Let’s Restore SV Morning Flight!

$330 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 8 people in 10 months
In November of 2017 Sailing Vessel Morning Flight came into my life. She’s a 12 Ton Wooden 36 foot Berthon Gauntlet sailboat, built in Lymington, England in 1938. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her, on a chilly sun setting beautiful mid November evening at the Port Ludlow, Wa Marina. She was lonely...

I could see how neglected she was by the amount of water that had accumulated, standing still, in the cockpit. The exterior wood was faded with the finish bubbling and peeling off. The Teak wood was grey and dark. The white canvas canopy, which was wrapped around the sail cover, was no longer white. It had faded into a yellow green spotted thing. I thought it might have been a camouflage tarp. There were small plastic tarps making an effort to cover the bow of the boat, which later on I realized were installed as an attempt to keep water out of the V-berth. After opening the main hatch to enter Morning Flight, I couldn’t believe what I saw. Two feet of standing water in her open and exposed bilge. Everything inside was drenching wet. There was standing water in the two galley sinks, which created (what I thought was) a rusted ring around the water line. Oil soaked towels laying about, that were left on the beautiful white counter tops (I later restored). The cushions on both of the satay’s were acting as sponges, while once tan, they were a dark brown color. Using a flashlight at this point, from my phone, I could see the head packed with random items that seemed to have been just thrown on top of one another. I could see the V-berth cousins floating in some standing water, sopping wet based on the insurmountable cracks in the deck at the bow. The chain locker had the same amount of standing water in it as the rest of the boat. Anything metal was rusted inside. Tools. The three oil sconces. The wood stove. The hatches. There were spiders finding solace from the cold and wet time of year in the Pacific Northwest in many of the faded and unfinished corners of the interior Mahogany wood. With all these discoveries and many more, I got to work...

A little bit about me and my intentions:

My name is Blake Byers. I’m currently living on Morning Flight in Port Ludlow, Wa. I was born in Idyllwild, Ca which is a very small mountain town. Ever since I was a child, I have always been an explorer. Making forts out of anything I could find; tables, chairs, blankets, sheets, trees, boulders and now, Morning Flight. I’ve never lost that sense of adventure, in fact if anything, the sense has heightened. My hope is to work on and restore Morning Flight to her original glory with hopes to sail her back to Lymington England (where she was built) in 2019. I’m currently studying for my Captains license here in Washington and will be working on other sailboats to gain the much needed experience to sail the some 8,000 miles to bring her back to Great Britain. In the meantime, I’ll be installing some recording gear in the boat along with all the very much needed restoration work so Morning Flight, with hopes, will become a floating/traveling recording studio. I’ll be having guest musicians aboard to write music either underway, tied up or anchored (“on the hook”) with intentions to take the artists to remote locations, only accessible by boat, to film a live performance of a song written on Morning Flight.

However, since November I’ve been working on her and have been preparing to put her “on the hard” (take her out of the water) at the Port Townsend, Wa Marina...

Here are the jobs I’d like to complete on the exterior:

I plan on scraping the hull, sanding it down, painting several coats of barrier paint, painting several coats of bottom paint. Replacing the prop and/or painting it. I’ll be replacing the zincs. I’ll also be sanding and repainting the hull above the waterline. On deck, I hope to add additional lifelines around her stern and some hardware (smaller stainless masts) to support a new radar system, some solar panels and a wind turbine along with a rig for a new white canvas canopy. I’ll have an expert look at the original teak deck (which has been since painted) to see if it would be possible to sand it back to its original status. In fact, all the exposed teak in the cockpit and trim around the deck will be sanded and refinished. All the lines will be replaced with white static line. The anchor will be sanded and repainted. The chain will be either replaced or Coca Cola’d (this will be a fun video to share with you). The original brass name plate will be cleaned and polished as well as all the brass on the exterior and interior of the boat. The tiller, blocks, wenches, vents, cleats, stanchions and all exterior parts will be removed, refinished and/or cleaned up to look as good as new. Fresh coat of white paint, on all exposed white painted wood on deck, after sanding and cleaning. Repair mainsail. Purchase jib sail and furling system for forestay (install). Sand and paint spreaders. And several other smaller jobs...

Here are the jobs I’d like to complete on the interior, engine and/or systems:

I’d like to dry the bilge and properly clean, sand and prep for a coat of oil based paint. If funds are available I’d like to replace the bilge pump and install a bilge pump in the bow. Sand and refinish the floor which covers the bilge. Sand and paint the rest of the original wood that was painted white, white. Light sand, clean and reseal original mahogany wood. Replace glass for two of the oil lamp sconces which are missing. Build a closet and navigation table in V-berth. Install macerater and new electric head. Replace all plumbing hoses and clamps. Custom build mahogany slats in V-berth with backlit LED lighting. Install water filtration system that will turn seawater into fresh drinking water. Replace auxiliary battery with new battery. Replace all filters, hoses, gaskets and fluids in and/or on engine. Replace oil pan. Acquire five US Coast Guard approved life vests. Replace/repair wiring for DC power to up-to-code standards. Reupholster the cabin cushions with marine grade fabric. Install gauges and instruments for radar, solar panels and turbine (run wiring). Install black water holding tank and freshwater holding tanks.

With all that being said, I’m sure there will be other jobs that come up upon completing them, or as I mentioned, after all, Morning Flight is a sailboat, which was also built in 1938. I’ve even heard that BOAT stands for, Bring Out Another Thousand (haha)...  Even though I know some of those jobs will be music related tasks, I hope to have all that finished by Mid-April of this year, 2018.

I’ll be posting regular updates on the completed tasks on this list with videos, photographs, art, songs, you name it. Below are a few outlets you can follow along with me as well as some links about her history and her creator, Berthon.

Thank you all for your time reading about Morning Flight and for your consideration. I hope with your help we can restore a beautiful, legendary and historical sailboat! (Don’t forget to see some cool perks for donating money below!!!)

Best wishes,

Blake Byers











Buy us a cup of Seattle brewed coffee!

Donation $25 or more to have a chance to go for a day sail with SV Morning Flight. 

Donations over $50 will receive an emailed photograph of a crew member holding a bag of trash with your name on it that was picked up from a remote beach wherever SV Morning Flight sails to.

Donations over $100 will receive a framed signed photograph from a remote beach wherever SV Morning Flight sails to.

Donations over $250 will receive a coffee table photo book of stories and images from the restoration of SV Morning Flight. 

Donations over $500 will receive a framed oil painting by Blake from a destination SV Morning Flight visits.

Donations over $1,000 will be invited to spend the week on SV Morning Flight and something home cooked meals and a custom framed oil painting. 
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Starting March 1st, I’ve slowly been removing the oil based primer and latex paint from the deck. I’d say I’ve clocked a solid two weeks of work doing such. Here are some current photos of my work on the deck of Sailing Vessel Morning Flight.

What I’ve been listening to: https://open.spotify.com/track/5iYoNasLiEiinDUAkyPjyY?si=yYIHOeP4S1OHPoDhhUhyeg
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The reason I’m doing this are nights like these.

Today I continued on with the latex paint removal from the deck. Plus I spoke with a Bo’s’n from Lady Washington, a tall ship from Aberdeen, Wa, about recommended procedures of how to seal the teak deck. He gave me some brilliant historic remedies I’m considering for the completion of SV Morning Flight’s platform.

#svmorningflight #berthon #gauntlet
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Today I removed the heat exchanger and started removing the gear box from the Perkins 4108 in SV Morning Flight.

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Sealing the teak!

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Read a Previous Update

$330 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 8 people in 10 months
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Anthea Sullivan
8 months ago
Lynn Oakley
10 months ago
Chris Judah
10 months ago
Scott Brown
10 months ago
Scott Clayton
10 months ago
Richard Dullaghan
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10 months ago
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10 months ago
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