The Stitchin' Times

Spring Issue #12

Ahoy, Stitchmate!
Spring has sprung!Spring has sprung, Stitchmates, and it’s time to unbung the brain and fill you in on what’s been happening at The Artful Sailor Whole Earth Nautical Supply. We’re busier than ever with new products, a sail exchange, upcoming races, workshops, consultations and repairs.

Our four-legged friend, Ratsey Lapthorn was busy, too, this Winter chompin’ on sails and many a sailor has some stitchin’ to do. Stick your head down below to meet Ratsey, Thor Belle our R2AK race sponsee, and see what’s on the horizon for Spring and Summer, but before you do, take note of the new The Artful Sailor’s Blog where you’ll find weekly tales of daring do, sail know-how and galley whispers galore.


From near and far, the Stitchmates came to bench hook up in our March Handsewing Skills Workshop. Everyone was stitchin’ like crazy for nearly a day making sailmaker’s aprons that incorporated nearly all the handsewing techniques needed to make and repair sails or other canvas work. Not a drop of blood was shed! And all agreed that it was time and effort and money well spent.

The highly coveted Big Ass Bench Hook Award for meritorious achievement went to Deb from Redmond, WA, the lone lady participant, a landlubber who exalted in learning something new and sewing with her hands. At the other end of the spectrum, there was Mountainman Mike, a historical re-enactor who came with a wealth of traditional sewing experience yet learned refinements, new techniques and acquired long-desired tools and materials for his ditty bag.

Next go round will be October 12th, 2019 and there’s a place on the bench for you and 7 other Stitchmates.
That’s what you get when 14 people with dull blades get together with Port Townsend’s “King of Cutlery”, Alex Moro, for a shear and knife sharpening workshop. The industry, concentration and enjoyment on March 2nd was both visible and audible as the participants honed their skills under Alex’s keen eye and cheery tutelage. Everyone went home with new-found skills plus a heightened awareness and respect for the art of blade sharpening.

Alex Moro is a local legend and the workshop was rapidly sold out. There was a waiting list, so getting your oar in as soon as possible for the next shear and knife sharpening workshop on August 3rd is a keen idea. Be sharp or be dull!
It was blowin’ like stink, right on the nose, February 23rd when The Artful Sailor sailed TASWENS in the Port Townsend Shipright’s Regatta.

Into the spray and fray went Speedo Marino, but the conditions were such that he didn't make it to the starting line of the race until several of the other boats were already on their second go 'round the course.

It was actually a glorious day for sailing but TASWENS, with centerboard nor rudder, was ill-equipped for upwind work. After withdrawing from the race, the off wind romp back to the beach was a regular sleigh ride!



  • The Artful Sailor logo hooded sweatshirts in carob brown.
  • The Artful Sailor logo hats in carob brown and burnt orange (You could win one! Read on.)
  • Pine tar for traditional work and smells by the quart, and in various ornamental bottles or talisman necklace vials.
  • High quality, Kai Ergonomic, 8" shears. Super scissors for cutting sail cloth and canvas.
  • 1000/4000 Combination Water Stone for sharpening knives and scissors.
  • Fancy knot work-covered bottles by Jacob Borkowski, our recent Art Walk Exhibitor.
  • Miscellaneous vintage sail and boat hardware: hanks, shackles, thimbles and cleats.

They may have a little dust, verdigris and wear ‘n’ tear; but for a fraction of their replacement cost, any of the sails in The Artful Sailor’s recently established Sail Exchange inventory might just be exactly what you’re looking for.

Daysails and cruising, heads’ls and mains, our inventory is a lockerfull of sailing and textile potential. Even if repairs, recutting or new hardware’s needed, it’s still a helluva deal, by gollywobbler; especially if you do the work yourself!

Used sails received, sold and traded by donation will benefit educational programs at Northwest Maritime Center. For inquiries, call (360)344-8120.

Over 60 sails and canvas items available, including:
  • Cotton sails: main, heads’ls and spinnaker
  • Daysailer and cruising heads’ls and mains
  • Windsurfer sails
  • Storms’ls
  • Sail bags and vintage, bronze sail hardware
  • Boat cover and awning 


On March 31st, Salty Sue’s beautiful 8' Portage Bay skiff, Salty Sue, was launched in Point Hudson harbor complete with color scheme to match TASWENS and name painted on the transom.

The two Salty Sues were a delightful sight in the calm waters and setting sunlight.


The Artful Sailor’s 16.5' Gloucester Gull dory has been undergoing extensive improvements in oars, rigging and gear in preparation for re-entering the forthcoming Seventy48 human-powered boat race from Tacoma to Port Townsend, WA on May 31st.

As Team Artful Sailor, TASWENS and Speedo Marino plan to row down to Tacoma and then race back. Several shakedown cruises have been made this Winter and Spring and Speedo hopes to better last year’s time by several hours.

Heads Up! The Artful Sailor Hat Contest
Estimate Team Artful Sailor’s Seventy48 race time; closest guess wins a hat. Email your guess here.

Go Team Artful Sailor!  •  •
The Seventy48 race is immediately followed by the Race to Alaska (R2AK) and The Artful Sailor is thrilled to be sponsoring Team Funky Dory in the race.

Look Far, a 15' Swampscott dory with team members Thor Belle and Pax Templeton will set out from Port Townsend Monday, June 3rd bound for Victoria, BC, the first leg of the race and then on to Ketchikan, Alaska.

Team Funky Dory's mission is to raise funds for Pacific Wild. Forty years and four owners ago, Emiliano built a suit of sails for Look Far that are still in use. However, The Artful Sailor has provided sails from the Sail Exchange to withstand the rigors of the race and to be painted with sponsorship signage.

Go Team Funky Dory!  •  •



Artwalk Exhibit & Open House at The Artful Sailor shop in Port Townsend, WA, Saturday, JULY 6, 2019, 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Last Art Walk it was knots on a bottle. For the July 6th exhibit at The Artful Sailor it will be ships in a bottle by ship bottle artist, Jeff Simmons of Olympia, WA.

Marvel at how Simmons can get a miniature replica of the Schooner Martha into a light bulb! In fact, he can launch a boat inside almost anything glass.

Refreshments, music, Artful Sailor goodies and wondrous ships in a bottle from 5:00-8:00 p.m.

The Artful Sailor’s Blade Sharpening Workshop
Cutting to the chase: In the spirit of self-reliance and the preservation of traditional hand skills, The Artful Sailor Whole Earth Nautical Supply will again host a shears and knife sharpening workshop with Port Townsend's own “King of Cutlery”, Alex Moro.

The 3 hour workshop on Saturday, August 3rd, starts promptly at 9 am in The Artful Sailor shop at 410 Washington Street (by the skate park) in Port Townsend, WA. Details & Registration.

The Artful Sailor’s Guide to Sewing Machine Maintenance, Adjustment and Sewing Skills.

Many sail and canvas projects can be sewn with a basic, domestic sewing machine. Heavily built, yet portable, vintage machines are inexpensive and can be hotrod-ed for small craft sailmaking and sail repairs; as well as bags, sail covers and awnings.

By popular demand, The Artful Sailor Whole Earth Nautical Supply is excited to offer a basic course for machine-oriented Stitchmates who want to learn how to put that old machine that's been collecting dust in the closet to use both onboard and ashore. Details & Registration.

Way enough,Stitchmates! It’s time to drop anchor and go ashore. See you aboard next time for the Summer issue. In the meantime, smooth sailing and catch ya in the shop, at the website, on Facebook and on InstagramWishing you good health and fair winds! —The Artful Sailor

No chimps were harmed in the making of this newsletter!
The Artful Sailor
A Whole Earth Nautical Supply
"Guidance, Goods & Tools!"

410 Washington Street
PO Box 375
Port Townsend, WA 98368

Tel: 360-344-8120
Copyright © 2019 The Artful Sailor, All rights reserved.

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