Let's look at the boats.
Many of the small boats that make their way to Fossil Bay for this rendezvous have either been built or restored by their owners. So it's a chance to test yourself, your boat and how symbiotic your relationship can be.
First there is Joel Bergen's Navigator. He's kept a great blog about building this boat and he says it best, so please visit him through the link above. Great boat, Joel! Her name is Ellie. Joel brought his son, Tim.
Here we see Ellie, skippered by Joel in the 'Round Sucia "Race".
You've met Jamie Orr and his Chebacco Wayward Lass. Jamie just retired this week. Congratulations, man!
Jamie gets a lot of credit. He keeps this group alive and is the consummate host. If you're curious, he keeps a web site for this gathering here.
That's the skipper at the helm, our friend Alan and also Jamie's son, Alan on the foredeck.
I just met Rick and Judy. They traveled north from Portland, Oregon and brought their own Welsford design. It's a Houdini named Gertrude. This boat is set up for cruising! Storage everywhere, portable rain and sun covers - how big can a small boat be?
Rick built the boat and Judy carved the figurehead.
A first for each of them.
Frank Mabrey brought a Bartender he's been working on. The Calkins Bartender is a rough water fishing boat that could be ordered from the factory or built as a kit and occasionally built from plans. These double-enders are very popular with fishermen because they were designed for some of the roughest waters on Earth - the river bars of the Oregon coast. There is a brand new version out, made in aluminum, but this one is old and made of plywood.
Paul Miller is a retired shipwright. He's built a lot of boats. For his retirement he built this boat.
It's a Friendship Sloop by Jay Benford. Cold molded, but the inside layer is laid-up to look as though it's carvel planked. The Friendship has all traditional hardware, rigging and furnishings, but a modern underwater design, so she's fast and nimble.
Paul says that he named her Friendship because that's what she's for - making friends.
Paul, loved sailing on your boat!
John Bigelow sailed north from Whidbey Island, Washington on his Dawn Treader, a design called Eel from William Garden.
Those who know me can guess how much this canoeyawl speaks to me. If Bill Garden ever designed a boat that was less than stellar, I'll eat my hat.
John is perfectly in tune with his craft. I think he told me he'd had this boat for thirty years.
Jealous, that's what I am.
There were two Stone Horse designs. These boats were designed by Sam Crocker.
For coastal cruising, you could do no better. Even if they are made of fiberglass. They have timeless lines and quality detailing - an easy boat to fall in love with. Since there are probably no more that two of these boats within 2000 miles, it's a happy coincidence that they both ended up here at the same time.
The Stone Horse with the oval portlights is James McMullen's Phoebe and I'm not sure of the name for Jamie Webb's Stone Horse, but it's the one with the rectangular portlights.
Darrell Pepper just got through refurbishing this old ChrisCraft runabout. His real love is wood carving. If he were an Internet person I could show you some of his work, but as it is, I'll have to interview him one day and take some photos. He visits First People to learn their carving crafts and has made some remarkable contacts with tribal artisans. I wear an Orca he carved for me out of mammoth tusk on my hat.
Ron Mueller has built a few boats. He used to own Wayland Marine, who manufactures the Merry Wherry. His power catamaran Just Enuf is an odd looking boat, coming from a traditional perspective but effective and efficient. This plywood EcoCat from Bernard Kohler has a king sized berth, standing headroom galley, and a private head. Ron stores two inflatable kayaks and two folding bikes in the starboard ama. Cruising speed is 10 knots with a top speed of 15 knots.
Better yet, this boat comes in a sailing design!
Now we're talkin'!
Another efficient boat is this motor skiff, designed and built by my good friend Lou Brochetti. Lou has spent a lot of time on the sea, has built many boats and knows just what he wants, which is not much more than the bare essentials. He wants to be able to stand up to put on his pants and then reach everything else he needs without taking more than a step.
Lou is my hero. Less is More, Lou!
Lou calls Kingfisher a power sharpie. She burns about a liter an hour with a 9.9hp engine. Always having been a sailor, he's adjusting to spending money on gas. This was the first outing for Kingfisher and her skipper is very happy.
Loyal readers will remember, two years ago I cruised to Sucia Island with Chuck Gottfried on his Phil Bolger Chebacco, Full Gallop.
Here you see Chuck is back and Full Gallop has a face lift. It's my fault and I feel terrible, but one day Chuck asked me if he should paint red trim on his Bristol Channel Cutter. I told him red is no color for a boat. Well...if you look back at the above link, you will see that Full Gallop was once RED. Now she's this beautiful cream color and I'm in love!
I hope you're not mad at me Chuck - ain't she photogenic?
Last but not least is Saga, a Valgerda faering designed by William Atkin. The only drawback to owning this boat is that after a while I feel like a tourist attraction.
A slideshow for your entertainment: