The 80-foot (24.3 meters) Tatoosh is one of the most iconic yachts built by Vic Franck's Boat Company in Seattle, Washington. It's a unique vessel not only due to its extensive history but also because of its impressive craftsmanship. Its well-known owners made it famous, and the fact that the Vic Franck shipyard is now defunct makes it even more special. The wooden Tatoosh is a fine example of American boatbuilding and an invaluable piece of history.
Tatoosh was custom-built for a member of the Boeing family. The renowned Ben Seaborne designed it, the Vic Franck Boatyard built it, and Sparkman and Stephens rigged it. At the time of its launch in 1961, it was one of the most luxurious boats delivered by Vic Franck and one of the most impressive in the entire history of the Pacific Northwest boat building.
The Boeing family enjoyed it only for a few years before another wealthy owner took over. Actor Peter Fonda allegedly used part of his earnings from his successful Hollywood movie, Easy Rider, to purchase the beautiful ketch in 1969. He held on to Tatoosh for more than 15 years and made the most of its remarkable sailing capabilities. During this time, the Seattle-built yacht traveled regularly, not just in California and Hawaii but all the way to Tahiti.
A confirmation of Tatoosh's prowess is the fact that its extensive sailing continued even in contemporary times – in 2014, it successfully cruised from San Diego to Tahiti and back. Peter Fonda parted with it in 1985, and the new owners kept it for nearly three decades. It changed ownership again in 2021 but was back on the market after only a few years. It was sold for an undisclosed amount in May 2023 and hopefully has many more decades of sailing ahead.
After so many decades of smooth sailing, Tatoosh is now a proven world cruiser. The Caterpillar D-333 engine ensures a sailing speed of eight knots (9.2 mph/14.8 kph) and a top speed of 10 knots (11.5 mph/18.5 kph), with a 700-gallon (2,650 liters) fuel capacity. It can accommodate up to eight guests in one master stateroom and two guest cabins, with an additional cabin for two crew members.
Teak is used abundantly on the inside, giving it the typical look of classic American yachts and the nautical-themed interior style in vibrant shades of blue. The main salon is covered entirely in teak panels, with varnished teak and holly flooring.
The four large windows were strategically placed to provide great visibility. Comfortable seating and two hi-lo tables (which can be joined to create a generous table for up to ten guests) make this area even more welcoming. Still, there's plenty of space left for efficient storage, including built-in cabinets.
Although tiny, the galley is remarkably well-equipped for a classic boat, including a freezer, wine cooler, and a washer/dryer. Next to it, guests have access to a large, solid teak dining table. A beautiful teak wheel with brass rimming sits proudly in the center steering console.