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San Juan Islands, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 500, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

1972 ❖ ERNEST K. GANN & STRUMPET ❖


STRUMPET'S LINES
Designer Jay Benford
Builder Nourdine Jensen
Owner Ernie Gann
from Calhoun article below.

Seafarer-Author Gann Selects a Husky Strumpet
Bruce Calhoun
Yachting (?) February 1972

"Strumpet is the name chosen by author Ernest K. Gann for his new boat which was designed by Jay R. Benford of Seattle and is being built by Jensen Shipyard at Friday Harbor, San Juan Island. Gann lives on the island and Strumpet's home port will be Friday Harbor.
      This is a 35' x 12.'4  x 4'6" motor vessel with a gumwood stem and sternpost and fir keel. Frames are 1 3/8" x 2 1/4" steam bent white oak on 10" centers; planking is 1 1/8" Philippine mahogany and Alaska cedar fastened by galvanized long bolts in the backbone and bronze throughout. Displacement is 24,600 lb. 
      A Thornycroft 6-cyl Type 360 diesel engine develops 54 HP continuous at 1250 rpm and 98 HP continuous at 2500 rpm to turn a 30" 5-bladed propeller through a 3:1 reduction gear. Fuel capacity is 285 gal in a black iron tank to give a cruising range of 1250 miles at seven knots. A stainless steel tank carries 190 ga of water. Steering is a Wagner hydraulic system.
      Strumpet is a personal boat designed primarily to provide comfortable cruising for two but with room to take old shipmates aboard for an occasional trip. She suits the mood of the islands and of the people who live there, including her owner.
      The Albatross, a 117' brigantine, was perhaps Gann's grandest command. His experience of refitting and sailing this craft is the mainstay of his book Song of the Sirens, a yarn that can be appreciated by any sailorman. It was written while waiting out dirty weather aboard Blackwatch, presumably his 17th command. He wrote, "If the small craft possessed during my youth are counted, then the Albatross was my 16th command." After Blackwatch the owned one of George Calkins' fine 22' Bartenders to get about among the San Juan Islands.
      When a man of this much sea experience sets out to have a personal vessel designed and built for himself, there is bound to be something of interest to all who care to take the time to study it. During Gann's extensive cruising and traveling, he was impressed favorably by the husky Scottish trawlers and he asked the designer to infuse some of the atmosphere and character of these vessels into Strumpet's design.
      Some recent publicity had Gann building a 34' Ferro-cement boat. Although Benford has designed a 34' Ferro cement boat, anyone knowing Gann, who has long had a love affair with traditional and especially wooden vessels, would know most emphatically that this was not for him and the builder Nourdine Jensen would have nothing to do with cement except, perhaps, as ballast in a boat.
      Strumpet is scheduled for a 1972 spring launching."
For a color photo and another article about this vessel when she was in the water, please click here



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