This blog is devoted to my John Welsford designed 15' Navigator yawl Ellie. I built her in my garage over a period of 18 months and launched her in 2011. She sports a sliding gunter main, roller furled jib and sprit-boomed mizzen. Her construction is glued-lapstrake over permanent bulkheads and stringers. This blog is a record of her construction and her voyages here in the Puget Sound area and (hopefully) a useful resource for fellow Navigator builders.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Messing About with Oysters

Yesterday's TSCA Hood Canal Oyster Messabout at Twanoh State Park was absolutely wonderful, with good friends, perfect weather, a variety of boats, and five dozen enormous, delicious oysters.

Marty Loken and Marjiann (Mojo) Moss who operate Island Boatshop, debuted their 1955 Bill Garden-designed Port Madison Pram, recently refinished and ready for its first sail in a few decades. Port Madison Prams, Marty explained, were designed by William Garden for members of the sail-only Port Madison Yacht Club, whose members wanted a sail-training boat for youngsters and a boat adults could race on weekends. The prams are 13'-6" and resemble an El Toro on steroids, with tons of volume-per-foot.

Tom and Susanne Regan who operate Grapeview Point boat works brought their shellback dinghy.  This dinghy is fast!  We spent a good part of the day trying to catch up with them.

Doryman Mike Bogoger brought his Ken Basset Firefly Finesse. Finesse is a beautiful boat, but unfortunately Mike had some technical difficulty with his oarlocks (he, uh, sorta forgot 'em). Mike had some limited success with a borrowed set of oars and oarlocks but unfortunately we were not able to witness Finesse's full potential. I pounced on the opportunity and invited Doryman to come sail Ellie with me, and he accepted much to my delight.

Randy Jones brought his Core Sound 17, which he later loaded up with a crowd of TSCA members.

Bob Hancock brought the fiberglass sloop that he's been working on over the winter.

Boats were rigged and launched by 11:00 and we all enjoyed a lively sail.

Then it was time to get down to business. Time for some serious oyster shucking.  These oysters were huge and they put up one helluva fight..

We eventually won and let me tell you, these were the most delicious raw and pan fried oysters ever!
After the oyster feed, it was time for another terrific sail.  Conditions had improved even more, if that's even possible, from the morning's sail with a bit more wind and sunshine. With Doryman at the helm, we set out to find Marty in his Port Madison pram to get some action shots.  We couldn't find them, so we tried instead to catch Tom and Suzanne in their speedy shellback.

I sure hope we can do this messabout again next year!


  1. Wish I could have been there with you!
    Did I mention I just love oysters?

    1. These were the best I've ever had. Even my wife, who doesn't care for them that much, loved them.

  2. I am green with envy- sounds like you had a fantastic day!

    Will Ellie be at the Pocket Yacht Palooza?

    1. Hi Julie,
      It was! And yes, Ellie will be at the Palooza.