Shipwright Jim Lyons is still a bit shocked it’s lasted this long.
“When we started this, we were young men, and I don’t think anybody had a clue that 30 years later it would be a thriving, viable business,” Lyons said about the Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-op, of which he is a founding member. “That wasn’t the goal. It was more like, ‘We’ll try this, and it’ll be an experiment.’”
The co-op celebrates 30 years of wooden boatbuilding and repair throughout the month of September, and is planning a party primarily aimed toward those involved with Port Townsend’s maritime trades community.
Lyons and seven other shipwrights created the co-op in 1981 out of an 8-by-12-foot garden shed with a single band saw and a love for wooden boats. Thirty years later, Lyons is the last of the founding members still repairing wooden boats.