Co-Project Manager of the Schooner Adventuress deck project, past Captain and Board President, Kenneth Greff, checks in with Three Sheets about progress on the iconic 133-foot gaff-rigged schooner…

Under the expert guidance of Blaise Holly, lead shipwright at Haven Boatworks in Port Townsend, the team of hard-working shipwrights has passed the halfway point in the project of replacing the deck on Adventuress

This is the largest and final phase of restoration – the Capstone Deck Project. You may recall that over the past decade, the hull was completely restored beginning in 2009 and ending in 2014 in the phased Centennial Restoration Project. This winter’s final deck project has included renewing the entire structural support to the deck including all new deck beams and the large fore and aft beams (clamps) upon which the deck sits. As of this week, the structural framework was completed, new covering boards have been fitted along the outboard edge, and the beautiful fir decking is being laid.  

This deck project has been planned and overseen by the Ship Committee, guided by chair Mark Donahue who has brought his expertise as a naval architect and engineer, and experience from a career as a shipyard manager into years of planning and now management of the project. The ship committee was on site last week and were unanimous in their compliments to the Haven Boatworks shipwrights. The craftmanship we are seeing in the project is outstanding. The solid structure, tight fitting joints, and careful fastening, bedding and overall attention to detail is exemplary. We are fortunate to have access to this level of expertise right here in Port Townsend and are mindful of the importance of the skill of the shipwrights in the success and durability of the project.

As more decking is laid, the ship is once again taking on its familiar appearance. All the restless sailors anxious to take her sailing shall soon be able to visualize the ship powering across the straits with renewed structural stability and the familiar grace we expect from Adventuress. We have lots to do to get the ship ready for the season and help from “all hands” over the coming months will be critical to the success of finishing the project. This work is starting now so if you are interested/able to help, you are most welcome to reach out to Sam Nadell at for details.

When you step aboard you will notice familiarity, as well as some changes. You will find added strength from the careful engineering and new camber in the deck shape which means we now have more headroom down below. Sailors who enjoyed knocking their head on deck beams in the galley are now out of luck! The new bulkhead installed behind the main ladder will give a snug shipboard feeling to the space. Look also for the original 1913 hanging knees, carefully re-fitted by the shipwrights. 

As I write this, I am reminded that it was February 1952 that Adventuress arrived in Puget Sound following decades in service to the San Francisco Bar Pilots. Now 67 years later, thanks to all the help from everyone who supports Adventuress, we breathe new life, new future and new opportunity into the ship. 

We have work to complete before we rest and if you listen carefully you can hear Adventuress calling to be put back to sea.