PORT TOWNSEND — The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding’s Sea Beast, a 36-foot wooden boat that took more than three years to build, will make its debut when it is lowered into the Boat Haven Marina on Friday.
The school has invited the community to attend the event, which will take place at about 12:30 p.m. at Boat Haven, located on Washington Street between Boat Street and San Juan Avenue.
The boat will be lowered into the marina using one of the Port of Port Townsend’s travel lifts. It will be its first time in the water.
“The boat will definitely float,” said Sean Koomen, the chief instructor for the School of Wooden Boatbuilding.
“Once it’s in the water, it’s a motor sailor, so it’ll be easy to test out and eventually we’ll want to sail it to test and tune the rig.”
The boat, a 36-foot wooden motor sailor, took 56 students about three years to design and build.
“It was a big project for us,” Koomen said. “It was a lot for students to tackle, but they did a great job.”
Koomen said the boat’s size made the project particularly time-consuming, but with that came a number of learning opportunities for students who tested their skills lofting, framing, planking, decking and putting together the interior of the Sea Beast.
“The planking was particularly difficult just because there was so much of it,” Koomen said.
The boat is built of planks of Douglas fir laid over a white oak frame, which on a 36-foot boat is a lot of planking, Koomen said.
The boat was a project commissioned by the Sea Beast’s owners, Steve and Meredith Roberts. They selected the school to help foster the traditions of wooden boats taught there, according to boat school officials.
Commissions such as the Sea Beast make up roughly 60 percent to 70 percent of the work students do at the wooden boat school, according to Koomen.
“The Sea Beast project has been a great opportunity for the boat school to give the students lots of practice in framing and planking in addition to helping the school grow in areas such as project management,” said Koomen in a news release from the Wooden Boat School. “Congratulations to instructor Ben Kahn and all his students for a fantastic job!”
While students at the boat school were a huge part in the boat’s construction, they couldn’t do it alone. However, the Sea Beast never had to move far and was built entirely with the help of local businesses.
Carl Chamberlin of Basic Boats designed the Sea Beast, which he describes as a cross between a fishing vessel and a “Lake Union Dreamboat,” according to a news release. Chamberlin was selected by the Robertses to design the boat.
Bill Campbell, a local welder, was responsible for the welding and keel construction on the boat. Students came to his workshop during the building process to learn about issues they could come across when building or repairing other boats.
Sean Rankin of NW Sails &Canvas Inc. was responsible for the Sea Beast’s sails and rigging; Ryan and Randy Charrier of Western Workboats LLC installed the boat’s mechanics and plumbing systems; Matt Mortensen of Revision Marine installed the electrical systems; Edensaw Woods provided the lumber; and Gwendolyn Tracy of Fine Yacht Interiors was responsible for the interior decorating.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].