HOWB 063 -Interview: Katie Whalen of NW School of Wooden Boat Building; Wooden Boat Owner and Lover; Can’t Wait to Get to Work Every Day!

by admin on November 29, 2012


Judging by her enthusiasm and passion for her work at the NW School of Wooden Boat Building, you’d think Katie Whalen had been a hard core wooden boat devotee since her childhood.  Quite to the contrary, Katie grew up in southern California as a complete land lubber.  It wasn’t until she visited Washington state as an adult that she got a on “boat” for the first time – a Washington state passenger ferry.

Katie was first introduced to the Boat School in the early 1990’s, fell in love with it, and immediately began volunteering.  She was fascinated by the school’s mission and the dedication of the small staff, including shipwright Jeff Hammond (who is still at the school today).  Katie was working in Port Townsend in 2006 when she heard the School’s business manager position was being vacated.  Katie applied and has loved her dream job ever since.  In Katie’s own words, the Boat School “is the real deal”!

In 2011 Katie couldn’t pass up the opportunity to purchase her first wooden boat –  a 26′ William Atkin’s designed gaff rigged cutter – Barakah.   She is a traditional plank on frame carvel planked beauty (see pics below) that was built by the School in 1995.

Click on green player button above to listen to the interview and find out other fun facts about Katie and the NW School of Wooden Boat Building.

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


Katie on Barakah – one proud owner!  Photo courtesy of Katie Whalen.


Barakah under sail. She’s a William Atkin’s designed gaff rigged cutter 26′ LOA and built in 1995 by the NW School of Wooden Boat Building.  Photo courtesy of Katie Whalen.


Barakah in the snow (foreground). Photo courtesy of Katie Whalen.

Thanks Katie for taking time for the interview.  Best to you and Barakah!

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:

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