MV WESTWARD (Wooden Motor Vessel)
MV Westward docked between voyages at Northwest Seaport, Seattle, Washington (2008)
|Architect||Leslie Edward "Ted" Geary, John A. Martinolich|
|NRHP reference #||07000304|
|Added to NRHP||April 12, 2007|
MV Westward is an 86-foot (26 m) motor yacht, "arguably Seattle’s most famous motor yacht," originally constructed in 1924 by Ted Geary for inventor Campbell Church, Sr., and currently owned by Bill and Shannon Bailey. Its home port is Friday Harbor, Washington and it is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
The Westward was modeled after a salmon cannery tender and constructed—around a 1923 Atlas-Imperial diesel engine—at the Martinolich Shipyard on Maury Island near Seattle. It was designed to travel the Inside Passage along the British Columbia coast to Alaska. Its construction marked a turning point in Geary's career: previously he had built workboats; from this time he built yachts.
In its early years, expeditions on the Westward were hunting expeditions, with "a Norwegian whale gun shooting harpoons fitted with time fuse bombs, a 10-horse gasoline winch with thirty-six hundred feet [1097 meters] of quarter-inch [0.6 cm] plow steel cable as a fishing line, and all of the accessories for 'scrapping it out' with fifty-ton [about 45 metric tonnes] whales". These expeditions were led by Church's son Campbell Church, Jr., who founded The Alaska Coast Hunting and Cruising Company. The Churches ended up owning numerous notable motor yachts. Besides the Westward were the Nooya, Deerleap, Caroline, Alarwee, Acania, Onawa, Malibu, Cadrew, Electra, Olympus, and Taconite. Campbell Jr. made extensive films of his journeys.
Among the many people who have traveled aboard the Westward are A. C. Gilbert, inventor of the Erector Set, George Eastman (of Eastman Kodak), banker Paul Mellon, George Pabst of Pabst Brewing Company, investor E.F. Hutton and his wife Marjorie Merriweather Post, Walt Disney, John Wayne, Phil Harris, Fibber McGee & Molly and Amos & Andy.
During World War II, the Westward was pressed into military service. Don Gumpertz bought the Westward in 1967 and circumnavigated the globe in it in the 1970s. Current owner Hugh Reilly, once the owner of a fleet of fishing trawlers in the Alaska seafood industry (coincidentally named Westward Trawlers), bought the Westward in 1993. From 1997 to 2004 he returned it to its roots as a vessel for Alaska tourism (minus the blood sports). He then put the boat through a major refitting before taking it on a two-year tour of the Pacific, from which he returned in early September 2008. After a brief visit to Puget Sound, he took it down the West Coast to Mexico and then in May 2009 crossed for the South Pacific.
The Westwardis slated to make a trip along the Inside Passage in the spring of 2013.
The Westward is still powered by its original 1923 Atlas-Imperial diesel engine. which provides 110 horsepower and gives her a cruising speed of eight knots. http://classicyacht.org/westward/?page_id=26
- National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Westward in the 21st Century, John Sabella & Associates. Accessed online 6 September 2008
- Maritime History - Westward Documentary, Maritime Center News (Northwest Maritime Center and Wooden Boat Foundation on Port Townsend Bay), August 4, 2006. Accessed online 6 September 2008
- Westward, Cruising Alaska 1920’s Style, John Sabella & Associates. Accessed online 6 September 2008
- Previous National Register Updates: April 13, 2007 (Weekly list of actions taken on properties 4/09/07 through 4/13/07). MV Westward is NRHP listing #07000304, listed April 12, 2007. Accessed online 6 September 2008