The newly restored Felicity Ann joined the Community Boat Project fleet earlier this summer. Now, the community will have a say on what kind of programming they’d like to see on the historic sloop. (Cydney McFarland/Peninsula Daily News)

Future to be discussed of historic sloop Felicity Ann

PORT HADLOCK — The Community Boat Project is seeking input from the public on what should be done with the historic sloop the Felicity Ann, a vessel made famous by Ann Davison’s solo sail across the Atlantic in 1953.

The Community Boat Project took over the final phases of the restoration of the Felicity Ann and plans to add the 23-foot sloop to its fleet of vessels used to teach maritime skills through educational programming.

The sloop was donated to the Community Boat Project by the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in August. It had been given to the wooden boat school in 2003.

The restoration gained international support due to the boat’s historic roots. Felicity Ann was sailed from England to the United States by Davison, then 39, who became the first woman to sail solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

The Community Boat Project will host a visioning session from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Community Boat Project Shop. The shop is located on the north campus of the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building, 42 N. Water St., Port Hadlock.

The group is asking the community what kind of programming is preferred for the Felicity Ann, according to project coordinator Shelly Randall.

“How can the historic sloop Felicity Ann best serve our community and our region?” Randall said in a press release. “How can her ‘floating story’ inspire us to face adversity with courage and grace, particularly empowering women, girls and transgender people?”

Saturday’s session will begin with a potluck. Soup will be provided, but community members are encouraged to bring bread, cheese, dessert or a side dish to share.

At 2 p.m. will be a presentation on the history and progress of the Felicity Ann, and then community members will discuss the kind of programs they think would best fit both the Felicity Ann and the community.

Davison died in 1992 at the age of 78. The Felicity Ann ended up in Alaska, where it decayed down to almost just the frame.

The Alaskan owner donated the Felicity Ann to the wooden boat school, where dozens of students and faculty worked for years to restore the sloop, using the boat’s original plans from 1939.

The Felicity Ann made her public debut at the Wooden Boat Festival in September and is scheduled to tour the Puget Sound next summer with an all-women crew.

Felicity Ann will then join the Community Boat Project’s educational fleet and will be captained by Nahja Chimenti.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@peninsuladailynews.com.