PHOTO: A new mast for Merrie Ellen

Posted 3/28/17

John Holbert kneels next to a new 82-foot-long wooden foremast that he and an assistant crafted at the Port of Port Townsend boatyard over a period of 14 days. The mast, which weighs about a ton and …

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PHOTO: A new mast for Merrie Ellen

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John Holbert kneels next to a new 82-foot-long wooden foremast that he and an assistant crafted at the Port of Port Townsend boatyard over a period of 14 days. The mast, which weighs about a ton and a half, is set to be installed in the 114-foot gaff schooner Merrie Ellen April 6 or April 7 at the boatyard. “This is the smaller of the two masts on board,” he said. The main mast is 92 feet tall. The boat was built in 1922, and Holbert and his wife, Jill, purchased it in 2007. “It’s named for my mother,” he said of the boat, which is based in Pleasant Harbor. He did the work at Port Townsend in order to have access to the travel lift. He used a chain saw to shape the log and remove the outer layer of sapwood. Photo by Chris Tucker

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