Fifer

Fifer

Member Type: 

Classic

Boat Name: 

Fifer

prev-names: 

Deerleap, Grampian, Kitten F, Bardick

Year: 

1928

Length: 

68'

Builder: 

Hoffar Beeching

Designer: 

Robert Allan

Fleet: 

  • Pacific Northwest

Fifer is one of the few remaining Hoffar Beechings, also referred to as the “Boeing Yachts” due to the yards acquisition by the aircraft company in 1929 to assist in building Seaplanes. She began life in 1928 as Deerleap, but was deemed too small for her intended use as a floating hunting lodge, and thus was traded in after one season for the Deerleap we know today. This pattern was repeated in 1939, when she was traded in once again for a larger (105 foot,) “Fifer.” Through the years she was renamed Grampian, Kitten F, Bardick and then finally back to Fifer.

Originally powered with Hall and Scott gas engines, she was repowered in 1935 with Gardner 6L3 diesels, Glennifer reversing gears, and Hyland Hydraulic windlass and remote operated gear shifts via the engine order telegraphs, which she retains to this day. In 1999 she ran aground, and thus began a series of repairs that ran over budget, over schedule, and incomplete until she gradually fell into disrepair. While yacht shopping for a friend (who ended up buying another Hoffar Beeching,) we found Fifer tied up at Tom Mac Shipyard in Richmond B.C., where most expected her to be broken up.

Once a deal was struck, thus began a year long process of arranging to have her parts shipped to and installed at Tom-Mac. The Engines were rebuilt but at “Alpi’s tire depot in Surrey, and the new shafts, props, and other equipment were in storage in Langley. The process of getting everything operational for the trip to her new home in Port Orchard was accelerated when the owner of her big-sister ship, Deerleap offered the use of his boathouse through October, in order to better repair the decks, and the saloon cabintop (which was cut to remove and reinstall the machinery.)