Certain things have a way of continually appearing on our radar screens. They circle continually outside of visual range, only ocassionally emerging into view. Such is the case with Robert L. I wrote a story about the William Garden designed Pinky schooner in August last year. Small schooners are sure-fire fodder for my Walter Mitty mind. After my original blog post I often wondered what had happened to the vessel.
Several months ago I was walking the marina docks in Port Townsend with my 5 year old grandson. This is always fun as he boldly asks permission to come aboard every boat that has an owner or crew in attendance. Nobody refuses a cute little kid and thus we have been hosted on many fine vessels including a sumptuously appointed vintage power cruiser built in the 1920’s and one of the latest US Coast Guard 40 knot RIB cutter boats. Said grandson was making a beeline for a large black schooner with the look of a genuine pirate ship about it. After much “arrghing” and salty expressions of regret that their was nobody on board to bum a tour from I turned around to see that in the next slip was a boat with a familiar look. It was Robert L in the flesh, or in this case the wood.
Until that moment I knew the vessel only from pictures. It was nice to put a genuine face to the name. I took some photos and looked her over as completely as I could from the dock. This little schooner is nothing if not a charmer From the waterline to the main truck she looks as ship-shape as could be. The unexpected meeting was a pure delight. It did not escape my notice that there was a brokerage sign on her lifelines.
Afterward the Robert L faded into an occasionally revisited memory. When I purchased the latest edition of Woodenboat magazine it was a bit of a surprise to see a color photo of the schooner in a classified ad. She was being marked down from $30,000 to $25,000. If my bank account could survive that kind of bite I would have written a check on the spot.
This unique 28 foot pinky schooner is for sale through Sea Marine Yacht Sales in Port Townsend, WA. The website has quite a few good pictures of the interior and exterior. The rigging looks to be arranged for efficient handling including various lines leading to the cockpit. The vessel was originally meant for sailing with minimal crew. The accommodations are a little basic but all the necessities are there. The cabin is cozy and looks to be the ideal place to relax with a cup of hot coffee with a close friend and scoff at the Pacific Northwest’s questionable climate.
I have no financial interest in the sale of this boat. It’s strictly personal. I hate to see a vessel get caught up in a cycle of neglect. Robert L offers a lot of bang for the buck. The vessel would be perfect for a small family. Where would you find a better environment to bond with your children or grandchildren. They might even relinquish their video games for a day or two.
If you are interested in this fine wee schooner call Eric Schouten at Sea Marine, (360) 385-4000. Tell him an envious Blogger sent you.