Those in possession of Poulsbo’s namesake boat can mingle with fellow owners when the Poulsbo Boat Rendezvous takes place September 14-16.
Between 1933 and 1965, Ronald Young became renowned for his characteristic boats, which he built in the basement of Ole Berg’s garage in downtown Poulsbo. As the story goes, Young’s workshop would flood during high tides on Liberty Bay.
The Poulsbo Boat became popular among fishing resorts in the area, which rented them to salmon anglers.
The Erickson Fishing Resort in Hansville was operated by Ed and Svea Erickson from 1939-1966. The resort owned 30 of the boats. Gary Erickson recalled the heyday of his parents’ resort.
“In 1951 — which was the best year they ever had for salmon here — the limit was six fish. They had 100 rentals in one day,” Erickson said. The Poulsbo Boat, he explained, was favored for the ease with which it negotiated the waves off Hansville’s shore.
“They were really seaworthy, especially the inboards,” Erickson said. “They kind of float in the water like a duck.”
David Shields is vice president of the Poulsbo Historical Society. By his estimate, only around 10 to 15 percent of the original boats built by Young are still in existence.
“What happens is many times people don’t know how to deal with a wooden boat,” Shields said. “The thing that kills these boats is freshwater. If they get rainwater in them, that’ll rot them out from the inside in pretty short order.”
Young’s creations were distinct in their look, possessing a unique “shear” line which swept the bow up, reminiscent of a Norse longship. The distinct “tumblehome” and its upswept stern, Shields said, was also reminiscent of old Spanish galleons.
Check-in for the Poulsbo Boat Rendezvous will be held at noon on Sept. 14, to be followed by a no-host gathering at the Slippery Pig and a reception at the Poulsbo Maritime History Museum on Saturday. There’s a $35 registration fee for participants. Registration can be completed online at http://poulsbohistory.com/poulsbo-boat-rendezvous/