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The Short Boats are sailing to Newport!

todayMay 10, 2018

On May 19th, the Port of Toledo’s fleet of Teak Ladies will be sailing up the Yaquina River, from Newport to Toledo.  This is a rare opportunity to see these three sister vessels under sail.  Each of these beautiful, 17 foot, sail boats have been donated to the Port by individual owners for use in the Toledo Community Boathouse program.  According to David West, a Teak Lady Historian and Honorary Grand Poohbaw of the Teak Lady Society, this is most likely the first time these vessels have sailed together in the past 60 years.

The sail boats will arrive at Dock 3 at the Port of Newport late in the afternoon on Friday, May 18 and will be on display that evening until their departure the following day.  They will depart for Toledo at 12:00 pm on Saturday, May 19th.  The boats will sail upriver to their home dock at the Port of Toledo’s marina, providing many opportunities to view the boats from the Bay Road.

The Teak Lady sloop was designed by Fenton Kelkenny of San Francisco and modeled after larger yachts.  The A. King Slipway in Hong Kong was commissioned to build the boats between the years of 1939 and 1958.  They were built of hand sawn teak and feature custom carved tillers, carved name plates, and hand crafted brass ventilators.  In the 1940’s the Teak Ladies had their own sailing class in San Francisco Bay.

These three boats have been donated to the Port of Toledo for use by the Toledo Community Boathouse.  The first Teak Lady to be donated to the Toledo Community Boathouse was donated by Jim and Carolyn Hitchman of Waldport Oregon in 2009. It is Teak Lady #21, named Ma Zu, and was built in 1958.  In 2011, Robert and Claire McDonald of Spokane, WA donated Teak Lady #11, Che Hon, built in 1939.  The most recent addition to the fleet is donated by David West, and is the prototype Teak Lady, named Yuan Mun built in 1937.  David West located this vessel in San Francisco through his research into the history of the Teak Ladies and he purchased and relocated it to Toledo.

The Teak Ladies are maintained and sailed by members of the Teak Lady Society, a group of volunteers working under the leadership of David West and local boatwright Rick Johnson.  For more information about the Teak Lady Society visit:   All three of the boats will also be on display at the Port of Toledo’s Annual Wooden Boat Show on August 18 and 19, 2018.  This year’s show will feature boats from the Northwest Steam Society.

For more information about the Teak Lady Sail or the Wooden Boat Show please contact the Port’s office at 541-336-5207 or email


Written by: TrevorKYAQRadio

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