The apron of the chute projected slightly over the deck of the schooner. The lumber was sent down a distance of eighty feet or more, one piece at a time.
At the lower end of the chute was a man called the “clapperman” who operated a brake-like device which slowed up and finally stopped each piece of lumber just as it reached the apron. The crew would take the lumber from the apron and stow it on the schooner. This all sounds quite prosaic until you realize that this is being done on a windy day with eight foot swells!!
When you consider that the chutes were built before the days of steam they are engineering marvels and truly a testament to the ingenuity and skill of their builders. Nearly every doghole port had a chute and the pictures below are only representative of all the chutes that existed along the Redwood Coast.