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Old boats afloat; Poulsbo Yacht Rendezvous is held this weekend | Kitsap Week
This weekend 30 classic yachts will glisten in the Poulsbo Marina during the 15th annual Poulsbo Yacht Rendezvous.
“There is something about these old boats that is different from modern boats,” said organizer Richard Randall. “They represent a part of our history that we are gradually losing touch with and this is an opportunity to preserve it.”
The free event is open to the public and many yacht owners will welcome guests aboard their vessels— allowing visitors a peek back into time when boats were made from wood, not fiberglass. (Many owners ask that visitors remove their shoes, so plan accordingly and wear footwear that is easy to remove.)
According to the Classic Yacht Association’s website, to qualify as a classic, the vessel “must be a power driven pleasure boat of good design, construction, and maintenance, launched prior to Dec. 31, 1959, which shows no exterior alterations that detract from the designer’s original intent.”
Much like an antique car collector, or a owner of a period home, classic yacht owners go to great lengths to keep their vessels in tip-top shape.
Randall, who owns a 1929 43-foot bridge-deck cruiser, spends about three days a week working on his boat named Compadre.
Compadre has retained her original interior layout and cabinetry. Her cabin is built entirely of Burmese teak and her hull is made from Port Orford cedar.
“These boats are unique because people aren't building them like this anymore,” Randall said. “In fact, they can’t. The materials in some cases are no longer available.”
Burmese teak and Port Orford cedar are very rot-resistant and strong —the perfect building material for boats meant to stand the test of time. However, years of over-harvesting have led to the scarcity of both. Port Orford is native to small regions along the Oregon and California coasts and trees that were large enough to be used for lumber were exhausted long ago. Most of the teak available today is plantation-raised and lacks the density of its old-growth relatives.
Randall said an event like the Poulsbo Rendezvous is a time to share the old crafts with the public. It helps raise awareness of these historic boats and encourages others to get involved.
“We are quite aware that we are only caretakers, and our challenge is to pass these boats on to future owners in at least as good, or better, condition than when we acquired them,” he said.
The Poulsbo Yacht Rendezvous will be held at the Poulsbo Marina, behind Front Street. Hours are Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. Each boat is sponsored by a local Poulsbo business and the sponsorship helps to defray the cost of moorage fees.