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Teak a look at these

Published on May 15, 2018 1:30PM

The Port of Toledo’s trio of Teak Ladies will make what is likely their first joint voyage in 60 years this Saturday, May 19, sailing up the Yaquina River from Newport to Toledo.

The boats will arrive at Dock 3 at the Port of Newport late in the afternoon on Friday, May 18, and will be on display until they depart for Toledo at noon on Saturday, May 19. The trio will sail upriver to their home dock at the Port of Toledo’s marina, providing many opportunities to view the small fleet’s progress from the Bay Road.

According to David West, a Teak Lady historian and Honorary Grand Poohbaw of the Teak Lady Society, this is most likely the first time these vessels have sailed together in the past 60 years.

The Teak Lady sloop was designed by Fenton Kelkenny of San Francisco and modeled after larger yachts. The A. King Slipway in Hong Kong was commissioned to build the boats between 1939 and 1958. They were built of hand-sawn teak and feature custom carved tillers, carved name plates and hand-crafted brass ventilators. In the 1940s, the Teak Ladies had their own sailing class in San Francisco Bay.

Each of the port’s 17-foot sail boats has been donated for use in the Toledo Community Boathouse program. The first donation, the 1958 Ma Zu, came from Jim and Carolyn Hitchman of Waldport in 2009.

Two years later, Robert and Claire McDonald of Spokane, Washington, donated the 1939 Che Hon.

The most recent addition to the fleet came from West himself, whose research led him to a 1937 Teak Lady prototype, named Yuan Mun, which he bought and relocated to Toledo.

West and local boatwright Rick Johnson lead the Teak Lady Society, a group of volunteers who maintain and sail the unique fleet. For more information on the society, go to www.teakladysociety.org

All three of the boats will also be on display at the Port of Toledo’s Annual Wooden Boat Show on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18 and 19. This year’s show will also feature boats from the Northwest Steam Society.

For more information, call 541-336-5207 or email info@portoftoledo.org.

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