- Pacific Northwest
Sofia, a William Garden designed North Sea Trawler, was built by Gordy Hall and another shipwright over the course of 14 months and launched as GAY NINETIES in Sechelt, BC, in 1968. Before launching her, Gordy took the original plans to Mr. William Garden and asked him change the stern from the original Canoe style to a modified Fantail. He also added the Iron Wood Ice Sheathing which protects her hull in the winter from light icing conditions.
Gordy built this boat for his family. Together, they logged thousands of hours in BC and SE Alaska before selling her in the early 70’s. Renamed the DESCANSO BAY and becoming Tour Boat based in Nanaimo, BC;. she took her guests in and around Western Vancouver Island and the surrounding bays .
Descanso Bay was purchased in 1974, by an American, Bob Seymour who brought her down to the Seattle area and renamed her Sofia He and his family cruised with her until 1980. Several owners later and losing track of her till the year 2000, she was purchased by the former owner of Wolf's Marine, Mr. Dave Nelson and his wife. Because of the poor condition she was in, they vowed to save her, thus the first Major Refit would begin.
With her original beauty restored she cruised the Salish Sea, San Juans and soon called Portage Bay her home until 2006 when she was purchased as a part time live aboard by Dr. Oliver finding good fortune in upgrades and loving care by her new Skipper.
Sofia joined our family in 2008 embarking on a Second Refit and starting New Family Traditions, such as Christmas New Years Day Cruise with Family and friends. Sofia is excited to revisiting her Birthplace of Sechelt, BC and showing her new family places she has been in both Canada and Alaska.
Purchased by her current custodians in October of 2008 she transferred her flag to her new homeport in Gig Harbor, WA and then finally to Port Orchard, WA
Sofia, a 38.5’ North Sea Trawler designed and modified by William Garden launched in 1968 from Sechelt, BC. She is constructed from Alaskan Cedar over Oak with Fir and Mahogany Decks. Her original Volvo MD50A Diesel produces 90 Hp and propelled by her Capital Gear pushing a 30LH22 propeller she has a cruising speed of 7.2 Kts.
17 Net Tonnages 22 Gross Tonnages
LOA (feet) 41’ 6” Beam (feet) 14’ 6”
LWL (feet) 38’ 6” Draft (feet) 5’ 6”
HOWL (feet) 27’ 6”
500 Gallons Diesel 250 Gallons Potable Water
25 Gallons Black Water
Gordie Hall, Sechelt, BC ‘67 to ‘72 GAY NINETIES
A Tour Company, Nanaimo, BC ‘72 to ‘74 DESCANSO BAY
Bob Seymour, Seattle ‘74 to ‘80 SOFIA
Unknown - Puget Sound ‘80 to ‘89 SOFIA
Jonathan Horner ‘89 to ‘93 SOFIA
Nicholas & Connie Adamo ‘93 to ‘96 SOFIA
David Nelson, Seattle ‘96 to 04 SOFIA
Dr. William Oliver ‘04 to ‘08 SOFIA
Janet & Devon Liles, Gig Harbor ‘08 to -- SOFIA
Some time in the Nineties, Sofia had several planks replaced. These planks were harvested from the blast area around Mt. St. Helens. Because the wood had sat there for a many years before harvesting, the timber became infested with Insects. When the insect layden planks were installed the insects saw this “all you can eat and tasty old growth Alaskan Cedar”. It was not long after that the new owner, Dave Nelson, in 1996, had to re-plank about 80% of the hull below the water line.
The original wooden wheel house was replaced with a newly constructed aluminum house due to had a considerable amount of rot. A new aluminum wheel house was constructed and installed.
Sofia was completely rewired along with new electrics, along with plumbing, sanitation, refrigeration and heating.
In 2004, Sofia again was sold again as a part time live aboard on Lake Union by Dr. Oliver. Between ‘06 and ‘08, the owner updated the Navigation and other electronics.
Second Refit - Ongoing
We purchased her December of 2008 and she immediately went back into the yard for some much needed hull paint, six planks and the restoration of her name to her backside. Finally, in 2009, three months later, we able to take her to her new home in Gig Harbor.
Over the next four years minor maintenance was done, systems integration, and a few planks here and there and the house was stripped to bare wood and brought back with five coats of sealer and five coats of Captains Varnish.
Late summer of 2012, the refit started again in earnest. We removed the original rotting Sailcloth and Tar deck on the coach roof covering the Galley and the Lido (aft) Deck and replaced it with 2 coats of Sealing Epoxy, two Layers of Fiberglass and finishing it with Awl Grip with Anti Skid. During this process we had to remove the lido deck’s original cedar ceiling but due to its age, fifty plus, it just split and broke apart as we removed it. Installing a new ceiling we used old growth cedar to get the original smooth and knot free look.
Relocation of the Propane Tank’s from a storage box on the Coach Roof to a permanent storage locker constructed in the Lido Deck. Two more hull planks, one deck plank and Brand New Stainless Steel Stanchions were fabricated and installed along with life lines.
The old wool rug covering the Galley and Salon floors was replaced with Old Growth / Straight Line Fur and Purple Heart Accents in 2015 along with the top of the Forward mast was replaced via a Dutchman Splice.
In 2016 we found the Lower section of the Rear Mast on the Coach Roof was replaced due to Massive Dry Rot and also we found bit of dry rot in the in the stern just below the transom but vowed to address it during 2017 ride on the rail.
In March of 2017 we hauled and found the rot was in the Rim Log (a beam that is attached to the Transom Rib). The rot was in each corner and only went 2” into this 6” x 4” beam. The rot was removed by chiseling away. Two Dutchmans were installed in each corner.
We also found three of the original 50+ year old planks had developed *Iron Sickness on both the Starboard Port side, behind the Ice Sheathing, midship. These were removed and replace with new Alaskan Cedar planks.
noting a wooden hull, fastened with iron, in which chemical interaction between the iron and the wood has resulted in the decay of both; nail-sick.
Oh, and did I mention Three hull planks above the water line on the port side a deck plank on the same side along with ten sisters and one Rib.
Since we have been undercover for the past couple of years, both of the Mast Stepping Hinges has seen a lot of use lately and we have taken the opportunity build a new cantilever design, the same as used by Dutch canal boats, to strengthen and rebuild them.