mv wells gray            1927 ex-b.c. forest servicE


It was 1996 when the ad for the Wells Gray caught my eye. I promptly hopped on a plane in Glacier Bay and headed to Seattle for a closer look. That’s all it took. The purchase survey was very thorough, so I knew from the beginning what needed to be done. After 18 months of working the boat in S.E. Alaska, the Wells Gray and I headed out of Glacier Bay for Port Townsend to begin a careful structural rebuild, restoration and modernization of this historically significant vessel.

In the course of more than 15,000 hours of labor we dismantled the Wells Gray to its “bare bones” and carefully rebuilt her. Thirty eight frames were replaced and more than 440 feet of new planks were hung on the hull. Another 500+ feet of new decking and covering boards were laid, thousands of new fasteners driven, hundreds of yards of wiring strung, gallons of paint and varnish applied . . . . The list is nearly endless.

From a comfort and safety side we replaced the old engine with a new 130 h.p. Lugger. Wesmar roll-fin stabilizers were installed to improve the ride for both charter and pleasure voyages. The galley, salon and pilothouse were completely rebuilt, and new electronics, charts and additional navigational aids were added to ensure confident navigation of the Inside Passage (which we’ve done eight times now).

I welcome comments, pictures, stories from others who also have a history with this veteran of the B.C.’s Inside Passage.

                                                                                 Albert Manchester



Albert Manchester


Featured in PassageMaker Magazine

October 2008