HOWB 059 – Interview: Sean & Inger Rankins, Sail and Canvas Makers, Wooden Boat Lovers, Spissgatter owners

by admin on November 1, 2012



Today’s interview is with Sean & Inger Rankins of Port Townsend, WA.  The Rankins own and operate Northwest Sail and Canvas Makers.

Inger is originally from Norway, and as a youth was regularly rowing the families wooden clinker workboats to and fro the island her grandparents lived on.  Inger learned to sew her own clothes at a young age, and in 1990 began applying those skills to marine canvas work.  She has had her own marine canvas business since 1999 and enjoys the creativity of making sail covers, boat covers and other canvas boat parts.

Sean grew up in southern California boating and fishing in his dad’s classic woody boats.  After college, Sean began sailing and became a sailmaker apprentice at North Sails in San Diego.  Sean crafts custom sails from his loft in Port Hadlock, WA.   He enjoys working with his hands, and getting out on the water every chance he gets.

Among other boats, Sean and Inger own a 26′ Danish Spidsgatter 38 meter class – Cito, and a 20′ Norwegian Spissgatter keelboat – Havhesten.

To listen to the full interview, click on green player button above.

Here’s some pics to enjoy (click to enlarge):

26′ Danish Spidsgatter “Cito”. A  38 meter class being restored by owners Sean & Inger Rankins. The lines are timeless!


Cito’s topside restoration work in progress at NW Maritime Center.  Sean on deck.


Cito earlier in her life. Photo courtesy of Sean & inger.


Cito is an MSJ Hansen design.


Sean & Inger’s 20′ Norwegian Spissgatter “Havhesten” built in 1945. Red pitch pine lapstrake planking. Tradition gaff rig with topsail and 2 headsails. Sweet boat!


Havhesten on the bay. Photo courtesy of Sean and Inger.


Thanks Sean and Inger for taking time to do the interview – and best to you with your sail and canvas business and your beautiful boats.  You can contact Sean & Inger by email at

HOWB Produces First Video Interview
I have produced the first ever HOWB video interview.  The interview is with Lloyd Shugart of Seattle, WA and he owns and is restoring a Ed Monk Sr. designed bridgedeck beauty.  Check out  the video here:


WOODEN BOAT TIP OF THE WEEK  –  #8. Prepare a Detailed Budget Before Building A Boat!
Before you start your boat project prepare a detailed budget, and here’s why:

  1. You want to make sure you can afford your dream boat before you start (1/2 finished boats are a bummer).
  2. You will be mentally prepared to build a nice boat – no surprise later on about the final cost of your boat.
  3. Small kit boats are the most predictable to budget for since 80-90% of what you need is included in the kit.
  4. Sail and motor boats will cost more to build than a small row boat.
  5. If you build a good quality boat that will last, IT WILL COST MORE THAN YOU THINK (most likely).  Building quality wooden boats is not cheap – but its very rewarding and if you take care of the boat, she will last a long time!


WANT TO HELP?  PLEASE LEAVE FEEDBACK! I want to build a community of people from all over the world who want to connect, learn, share stories and photos, and have fun with wooden boats. I would REALLY appreciate you sending me wooden boats pics, stories, or projects you are working on.

You can also write comments on this blog, email me at, or call my feedback hotline at 424 261-2360. Click HERE to subscribe to my email news list for the latest and greatest fun stuff and click on one of the buttons below to subscribe to my show. Keep the bright side up and the barnacled side down – Wooden Boat Dan “over and out”! Subscribe to the Hooked On Wooden Boats Podcast here: Zune iTunes RSS Feed

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