Here's a bit of a departure for Doryman. I received an inquiry about my Peter Culler Good Little Skiff (which hasn't sold yet; hint, hint!) the other day from a fellow named Roy. Turns out, Roy is a helicopter pilot on the Columbia River bar. His job is to shuttle pilots out and back, in all weather, to waiting ships on one of the most treacherous bodies of water on Earth.
But his true love is his schooner Prudence. We talked for a long time on the phone and Roy agreed to send me the story of his boat, which I'd like to share with you...
" Prudence was built at the Morse Yard in Thomaston, Maine in 1965.
She was built on commission for the Forbes Family of Boston.
Construction is mahogany on stem bent oak with bronze fastenings and a
cast bronze shoe runs the length of her keel. She was originally rigged as a gaffer with a self-tending fore-staysail
and two old-style jib furlers. Having been constructed in 1965, she is
relatively new in the world of Alden schooners. In fact, she is design
#993 and not listed in Alden's book."
"So, I commissioned Chip Cherry of Cherry Boatworks in
Gig Harbor to construct a new bowsprit utilizing her original plans.
After much discussion on what wood to use and if this would be the
proper size, now that she was staysail-rigged instead of gaff, etc., we
settled on using the original length 'sprit and using Sapele mahogony."
"We managed to get all this finished and rigged just in time for the
schooner race in Pt. Townsend's Wooden Boat Festival last September
where, despite the inadequacies of skipper and crew, we placed a
respectable fourth in some pretty good wind behind Martha, Alcyon, and
Lucky Star. Prior to this, Prudence had been barely an "also-ran."
"We may be prejudiced as a parent is to her child, but we think Prudence
is absolutely one of the most beautiful boats on the Puget Sound, or anywhere,
either sitting at anchor or under sail."
I agree with Roy. He does have a beautiful boat. (Now all he needs is a Culler rowing skiff to go along).
He didn't send me a good shot of Prudence with her new bowsprit, but hopefully, when I return from the Port Townsend Boat Festival this fall, I'll have some to share. She's sporting her new rig in the blurry pre-race photo above, if you look closely.
All photos of Prudence, courtesy of Roy Wilkowski.
Thank you, Roy!