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1910 Fulton Yawl

SIWASH

Full Restoration

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2016-2017 Hull & Frame Project

2022-2023 Deck Project

Siwash History

Siwash, a sailboat given to Howard Walter Wright, Jr. by his father in 1911.

“There’s no knowing what the builder, Charlie Fulton, intended to call the 47-footer he built in Wilmington, on the shores of Los Angeles Harbor. What’s certain is that this high school kid, Howard Walter Wright, hung around every day, lusting after the boat as it came together frame by frame. And come time to launch, some disgruntled yard worker chalked the world Siwash on the transom—it was a not quite gentle dig at Fulton, who had some Indian blood—and Fulton decided to paint the name on and let it stick."

Siwash was Fulton’s boat, but only for a while. The lucky young Wright had earlier been gifted with a 28-footer, but his persistent mooning over Siwash was rewarded when his father bought the big boat for him as a high school graduation present.

“Los Angeles was a little town in 1910,” says Bill Wright, who was a graduate student at Scripps in 1982, when he bought the boat for a dollar from his brother, Howard, who in the 1970s had bought it for a dollar from their father, who had inherited it from his father in 1959.

In 1912, Siwash won the Around Catalina Island race with Howard Walter Wright at the helm and a crew of Stanford fraternity men. The family story has it that she set a record that stood for some 25 years. According to Stanford lore, Siwash sailed the course in 12 hours, 14 minutes.

“We should have gone around in ten,” her skipper said, “but the boys got terribly seasick up by the west end of the Island.”

“Granddad sailed the boat around quite a bit,” Wright says. “It went as far south as Turtle Bay and Scammon’s Lagoon, and it was all over the Channel Islands. Around 1939, granddad had the new rig put in—the rig we have now—which is a gaff yawl setup designed by an up-and-coming fellow named Olin Stephens.”

There was, btw, no engine.


The boat, today over a century old, is owned by H. W. Wright's grandson. Present owner Bill Wright allows, “I’m not really an avid wooden boat owner, but Siwash is a member of the family.” The boat is berthed in Alamitos Bay and sails under the colors of Los Angeles Yacht Club. And, Siwash continues to be a regular visitor to the favored coves of Catalina.

info courtesy of Islapedia (https://www.islapedia.com/index.php?title=Siwash)

Scope of Work

October 2016-October 2017

SIWASH was rebuilt entirely from the deck down with new purple heart frames and mahogany planking.  All pieces of wood were individually coated in epoxy before being attached to the boat to protect them from water intrusion and ensure they last another 100 years.

February 2022-March 2023

SIWASH returned to Koehler Kraft to have her decks and bulwarks replaced.  The old decks and bulwarks were demolished uncovering years of patch jobs and water damage.  We started with a sealed marine ply base with fiberglass for stability, new sealed bulwarks, and better drainage points that were now flush with the deck.  The whole boat was then repainted and partial rigging replacement.

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