PORT ANGELES — A Sequim-based boat builder is making waves with a viral YouTube video on the restoration of a 1910 wooden yacht.
Leo Goolden said the Tally Ho will be restored to its racing glory despite bureaucratic challenges related to the complaints of one neighbor who had objected to his shed.
“There’s no way I’m going to let something as ridiculous as this stop this boat being finished and launched and sailing it back to England and around the world,” Goolden said in the Sampson Boat Co. video, which had more than 276,000 views as of 5 p.m. Monday.
“The county can’t shut down Tally Ho, but they have done a pretty good job of trying, and they’re probably going to change how this project looks and works a little bit in the next few months, I suppose.”
The video was posted Sunday at https://tinyurl.com/PDN-TallyHo.
In it, Goolden said Clallam County had determined his business was a home-based industry, forcing him to apply for a conditional-use permit or to remove his Patreon account and promise not to collect money related to the project.
Mary Ellen Winborn, the elected director of Clallam County’s Department of Community Development, said Goolden can raise funds for the Tally Ho.
“That’s the part that was put in the letter (to Goolden) that I did not approve,” Winborn said in a Monday interview.
Winborn said the county’s issues with the restoration project in the 600 block of Clark Road north of Sequim have to do with residential zoning.
“We’re concerned with the noise and the dust, and the late noise,” Winborn said.
“It’s not the revenue. It’s the use and the activity that we’re concerned with.”
Sequim-area Clallam County Commissioner Mark Ozias declined to comment on the issue Monday, deferring to Winborn.
Goolden said he would be subject to $1,700 in daily fines from Clallam County if he did not apply for the conditional-use permit or delete his Patreon, which he uses to pay for materials and labor.
He said there was “no point applying” for the permit because Winborn had indicated it would not be approved.
“He could apply for a conditional-use permit, but we would recommend denial,” Winborn said in a telephone interview.
“We don’t need boats being built all over the county in residential neighborhoods.”
“It doesn’t belong in a rural residential neighborhood,” Winborn added. “It belongs in a boat marina.”
Goolden has a March 18 hearing scheduled before a Clallam County hearings examiner on zoning issues associated with the project.
Goolden said he plans to move the boat as soon as it is structurally sound.
“It’s really just unfortunate that this is the way things are,” Goolden said in the 39-minute video.
“I also realized that I have put myself in this situation by doing something so unusual. I’ve tried to navigate it in such a way that I don’t piss anyone off too much. Mostly I’ve been successful in that, but obviously you can’t win them all.”
Goolden said that most of his neighbors have been supportive of the project.
Goolden has been documenting the restoration of Tally Ho on his YouTube channel since 2017.
The 110-year-old gaff-rigged cutter won the Fastnet yacht race in 1927, he said. It was later used as a fishing boat and was left as scrap near Brookings, Ore.
Goolden purchased the 48-foot dilapidated vessel for $1 in May 2017 and moved it to Sequim to be restored.
“What he’s doing is great, don’t get me wrong,” Winborn said Monday.
“He’s doing a very nice job on his boat. He’s drummed up a lot of enthusiasm. He’s given a lot of people a lot of hope and something to look at, and something to watch and something to enjoy.
“We’re glad that he’s doing that,” she added. “We just wish he would do it where it was appropriate.”
On Monday, Goolden pinned a comment to his Sunday video acknowledging an “amazing outpouring of support and offers of help.”
“I know some people are angry on my behalf, but I want to make it clear that I am not angry towards either the county or the neighbor that complained,” Goolden said in the comment.
“If you want to show your support (for) this project in any way, PLEASE do so with calmness, positivity and politeness. Anger or aggression will only make this more difficult for everyone.
“I’m confident that I can find a solution which will be good for the project and good for everyone involved in this dispute,” Goolden added.
“I’ve been getting some good legal advice, and I think I might have a few options becoming available.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].