Row Bird

In Festival Boats 2022

Row Bird got her name partly because sailboats look like strange, wonderful birds to me and this one rows. And she’s partly named after my mom, Roberta, who was physically disabled. Since she couldn’t get out and do a lot of things, I like to think that her spirit is with me on my adventures.

She’s an Iain Oughtred designed Arctic Tern (there’s that bird thing again) built out of plywood with a variety of native woods. She was born in the Methow Valley, as was her sister ship Sigmund. Through a series of coincidences, two years after construction, both boats ended up in my home port of Portland, Or.

I’ve sailed Row Bird from Astoria up the Columbia River to Portland, down the lower half of the Inside Passage and throughout the south Salish Sea (Arcadia, Wa is her home away from home), and all over the Lower Willamette River. Because Row Bird will float in about six inches of water she’s been placing a lot of other boats can’t. I often go cruising and can anchor out in just a few feet of water.

Row Bird is highly adaptable to a variety of conditions, quick to rig, and easy to transport and store on a trailer. I can sail her in Port Townsend Bay one day and the Columbia River Gorge the next. Read about her adventures.