Schooner arrives in Poulsbo for mast replacement; first to be worked on here since 1954

Workers will use the tidal grid at the Port of Poulsbo to replace the schooner Fiddlers Dream
Workers will use the tidal grid at the Port of Poulsbo to replace the schooner Fiddlers Dream's masts. Fiddlers Dream will be the first schooner worked on in Poulsbo since 1954.
— image credit: Kitsap Maritime

POULSBO — The last time a Poulsbo resident reportedly saw work being done on a schooner here was in 1954, when Pacific Cod Co. schooner C.A. Thayer was retired from service.

The schooner Fiddlers Dream, a floating classroom operated by the Kitsap Maritime Heritage Foundation (, will tie up at the Port of Poulsbo’s tidal grid for mast replacement.

At approximately noon on May 22, Millican Crane Company of Lofall will lift the two wooden masts off the vessel. The Fiddlers Dream will use the tidal grid at the port, taking advantage of the high tide to place the vessel close to shore. The crane will attach a line to the masts, the rigging on the vessel will be removed and the crane will pull the masts up off the vessel and then swing them to shore.

The City of Poulsbo is reserving parking area near the port the crane can safely lift the masts from the vessel to the transportation vehicle.

Foundation spokesperson Holly James said replacement masts are being fitted out at Kitsap Maritime’s spar barn near Brownsville. Local volunteers, guided by a shipwright, will shape and taper the new masts for proper rigging on the schooner. The new masts are from trees donated by Pope Resources of Poulsbo.

The Fiddlers Dream was donated to Kitsap Maritime in December 2013 by Michael Withey of Seattle. Kitsap Maritime’s mission is to celebrate the region's maritime heritage through exhibition, education, and helping people of all ages and abilities to have a hands-on nautical experience. The vessel was built in 2006 from plans designed by John Alden in 1932.

Poulsbo’s tidal grid is used for vessel inspections and minor or emergency repairs. According to the port, it’s one of the last remaining tidal grids in Puget Sound, It has a maximum load limit of 50 tons and a maximum vessel length of 65 feet. Not allowed: Bottom scraping, scrubbing or washing; or bottom paint removal or application.


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