HOWB 066 – Interview | Dan Leach, boatwright and Center for Wooden Boats Community Engagement Lead

by admin on December 20, 2012


Dan Leach is one of those gents that makes you feel right at home from the first time you shake his hand – which for me was October 2011 when I went to the Center For Wooden Boats to interview the founder, Dick Wagner for HOWB 004.  I had the privilege to interview Dan a few weeks ago – which was a real blast for me (hanging out at the CWB comes natural – haha).

Dan grew up in Seattle, the son of a woodworker and grandson of a home builder.  His parents owned a 14′ Rhodes Bantam racing class sloop – and his grandparents a 17′ ski boat.  Dan water skied behind the power boat, but preferred getting out on his parents sailboat and occasionally racing.  After studying political science and history at the University of Michigan, Dan moved to Eugene OR, started his news radio career, got married and had a couple kids.

Eventually moving back to Seattle, Dan continued his radio career, and did a marketing stint a Microsoft before deciding to enroll in the 2 year Marine Carpentry Program at Seattle Central Community College to “learn more about boats” and gain some woodworking skills.  After graduating Dan went to work at Dunbar Marine in Seattle restoring and repairing wooden vessels.

Dan had been a volunteer at the Center for Wooden Boats for years.  One day in 2011, he was talking to Betsy Davis (exec director) and she said “we need you” to lead business engagement and sponsorship development to keep the programs and museum collection of small craft alive and well.  Dan agreed, on the condition, that he could work one day a week as a boatwright.  Dan enjoys his role and loves having his office on a floating dock.

Click on green player button above to listen to the interview and find out more about Dan and his boating adventures.

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


Small woodens boats at CWB waiting for you to use them!  Photo by Wooden Boat Dan.


Traditional craftsmanship and beauty.  Photo by Wooden Boat Dan.

Traditional craftsmanship and beauty. Photo by Wooden Boat Dan.


Stacked El Toros - You need to sail one of these soon!.  Photo by Wooden Boat Dan.

Stacked El Toros at CWB – You need to sail one of these soon!. Photo by Wooden Boat Dan.

Thanks Dan for taking time for the interview.  Best to you and the CWB!
Wooden Boat Hack of the Week – #11 – How to give your sandpaper Superhero Powers!
Here’s some tips to make sandpaper work like your favorite Superhero:

  • Get yourself a sandpaper brush (also know as a metal file brush).  Gentle rub over your sandpaper when it clogs up.  This keeps the sandpaper clean and working longer.
  • Change the sandpaper frequently – when it stops cutting properly, ditch it and use a fresh piece.
  • There are several grades of sandpaper being sold.  Buy the more expensive sandpaper – it lasts longer, stays cleaner, and sands better.
  • Save money by buying sandpaper in bulk.  Instead of buying singles or five sheet packs, buy packs of 25, 50 or 100 to save money per sheet.

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:

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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