“Before” Party on the Gyrfalcon

We have been telling all of our boating friends about the Gyrfalcon for the last several months. We decided to have a “Before” party – before the renovations were completed, so that folks could come and root around in the boat and give us their advice as to how to complete the project. We realize that there is a wealth of knowledge in the CYA (the Classic Yacht Association – the group of old wooden yachts that we belong to) and that we would get lots and lots of advice – at least 20% of which might be considered sane in some venues.

The party was last Sunday at 1:00 pm. Nancy and I spent most of Saturday and Sunday morning cleaning the Gyr and prepping for the party. (She was knee deep in sawdust on Friday afternoon – which was fine since we wanted the LUBR (Lake Union Boat Repair) crew to keep making progress while the night crew (Peter and Nancy) can take care of the non-skilled jobs like vacuuming and disinfecting.)

At Noon, we had the boat in shape, the food out on tables and the beer and wine on ice. We weren’t certain how many people were going to show up – we figured anywhere between 10 and 40. It had finally begun to rain in Seattle this weekend, so the tent over the Gyr got its first real test. The good news is that the Gyr Egg kept the rain off the roof and deck perfectly.

The first guests arrived promptly at 1:00. Nancy handled the main deck and I went down to the Mann Cave (the engine room). It was an hour or so before I managed to get back up the ladder.

We ended up with between 50 and 60 people at the party. The last guests didn’t leave until 6:30 in the evening.

Bob Ellsworth came up from Gig harbor. Bob owned the Gyr for 18 years (until 2003). He brought a photo album and shared lots of history of the boat along with lots of advice.

One of the last guests to arrive  was Dave Schoeggl. Dave and his wife Tami Conrad own the Summer Wind, which is the sister ship of the Gyrfalcon. Dave had told us earlier that he had to go to a conference in BC and wouldn’t be able to make the party, but the conference ended early and he came as soon as he could. It was great comparing the differences and similarities of the two boats. (Summer Wind still has the original Cooper Bessemer direct-reversing engines).

One of the high points was watching Dorrin Robinson with polish and a rag, working on the brass rail around the steps down to the aft state room. He told Nancy that he “had to polish something”.  He got about a foot of rail finished before he left (Someone later remarked, “Just like Dorrin – he never finished anything!”)

By the end of the afternoon, the food had all vanished, there was a serious dent in the alcohol, and we had heard an endless stream of advice and gossip, which we are still trying to process.

Here are a few pictures from the the party:

Lloyd Shugart (Flying Cloud) and John Shrader (Savona)

Ken Meyer (Partamar), Diane and Joel Van Ornum (Scandalon)

Jerry and Leigh Barton (Argonaut II)

Dennis Ballard (Riptide), Kevin Utter, Peter Riess (Riptide) admiring the anchor chain. I’m pretty sure it was one of you who suggested that we chrome the chain

Bob Wheeler (Carousel)


Mark Garff going to explore the rope locker

Broken bottom rung on rope locker ladder. Fortunately, Mark was not hurt

Kevin Utter and Peter Riess

Slim Gardner (Deerleap) and Jorge Valenzuela (Olympus) in the galley


Peter Riess, Jytte Wheler (Carousel) and Terry Miesse (Grace) poring over blueprints.

We had a great time, and want to thank everyone who came to see the Gyrfalcon. We appreciate your advice, and will certainly incorporate everything you said into the boat. Well, perhaps not everything, but most of it, anyway. Make plans to join us for the “After” Party – date to be determined.



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One Response to “Before” Party on the Gyrfalcon

  1. John Molter says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us, even though we are on the east coast, it’s fun to see what’s happening. Looks like you have taken on one “whale” of a job. Keep us posted.
    John & Caroline Molter

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