HOWB 073 – Interview | Jim Metteer – Wooden Boat Builder and Restorer Extraordinaire

by admin on February 7, 2013



Today’s featured interview is with Jim Metteer of Poulsbo, WA.  Jim grew up “all over” the west coast as his dad moved from working at one hydroelectric dam to another.  In 1965 the family settled in south Seattle, WA where Jim graduated from Tyee High School.

Jim’s dad had a power boat and Jim liked to be “on” the water, not “in” the water.  After high school Metteer landed at a local furniture company learning the furniture trade and eventually taking over their finishing department.  The advanced coatings skills Jim learned during those 3 years still serve him to this day.

Metteer’s first boat was a 1980 Thistle – a 17′ Sandy Douglass one design cold molded planing sloop.   Jim sailed her on Lake Washington and Puget Sound.  A few years later Jim fell in love with “Vito Dumas” – a Manuel Campos designed Cutter.  However,  the owner wouldn’t sell to Jim.  So Jim decided to build his own Campos Cutter.  The Campos cutter is a modified scandinavian rescue boat designed with a shallower for the waters of Buenos Aires in the 1940’s.

Jim read the book – How To Build a Boat by David McIntosh and started building it.  It seemed to come natural and took Jim 4 1/2 years to complete.  One of his tricks was to go to the boat every day whether he felt like it or not.

Lumiere was launched in 1991.  She is  Carvel plank, 1.25″ Port Orford cedar over 2″x2″ oak frames with a 1 1/2″ teak deak.  She has a Honduran Mahogany  cabin and 8600 pounds of lead in her keel.

With the encouragement of his wife, Jim decided to build boats for a living, so he joined up with the late Tom Pryor in 2000 to take over the work Tom had been doing in Poulsbo.  Tom rented him the barn and Jim helped Tom live out his last years out in the neighboring farm house.

Metteer’s first project was restoring a friendship sloop Puff.   This was a 2 year project.  Next was the restoration of a boat gifted to him – Fokus III, a classic 6 meter racing boat.  Fokus III was launched 1948 in Norway and was scheduled to race in the 1952 Olympics (for reasons unknown, she didn’t go to the Olympics).  Jim has done a beautiful restoration on Fokus!

You can hear Jim’s whole story by clicking on the green player button above.

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

Jim next to 43' John Alden designed Cutter

Jim next to 43′ John Alden designed Cutter in for repairs.  Photo by Wooden Boat Dan.

Jim did a phenomenal job replacing the deck on his Six Meter!

Jim did a phenomenal job replacing the deck on his Six Meter!  WOW…  Photo courtesy of Jim Metteer.

Fokus III ribs and knees form beautiful lines.

Fokus III ribs and knees form beautiful lines.  Photo courtesy of Jim Metteer.

1991 Launch Day for Jim's Manual Kompost designed 48' LOA Cutter.  Jim built her over a 4 1/2 year period.

1991 Launch Day for Jim’s Manuel Compos designed 48′ LOA Cutter. Jim built “Lumiere” over a 4 1/2 year period.  Photo courtesy of Jim Metteer.

Lumiere at moorage.  Nice build Jim!!

Lumiere splashing down for first time. Nice build Jim!!  Photo courtesy of Jim Metteer.

Thanks Jim for doing the interview.  You can reach Jim by phone at 360 440-2022 for your next boat project.  Best to you, Leigh and Eagle Creek Restoration!


Wooden Boat Hack of the Week – #16 | One Visit Per Day, Gets Your Boat In The Bay

We all know the best way to get a boat project done is to start it, but did you know that if you “visit” your boat project daily, you’ll be done sooner .  That’s right, go to your shop/garage/barn or wherever your project is Every Day:

wood boatshop

    • You’ll find inspiration to do some work (even if you didn’t feel like it earlier)
    • You may just decide to reorganize you project so next time out, you are ready to go
    • You can make notes of what steps to do next or supplies you need to purchase
    • You’ll “feel like there is hope” at the end of each day 🙂

So next time you want to sit down and watch the tube after a long day at work, go to your boat project first and get some inspiration.

Pocket Yachters of Port Townsend, WA Offer Free Classified Ads for Smaller Classic Boats For Sale

If you have a smaller classic pocket yacht you would like to sell, email your ad copy and photos to  Marty can assist you in placing your classified ad on the website under the Boats for Sale section.  It’s a free service and the Pocket Yachters pride themselves on finding the “right” buyer for your classic vessel.  Thanks for the heads up Marty!

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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