young guy from the Maine Maritime Academy who did not own a Mudd knife yet, but definitely planned to get one as soon as his finances would allow. He told me, "Mudd makes the best knives." One other fellow had received a Mudd knife as a graduation gift from his father, but had broken it -- quite a feat. He was too embarrassed to tell Mudd how he had done it, and Mudd let him off the hook offering to fix the knife for him. One young man talked about having given Mudd knives to all the guys in his wedding party. He insisted each recipient give him a coin as 'payment' to counter the belief that a knife given as a gift will sever a relationship.


I had to have one. I tried to order a knife at the show, but Mudd told me to just call him in 5 weeks and he’d have a bunch made up by then. By the time I arrived home, I knew that I could not wait 5 weeks. I wrote a letter detailing the knife that I wanted -- a "Mini Rigger" and marlinspike combination with a black walnut handle and, of course, a leather sheath -- and enclosed a check. I told him that I was not in any particular hurry; I just wanted to secure my place in line. A handful of weeks later there was a notice in my PO box that I had a package that would not fit. When I saw the return address on the box the clerk handed me, I felt like I was 9 years old again getting "the call" from Uncle Ted that a new shipment of gear had arrived. I opened the box right there in the Post Office to show the ladies behind the counter my new Mudd Sharrigan knife. I'm not sure why, but they were not nearly as excited about it as I was. (by David Irving) (See Mudd"s ad left col.)


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