Puffin Update: Splashed and on the Move

One of the most popular vessels in our entire fleet is Puffin, our Truscott Steam Launch. She’s always a fan favorite, and in the time that she’s been hauled out for maintenance, many have asked for her whereabouts.

Puffin was built by Truscott Boat Manufacturing Company in 1906, making her older than the Titanic. She began as a gas-powered launch, due to the technology’s growing popularity for small vessels, but was converted to steam power by Bob Evans in the 1980s. Bob donated her to CWB a decade later, and we’ve loved her ever since. As a mainstay in our Public Sail program, she’s ushered thousands of visitors across Lake Union throughout her time at CWB, and was in need of restoration.

After nine long months, and over 1000 hours of Boatwright and volunteer time, we are happy to announce that Puffin is back in the water! The Puffin Team has put in a lot of work over the last three-quarters of a year, including:

  • replacing three frames and two planks
  • re-plumbing all copper tubing in the steam system
  • completely rebuilding the boiler system
  • stripping the hull and deck down to bare wood
  • repainting the hull
  • building the new deck varnish (8 coats!)
  • and seeing her through two inspections, which she passed

With much anticipation, we splashed her last week at our South Lake Union docks. After taking up for a few days, and passing her boiler inspection, she got the go-ahead to leave for Port Townsend this morning. This weekend, you can find her at Northwest Maritime Center’s Wooden Boat Festival where she’ll be offering rides to attendees. Afterwards, she’ll head back home to reinstate herself in our line-up for future Public Sails!

With the majority of the restoration (and Public Sail rides) completed by volunteers, it’s safe to say that Puffin would not operate without our amazing Puffin Team. We’re so grateful to have such a large group of wonderful volunteers dedicated to this little steam launch.

Learn more about S/L Puffin here.

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