SEQUIM — Leo Goolden will soon set out for Port Townsend.
The Sequim-based boat builder, sailor and YouTube celebrity will need a hydraulic trailer to transport the partially-reconstructed Tally Ho some 36 miles to its new home.
Goolden has spent the last four years restoring the historic wooden yacht and documenting its “keel up” transformation on his 312,000-subscriber Sampson Boat Co. YouTube channel.
After sanding and painting the newly-corked hull, Goolden plans to move the 48-foot yacht from Dungeness to Port Townsend “probably in early June,” he said.
“Moving right now wasn’t in my original plan, but I think it’s actually going to work out for the best for the project,” Goolden said in a Tuesday interview.
“Having the community there, the wood boat community and the industry, is going to make a huge difference.”
Port Townsend is home to the world-famous Wooden Boat Festival and has a community of shipwrights dedicated to the craft.
“Everyone in Port Townsend,” Goolden said, “has been extremely welcoming and have encouraged us to come there and encouraged this project.”
Eventually, Goolden plans to sail Tally Ho to his native England and enter the Fastnet yacht race. Tally Ho won the Fastnet Race in 1927.
“The big plan is to race the Fastnet Race again,” Goolden said, “100 years after that.”
Tally Ho was designed by Albert Strange in 1909 and built in England in 1910. Goolden purchased her for $1 in Brookings Ore. in May 2017.
The boat had been left to rot in Oregon after decades of use as a salmon and tuna fishing vessel.
Goolden said his move to Jefferson County was hastened by a zoning dispute with Clallam County officials, which he detailed, from his point of view, in videos published Feb. 28 and March 13. The dispute stemmed from the complaints of one neighbor.
The Clallam County Department of Community Development (DCD) reached a settlement with Goolden and his attorney, Brent Dille of Olympia, that included a stipulation that Goolden move the boat before Sept. 18.
County officials said the Tally Ho project was out of place in a rural hamlet north of Sequim, where Goolden has been living and working as a guest since 2017. The area is not zoned for the maritime industry, DCD officials have said.
A Clallam County code enforcement officer had erroneously instructed Goolden to remove his Patreon crowdfunding account, which Goolden has used to fund the boat restoration.
Mary Ellen Winborn, Clallam County’s elected Community Development director, clarified in a later interview that she did not approve the stipulation that Goolden must delete his Patreon.
Winborn said she received hundreds emails from Goolden’s supporters in March.
Looking back, Goolden the dispute was “incredibly stressful.”
“I do feel like we were treated unfairly, really, and not in accordance with the actual rules,” Goolden said Tuesday.
“Once I actually talked about it in the videos, and once people started responding to it … I sort of realized that moving the boat would actually be the best thing for everyone and for the boat itself.”
Goolden said he wanted to leave the Clallam County property well in advance of the September deadline.
“I wanted to make sure that we’re able to move on our own terms, our own schedule, rather than having to do what we’re told,” Goolden said.
Winborn on Wednesday said her office had proposed a spring 2022 deadline for moving the boat.
“I don’t believe Leo was treated unfairly at all,” Winborn said in an email.
Winborn said the code enforcement officer who instructed Goolden to delete his Patreon account was no longer working in her department.
“I can see how he may think that was unfair,” Winborn said of the crowdfunding issue.
“However, we worked with him and his attorney and resolved the matter to everyone’s liking, or so I thought.”
Goolden said he had made arrangements with a retired Associated Boat Transport worker who moved Tally Ho from Oregon to Clallam County for its journey to Port Townsend on a hydraulic trailer.
“He’s coming out of retirement,” Goolden said.
“He’s been following the project.”
In addition to sanding and painting, Goolden and his fellow shipwrights will affix a five-ton lead ballast to the bottom of Tally Ho before she is moored at Port Townsend Boat Haven.
Goolden, who publishes a YouTube video every two weeks, learned to make videos while producing his current, 96-episode series.
Goolden has a background in photography and music production and was familiar with video editing software. He edits footage on Thursdays and Fridays, often working 12- to 14-hour days.
“I’m usually editing the video until 3 in the morning on a Friday night, and then it gets published immediately on a Sunday morning,” Goolden said.
“They’re pretty much as up-to-date as they can be.”
As a general rule of thumb, it take about an hour of editing to produce one minute of video, he said.
Goolden uses “a lot of cuts” in his videos, increasing the time commitment.
Pancho the parrot, who belongs to the property owners, makes regular appearances in the videos.
“She’s usually out here every day,” Goolden said.
“She’s the main star of the videos. I’m just the supporting role.”
Goolden said his online supporters have helped make the project possible.
“I’m grateful for worldwide and local support, all the people that have shared their enthusiasm and supported the project in various ways,” Goolden said.
“This project simply wouldn’t be possible without the public support that it has.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].