1939 Monk - Major Andrews "Sea Witch"

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1939 Ed Monk Sr. sloop Sea Witch

A History of Construction and the Early Years

Photos blow up larger with a click

Photo originally from the late John Bailey Sr.

but credited to Ken Ollar in Oliver's book.

Fred Page Andrews

A Signal Corps Yachtsman - And Yacht Builder
Peter Van Atta, Fred Page Andrews' Grandson

                                                                                                                                                                Aug 31, 2010

Grandpa was born in Tacoma in 1894, near the water activities of Puget Sound.  Fred Page Andrews was always a hands-on tinkerer, and an early wireless experimenter.   More than once his father was bitten by RF on the latch to the radio shack.  By 1912, after the Titanic disaster and the Radio Act of 1912 requiring wireless operators on all ships, he and many amateurs sought commercial licenses.  Amateurs were relegated to wavelengths of 200 meters and down which were not considered usable.   Radio operators needed to know both Continental and American Morse and demonstrate ‘adjustment of apparatus’ to qualify.  Emergency signals were standardized as SOS or S5S, replacing the older CQD.  Three dashes (---) is O in Continental and 5 in American Morse.

click here for more of this story, including the launch photo and early newspaper articles ..................

Sea Witch History

Designed by Edwin Monk Sr.  (Plan 315, dated  March 1937)

Built at Maj. Andrews Boatyard.   Andrews boatyard operated from 3/31/1937 to 5/17/1940 when sold on returning to active Army service.  Boatyard had 8 employees. (Bill Garden and Dave LeClercq possible involvement?)

Sea Witch launched 1940  (probably in the Spring from the launch photo)

Coast Guard registry #   30 S 652  ( in launch photo and 1947 opening day photo)


1.     Fred Page Andrews (Maj. Retired) 1940  to 1943 or later

2.     Ken Metcalf and Phil Smith (Dr. R. Philip Smith?)? to 1947

3.     Jack Warburton (newspaper article)  1947 to 1949 or later

4.     Dick Carlson (Bet Oliver book) ? to 1962

5.     Jack Smith (Bet Oliver book) 1962 to1965

6.     John and Jo Bailey   (Bet Oliver book & Jo) 1965  to early 1995

7.     Rob and Carrie Ann Abernathy (Sydney Canada) 1995 to 2000

8.     Larry and Nancy Eifert  2000 to 2010

9.     Glen and Lin Marcotte (Saltspring Island Canada) 2010

Early History

This is from "Ed Monk and the Tradition of Classic Boats" by Bet Oliver, 1998, Horsdal & Schubart Pubishers, Victoria Canada.

Major Andrews' boat yard in Tacoma launched the 29-foot sloop Sea Witch in 1939, one of at least three boats built by Andrews from the same plan. Sea Witch was originally owned by Ken Metclaf, then by Dick Carlson, who sold the boat to Jack Smith of Gig Harbor in 1962. John and Jo Bailey bought Sea Witch in 1965; she remained in the Bailey family for the next 30 years. Jo Bailey used Sea Witch while researching many articles and three cruising guides, the "Gunkholing" series covering the San Juans, the Gulf Islands, and Desolation Sound. Monk designed a 43-foot ketch for the Bailey's, which they called Endeavor, although the boat was never built.

Ed Monk and the Tradition of Classic Boats by Bet Oliver

This from another page in Oliver's book.

Sea Witch, Plan No. 509, built in Tacoma, Washington in 1939. Cedar on oak, 22 hp Palmer engine. Length 29' 7" beam 8', draft 4.5', displacement 12,500lbs. "Sea Witch was the love of my life and we spent many happy hours aboard day sailing, weekends and four-week vacations. We raised five children aboard and all are avid sailors." John Bailey.

Ed Monk and the Tradition of Classic Boats

In the early 1980's, Jo Bailey moved to Friday Harbor with Sea Witch. Here she began a writing odyssey that has spanned almost 30 years. With Al Cummings, Jo developed the first serious cruising guides for the Pacific Northwest.

Larry Eifert, then the owner of a 40-foot Kettenburg sloop "October" homebased in Friday Harbor, bought the first edition San Juan guide signed by Jo, which has come back to the very boat it was written on.

The most interesting part of Jo's books is the fact that they were all written with Sea Witch in mind - anchor here, tie there, it's all about Sea Witch.

Photo of Sea Witch and Roanoake (Al Cummings boat) on the back of the first San Juan book. For years they were fixtures in the back bay of Friday Harbor's marina cove.

Sea Witch on the cover of Bailey's book about cruising Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa Inlet. She's hardly changed an inch since this photo was taken in 1989.

Page 151 of the Desolation Sound book, showing details of Sea Witch in the 1980's. These photos were invaluable in the restoration of the boat's interior. Click on the photo to blow it up larger.

Countless articles and three books by Bailey have created a real history for Sea Witch. Even today, Jo continues to write stories mentioning this boat.

Larry Eifert began cruising stories about Sea Witch soon after the Eifert's bought the boat in 2000. With fine-art paintings adding a real zest to the stories, and the boat's portraits have appeared often on the cover of 48-North magazine (see the art section), it's fair to say this boat has arrived at a pedigree few other boats have.

There's a reason for this. Few boats have this look, the classic appearance and fine construction that makes for a boat you fall in love with immediately. This 'look' isn't found in modern boats, or many older boats either for that matter. "Wow, nice boat" is the understatement! The next statement we hear is: "wow, that's Sea Witch."

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