|Conceiving of Camilla|
2: Her layout is simple and spare
By Tim Clark — May 2002
Once introductions were made, Barker and I joined Lee aboard the boat, and together the two men gave me some idea of the extraordinary craft concentrated in her small span. Camilla is inspired by the classic salmon trollers that have long plied the waters near designer William Garden's Vancouver Island, British Columbia, home. She's powered by a single 67-hp Perkins diesel that should yield a cruising speed of 7.5 knots. On such a diminutive scale, the boat's strong lines produce a determined and resourceful profile. If her strength were not so evident and her materials not so fine, you might be tempted to call Camilla cute.
Her layout is simple and spare. The wheelhouse shelters a helm forward on the starboard side, a dinette to port opposite a compact galley, and a head aft of the dinette. In the open forepeak, a V-berth can sleep two.
Belying this simplicity, the boat's construction is rich, artful, and robust. More types of wood were used than can be detailed here. Her keel is old-growth yellow pine salvaged from a Florida lake bottom, her carvel planking is silver bali from Suriname, and her frames and full-length longitudinal stringers are white oak. The transom is double-planked--mahogany over white cedar. Side decks are solid white oak harpins--built completely into the hull and joined to the stem--and her rail caps are angelique. Within the house, the sole is brown heart, a wood of extraordinary durability. The countertops and galley table are bright silver bali in fine, swerving, liquid-like grains, and trim includes varnished teak and mahogany.
History inherent in a boat's design is important to Lee, and he takes satisfaction in the generations of Pacific Northwest custom chronicled in Camilla's profile. But he plans to apply her able character to Narragansett Bay, one of the most venerable cruising grounds in the East. They are varied, concentrated grounds he knows well. "In three hours of cruising, Camilla will take us 21 miles, and in 21 miles there are probably 25 perfect places and a dozen friends for my wife and I to look in on," he says. Moored amid New England nautical history on Conanicut Island, Camilla will embody--apart from her Pacific Northwest heritage--a fulfilling personal narrative resulting from Lee's close involvement with her construction. "I realize the boat's a little precious, and I know it's a selfish thing," he admits. "But having made a thousand decisions and seen them come together, I'm going to take great pleasure in simply looking over the details and knowing exactly why--and how--they are as they are."
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.