From 1905 to 1969, the Blanchard Boat Company of Seattle was renowned and respected for its well-built vessels, large and small, sail and power. Hundreds of graceful Blanchard boats still ply the sounds and inlets of Washington, Alaska and British Columbia today.

Norman C. Blanchard is the son of Norman J. Blanchard, founder of the firm, and his stories of beautiful boats and dedicated boaters go back to the turn of the century. The Blanchards worked with all the outstanding naval architects and designers of their day, including Ed Monk, Ben Seaborn, Ted Geary and Bill Garden, and built boats for unassuming fishermen and high-profile yacht racers alike.

Blanchard boats that Norm remembers in this book include the fast and famed Sir Tom, never beaten in a race from 1914 to 1928; the 115-foot Samona, the largest yacht they constructed; the handsome Navita, built for the president of the Boeing company; and the elegant Red Jacket, still a celebrated attraction at classic boat shows up and down the west coast.

Stephen Wilen has done all classic-boat enthusiasts a favor by collecting Norm Blanchard's fond reminiscences of a life devoted to splendid wooden boats.