Argonaut II

In Festival Boats, Festival Boats 2024

For more than a century, Argonaut II sailed the waters of the Pacific Northwest and most famously served the remote native tribes and rural communities of British Columbia. Originally built as a corporate yacht for the Powell River Company in Vancouver, BC in 1922, the United Methodist Church purchased the boat in 1934 to serve as a Mission Boat until 1967. Originally named “Greta M,” the church rechristened the boat “Thomas Crosby IV” after a NW Missionary, and skippered by the famous Haida Chief Rev. Dr. Peter Kelly who was the first full-blooded Native American ordained in the United Church of Canada. Thomas Crosby IV operated as a fully-equipped hospital, servicing the remote lighthouses, canneries, logging camps, and isolated settlements, and carried more than 1000 patients a year. In 1967, the boat was renamed “Argonaut II” and has been a private yacht ever since, thankfully with many willing hands to continue its maintenance and upkeep.

Argonaut II was originally powered by a 3-cylinder Fairbanks Morse engine, but repowered in 1940 with an air-start 6-cylinder Gardner 6L3. The carvel-planked hull is made of 2 1/2″ Port Orford Cedar (and we are currently pulling original wood off the boat still in decent condition for its age). In 2023, local Port Townsend Shipwrights Peter Stein, Quillan Hunt, and Rowan Schatz supported a ten-week project replacing 37 Alaskan yellow cedar planks, 21 white oak frames, inner and outer sponson and purpleheart/ironbark guard on the Starboard side, as well as some modifications to the rudder and interior systems. The deck is made of fir, with a teak pilot house and teak railings. Below deck, the boat feels like a step back in time, maintained as it was during its times serving as a mission boat, with stained glass cabinets in the main salon, an aft state room with two bunks, and a forward stateroom ahead of the engine room.

Follow the ongoing projects, story, and adventure on YouTube and Instagram at mv_argonaut@