DAVID G. SELLARS ON THE WATERFRONT: Port Townsend boat parade coming Saturday

THE PORT TOWNSEND Yacht Club is celebrating the opening day of boating season this coming Saturday, May 1, by sponsoring a boat parade across the waterfront.

The procession will begin at 12:45 p.m. and proceed from the Washington State Ferry dock to the Northwest Maritime Center dock at the northeast end of Port Townsend.

The Coast Guard will lead the 33-boat procession in a 45-foot lifeboat followed by — but not necessarily in order — the Vessel Assist Negotiator piloted by Roger Slade.

The Point Wilson Power Squadron will have five boats in the parade, as will the Port Townsend High School Sailing Team.

The Sea Scouts will participate in their rowboat as will the Rat Island Rowing Club — a recreational and competitive rowing club housed at the Northwest Maritime Center.

Not to be outdone, the Northwest Maritime Center will also have three boats.

Two tall ships will also be part of the festivities.

Alcyone is an 81-foot wooden gaff-rigged topmast schooner that was built by master shipwright Frank Prothero and launched in 1956.

She is modeled after the Gloucester fishing schooners of New England and sports 11 sails.

Martha, once owned by actor James Cagney, is an 84-foot wooden schooner built in 1907 and is the oldest working sailboat in Washington state.

She is also the oldest former flagship of the San Francisco Yacht Club that is still afloat and continues to fly the SFYC burgee.

I surmise the final boat might be the East Jefferson Fire-Rescue boat, Volunteer — she would be the logical craft to be of assistance should any participant falter.

At 1 p.m., the boats will pass in revue between the maritime center pier and Port Townsend Yacht Club Commodore Barb Hagar’s boat.

Rob Sanderson will announce the boats as they go by, and at the conclusion of the parade, all of the boats will gather for a blessing of the fleet by Pastor Wendell Ankeny of Trinity United Methodist Church of Port Townsend.

Best place to see

In addition to numerous viewing locations along the Port Townsend waterfront from which to watch the opening day ceremonies, there is also the Northwest Maritime Center’s new facilities at 431 Water St.

Ten years or more in the planning and construction, the maritime center will be under full sail and fully operational on May 1, according to Peter Quinn, the center’s development director.

“Last year, with all the construction, we had about 20 people on our pier as we announced the boats passing in review.” said Stan Cummings, executive director.

“We said then, that next year was going to be a real community gathering.

“With [the center’s] huge second-floor decks, the First Federal Commons and the pier, the views will be spectacular.”

Teak decking

Gloria, an 88-foot Admiral Marine Works yacht that was built in Port Townsend in 1986, is now in the Port Angeles Boat Yard to have new teak decking installed on the swim step and aft cockpit.

Eric Bert, through his business, Modern Yacht Joinery, started the project in early March and is working toward a May 1 completion date.

Eric removed the old decking, epoxy-coated the exposed surfaces and is now painstakingly adhering the new custom-machined pieces of Burmese teak into place.

As he glues each piece of teak, it is weighted down with hexagon-shaped barbells.

Eric said he bought every 10-, 15- and 20-pound weightlifting barbell Walmart had in stock in its Port Angeles and Sequim stores — and even had to buy a few more down in Silverdale.

When I commented on how many weights were on the decking, Eric’s response:

“In this trade, you can never have too many weights or clamps.”

Eric apprenticed with Ralph Stanley, a renowned wooden-boat builder in Southwest Harbor, Maine, in the early 1990s, building upon the education in boat building he received at The Boat School of Husson University in Eastport, Maine.

For the past two years Eric has operated Modern Yacht Joinery (modernyachtjoinery.com) at the Port Angeles Boat Yard.

He has a complete woodworking shop, and his expertise ranges from traditional structural woodworking to modern composite construction and fine custom joinery.

Loaded with boats

Platypus Marine has its Commander Building on Marine Drive in Port Angeles chock full of vessels undergoing painting and refurbishing.

Among them is a new 28-foot SAFE boat.

At the direction of the Port Orchard builder, SAFE Boats International, Platypus personnel chemical washed the aluminum boat and then applied three coats of paint.

When the project is complete, the boat will be returned to Port Orchard to be outfitted and shipped to her new owner in Europe — who will use the boat as a private tender on board his 200-foot yacht.

Also in the Commander Building, Defiant, a 58-foot commercial fishing vessel that hails from Petersburg, Alaska, towers over the SAFE boat as she gets a new paint job from the keel to the cap rail.

Personnel will sandblast the boom and winches and repaint them as well as the house — which doesn’t leave much else to be painted!

Estancia, a Westport 112, was in for a quick turnaround for bottom paint last week as well as the installation of new zincs.

The yacht is now in the Port Angeles marina, and Westport personnel will be aboard for a week or so performing routine maintenance.

Angela, a 58-foot West Bay SonShip that was built in Delta, British Columbia, was shipped to Platypus from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

She was placed aboard a YachtPath transport ship and dropped off in Victoria Harbour for coming across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Personnel will be working on her balky electronics and replacing the bow thruster for her Alaskan owner.

Amici, is having her bottom painted and the rest of her exterior surfaces polished.

She is a 70 Marquis that hails from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Out in PA Harbor

Tesoro Petroleum, again doing its refueling thing out in Port Angeles Harbor, on Monday bunkered Golden State, a 600-foot petroleum products carrier that arrived in San Francisco at 6 this morning.

On Friday, Tesoro refueled SeaRiver American Progress. She, too, is a 600-foot petroleum products carrier.

In the afternoon, Tesoro refueled, Inchon Leader, a 754-foot cargo ship that is under way for Inchon, South Korea.

On Saturday, Tesoro provided bunkers to Panoria, a 620-foot bulk cargo ship that made her way to Port Angeles from the marine terminals in Vancouver, Washington.


David G. Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain’s mate who enjoys boats and strolling the waterfront.

Items involving boating, port activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome. E-mail [email protected] or phone him at 360-417-3736.

His column, On the Waterfront, appears every Sunday.

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