Then and Now: Mary Anne - West Wind Hardwood

mary-anne tow boat

In November 2015, Stephen Seaton of Ocala Florida reached out to West Wind Hardwood.  As a note, his reference to Bill is of William (Bill) Garden, the renowned naval architect.  He was a dear friend and mentor to Jan; died April 29, 2011 at age 92.  A man who cherished privacy and did not suffer fools; he is genuinely missed.

(left)West Wind’s Corporate Camp Trip – “Mary Anne” – Montague Harbour, Galiano Island Photos by Jan Nielsen – June 2011

Here’s what Stephen had to say:

“I ran across this photo on one of your web-sites and hope you can help me.  I worked for Bill the summers of 1964-65-66 and had a boat that looked just like “Mary Anne”, color of hull, canvas forward, length and general look all the same BUT I remember her engine was a single piston, even the Vivian Engine sound familiar. That sound of the engine is still with me as music to my ears.

Bill let me run the boat as if it was mine for the summer of ‘66 and I did put some miles on her there in Seattle.  Most people who saw me thought I was Bill’s son; I did look somewhat like him. Also some people also saw me while I live at Bill’s home the summer of ‘65.  You have no idea how much I enjoyed learning single engine boat handling with that little ship.  The fact Bill trusted me still overwhelms me to this day.”

After an exchange of emails, Stephen continued:


Towed by Dulwen enroute to Montague Harbour, Galiano Island, June 2011 – Photo by Jan Nielsen

“…not sure why I remember she was a single cylinder engine but guess these years have done their job on me.  I do remember the brand of engine so guess this is my “true love”.  You have no idea how much fun I had with this little ship.  Never had a passenger aboard and did everything alone learning how to handle a single screw boat.

Did not have a camera nor did anyone take a photo of me aboard.  Loads of people would come out of the old restaurant there at Fisherman’s Wharf every time I docked in front of the restaurant.  Many taking photos but I never got to ask for one. Once they said I cleared out the restaurant of about 50 people due to the tight spot I put her into.  Even some of the help came out to see the commotion.   

The photo you published on your web-site is the only photo I have of her.  “I THANK YOU FOR DOING IT”, Bill really knew how to teach me boat design, I lived on Oceanus one summer (64), his home one summer (65), and made enough working for him to have my own place when I was 21 (66).  Those were some of the best years of my life and “Mary Anne” was a big part of it.  

Again thanks for the reply, and take care of the old girl.”

bill garden's mary-anne

Photo provided by Bill Garden
As seen in his book Yacht Designs by William Garden


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.