Wooden Boats

Each finely sanded and finished, fresh varnish and beautiful lines, wooden boats float silently on the high tide.  Jim Irving, on Harstine Island in the Puget Sound of Washington State, has a routine that carries him, strong busy hands, through the long dark hours of winter.  Up early, with his workshop warmed by a wooden stove, he often is working on two boats at a time, sanding, replacing parts, crafting new these classic vessels.   Branches of my family tree form reaching limbs of fine craftsmen.  Wood workers, Jim Irving is my mom’s brother, my Uncle Jamie. 





Sara – Is one of the last original Herreshoff 12.5 boat built #1516 built in 1942. She was owned by the Center For Wooden Boats in Seattle until purchased in 2014. It will be a total rebuild from the keel up.


1920’s  Kermath SeaPup, gasoline single cylinder motor boat.




Eight birds-mouth cut pieces fit together, then lathe rounded and tapered forming an octagonal puzzle which is the 24′  mast of the Dragonfly.

Jim's Boat Teak Lady 014-3




Dragonfly is a Teak Lady 17′ sloop. The Teak Lady class was originally designed in 1938 and several were made in Hong Kong prior to WWII. One of the first (Confucius) was made famous by Charles Borden by sailing her with his very new wife to Hawaii. He wrote a book about the adventure. Dragonfly was one of the few built after the war in 1958. Obtained around 2007 in Port Townsend, WA,  Jim spent 5 years dismantling and completely rebuilding her and launched July 5,  2013.




Epiphany is a Haven 12.5 (12.5′ refers to waterline length – she is actually 16′) designed by Joel White as a keel/centerboard version of the Herreshoff 12.5 designed by Herreshoff in 1914. Epiphany was built in New York in the mid 90’s and later brought to WA state where she sat for 7 years before Jim found her and rebuilt her. She is gaff rigged.


Retired from the Forest Service, primarily BLM as a Natural Resources Specialist, Jim can be found most days rowing on calm waters with his pooch Maggie.  Martha is a 12 1/2′ carvel planked pulling boat built in the 80’s (builder unknown) which he rebuilt a few years ago.

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