Loud and fast cars and motorcycles are great. I love them. So much so that I made a career out of writing about them. However, man cannot live on loud and fast alone, so for the past few years, I’ve been following the reconstruction and restoration of a classic wooden sailing yacht called Tally Ho. It’s been a fascinating and incredibly soothing way to spend a weekend morning, and now I’m sharing it with you.
The project is being documented on the Sampson Boat Co. YouTube channel and being led by a boatbuilder (and sailor) named Leo Goolden. Leo is from the UK, but the Tally Ho project is being undertaken in the Pacific Northwest – specifically in a lovely little town not far from where I grew up called Port Townsend.
Leo bought Tally Ho from the Albert Strange Society (Strange being the man who designed Tally Ho and around 20 other boats) for one British Pound, albeit in basically ready-for-scrap condition. He then began the arduous process of deconstructing the boat only to find that it would need to be completely rebuilt to the original blueprints.
The project got its start in 2017, and the YouTube channel documenting the restoration has grown significantly over that time, with Sampson Boat Co’s current subscriber count hovering around 427,000. The project is funded through the YouTube channel and Patreon and has attracted a rotating cast of volunteers over the years to help move things along.
Currently, the boat is still a ways from being seaworthy, but she has a new structure, new planking, a new deck, and, well, new pretty much everything, actually. The boat will be powered by (in addition to sails, obviously) a hybrid-electric diesel engine setup with a really cool regenerative charging system that uses the drag of the propeller in the water to spin the electric drive motor over.
If you need a break from mom or dad or Uncle Pete and his opinions on the LGBTQ+ community, cue up the Tally Ho build series and disappear into your childhood bedroom for a while. You’re welcome.