He started work last week overseeing what he estimates would be at least a year-long restoration of the boat that famous American author John Steinbeck chartered in 1940 for an expedition to Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.
“The Steinbeck thing is groovy and all that, but I’m really into it because it was built in Tacoma … there’s not many of that style left,” Stout said of the 76-foot purse seiner built in 1937.
Stout seems unmoved by the boat’s fame. “It’s just more of what we do. Yes, it’s a big project, but this is just what we do here in this boatyard.”
Stout is a 1982 graduate of the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding who spent 20 years in Homer, Alaska. “I fix boats for a living,” he said. He moved back here about three years ago, and in September 2014, bought a large shop at the Port of Port Townsend Boatyard, formerly the home of Day Boat Works. (Stout also has a Friday-morning radio show from 8 to 10 a.m. on KPTZ FM 91.9, called the Oakum Shed.)