Brandy Bar Returns

From Mother Earth News

By Richard Trachi
May/June 1989

During the summer of 1850, the American schooner Sam’I Roberts ran aground on a bar in the Umpqua River along the southern Oregon coast. While waiting for a high tide to refloat the ship, the crew broke into the captain’s liquor locker to help pass the time. Thus, the bar appropriately became known as Brandy Bar. A century later, Brandy Bar became mobile when the name appeared on a towboat built for the Umpqua Navigation Company and used to work the waters of the Umpqua River.

Another three decades have since passed, and Brandy Bar has come to grace yet another hull. My father, a naval architect and designer, and I launched my little houseboat on the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon, on September 21, 1988, and christened her as a tribute to the towboat of the Umpqua and the history that preceded her.

I built Brandy Bar as a low-cost way to live on the water near my other boat, the 27-foot sloop Kavik, and my work as a sailing instructor. With an overall length of 25 feet, a beam (width) of 10 feet and a 9-foot X 17-foot cabin, she provides a living space comparable in size to that of a 30- to 40-foot conventional boat. Yet the cost…
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Originally posted 2012-06-11 20:23:39.

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