Sunday, July 19, 2015

The 2015 Pocket Yacht Palooza

This weekend I was fortunate enough to have been invited by The Port Townsend Pocket Yachters to display my Duckpunt "The Donkey" in the courtyard of the Northwest Maritime Center during the 2015 Pocket Yacht Palooza. It was a huge honor to be there, and I am so thankful for the invitation!

On the ferry heading to the Palooza. The Punt almost dwarfs the car! 

The Palooza is "a celebration of small-boat design, showcasing the widest variety of watercraft--wood, fiberglass, rowing, paddling, sailing and even a few small, traditional motorboats. There is some emphasis on boats suitable for camp cruising, but all interesting designs are welcome and equally appreciated." I am really glad for that description because the Donkey was without a doubt the ugly duckling of the day. At the show was a lot of bronze, varnished wood, and really shiny hulls all around, and in the midst of all this pocket yacht glory...the Duckpunt, sitting on the ground looking forlorn and forgotten between two beautiful boats on trailers. Still, it is an honest boat that I built with my own two hands, and it gets used a lot more than it gets spruced up, so I was very happy and proud to have it there. There were a few folks who were interested in how the heck you can sail a boat with no rudder, keel, daggerboard, or leeboard, and some disappointment expressed that I wasn't planning on doing a demo, but overall there just wasn't that much interest in the ugly little punt. I don't think anyone there realizes just how much fun it is to sail in water so shallow you don't get your socks wet when you stand up in it, or how relaxing it is to sail lying down with your feet kicked over the side, or how easy it is to get on the water for a few hundred dollars and a few weeks (or in my case, months) work. It's certainly no S.C.A.M.P. (which is a boat I am dying to build and sail, don't tell the Punt though), and it will never win any beauty competitions. Still, I will just keep singing the praises of these simple little sailboats that go where no other sailboat can go, simply, cheaply, and with more fun than any boat I have ever owned! Duckpunt! Duckpunt!

-Photo Dump-

The courtyard at the NW Maritime Center

On the left a Montgomery M-15, next to a gorgeous Welsford Navigator

The Duckpunt with its proud owner, both in all their glory. I just love that shirt!!!

Dik and Ann, who put us up for the weekend. Thanks so much for your hospitality, guys!

The Punt instantly draws a massive crowd

Even Soy Sauce was more popular than the Donkey!

The incredible Sage-17 on the left, next to the Gig Harbor Boat Works fiberglass version of the massively popular S.C.A.M.P. 

This beached catamaran got a lot of attention

Simeon Baldwin giving a talk about his experience on the first leg of the inaugural Race To Alaska in his spectacular S.C.A.M.P. "Noddy"

Joel Bergen's gorgeous Welsford Navigator "Ellie" next to what I considered the star of the show, an Iain Oughtred designed Wee Seal named "Opus", owned by Lee Bjorklund. 

The huge crowd continues to swarm around the Donkey

S.C.A.M.P.S. were everywhere on the water

Such salty little boats!

Many boats simply pulled up on the beach and dried out at high tide

And just because they are so much fun to watch, here is some footage of S.C.A.M.P.s chasing each other around Port Townsend Bay

This event was a really great time, and if you haven't been I highly recommend you plan on going next year. Who knows? I may even spruce the Punt up and bring it back next year! Just roll on some fresh porch paint and she will look like new. What is that old saying? Lipstick on a pig...?

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