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Lake Union Rotary Sponsors Poulsbo Boat Restoration

March 2, 2011

Volunteers flip over the Poulsbo Boat in storage in order to load it onto a trailer and haul it to CWB, where the restoration will take place.

The Rotary Club of Lake Union is a small service club that is big fan of the Center for Wooden Boats!

Each week their club’s members meet at 7:15 A.M. on Friday mornings at CWB to have breakfast, socialize, hear from interesting speakers and plan for their various service projects.  In addition to water and public health projects completed in developing countries abroad, the club also works on community service projects closer to home.   Lake Union and its surrounding parks has been an ongoing focus of their efforts. This year, the Rotary Club is sponsoring the restoration of an historic Poulsbo Boat owned by The Center for Wooden Boats.

Ronald Young of Poulsbo, Washington built small inboard and outboard powered boats which became favorites for fishing and working on Puget Sound. Their characteristic swooping sheer lines and generous tumblehome were once well known from Olympia to the San Juan Islands. These boats were built two at a time in Young’s shop on the water in Poulsbo. They were sold unfinished on a cash and carry basis. About 900 were produced between 1933 and 1965, each built by Ron or his son, Gordon. The boat owned by CWB is likely one of about 50 that still exist.

There are several significant tasks to restore the electric boat including replacing the forefoot, replacing rotten planks, and upgrading the electric system.  This work will be completed by a skilled boat wright and electrician. The Rotary Club members and other volunteers will provide assistance and additional volunteer labor for tasks such as sanding an repainting of the boat.

The Rotary Club of Lake Union is excited as they believe the project benefits the community in several ways:

  • The boat will support Rotary’s annual participation in the Lake Union Sweep and other trash removal and clean-up activities throughout the year
  • The Rotary Club of Lake Union will provide free boat rides to prospective new Rotary members in the restored Poulsbo Boat, introducing them to Lake Union, The Center for Wooden Boats and their Rotary Club.
  • The restored Poulsbo boat will be available for viewing and use by the public at CWB’s museum and will carry a bronze plaque stating Rotary’s contribution.
  • The boat will provide opportunities to educate the public on Lake Union’s history and also safe boating practices.
  • The Rotary Club of Lake Union gets to show its appreciation for the Center for Wooden Boats!

The Rotary Club happily welcomes visitors to its Friday morning meetings.  For more information visit or contact

Stay tuned for additional updates about the progress of this restoration and for information about how you can volunteer!

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