Here you will find tales of voyages past and present on our trusty Pacific Seacraft Dana 24, "Sockdolager," and our Bigfoot29 powerboat, "Raven," from Port Townsend, Washington, USA. In 2009 we sailed north from Puget Sound up the west coast of Vancouver Island to the Queen Charlotte Islands (now called Haida Gwaii.) In 2010 we went back to the west coast of Vancouver Island. In July 2011 we left the Northwest, sailed to Mexico, and in March 2012 we crossed the Pacific to French Polynesia, then on to the Cooks, Niue and Tonga. We spent several months in New Zealand, and in May 2013 loaded Sockdolager (and ourselves) on a container ship for San Francisco. In June and July 2013 we sailed north along the California, Oregon and Washington coasts, and in August we arrived home. In October 2016, Sockdolager found new owners, and we began cruising on Raven, a unique wooden 29' powerboat. In 2018 we cruised up to Glacier Bay, Alaska, and back. But in 2024 we had the chance to buy Sockdolager back (we missed her), so we sold Raven. We hope you enjoy reading about our adventures as much as we enjoy having them. (And there will be more.)

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Raven, Our Bigfoot 29 Trawler, is For Sale

Raven has been sold. 

Raven struts her stuff, Prince Rupert, Canada

We owe you a good story after such a long absence, and there’s some surprise news. In mid-July 2023 we hauled out Raven, our Bigfoot 29 trawler built by Leif Knutsen, for painting and general spiffing up. Our aching backs insisted on hiring out the work, and we got a great crew, Lou Geraghty at Horus Horizon Marine, with the assistance of Nic Delorme at Holiday in the Sun Painting, both of whom painted and varnished her substantial wooden acreage into shining perfection. Raven attracted as much affectionate attention at the boatyard as she does on the water. The crew nicknamed her the Chubby Tug, which we adore.
Raven hauled out for painting, July 2023, Port Townsend

We had no intention whatsoever of selling her, even though over the past few years we hadn’t been using Raven as much as we’d have liked. This was because: 

1) The pandemic, 
2.) The summer of 2022 was completely spent remodeling our house's ancient cramped bathroom into something spa-like, 
3.) Jim has been heavily involved in racing Thunderbirds and helping to run the Port Townsend Sailing Association, and 
4.) I’ve been busy with various writing projects.

Raven's tailgate provides a private fishing platform. 

"Lounge mode" on the aft deck for entertaining.

Anchored in Vancouver BC, 2015

Our intent
was to take a break after the haulout for a nice fall cruise—to where, it didn’t matter, we were overdue. Last Spring I had been pining for another sailboat, even to the point of traveling to Seattle to inspect one. As much as I love Raven, I missed that quiet sailing joy. To make things simpler and keep our existing marina moorage, and because we’re fond of smaller boats, we decided that it should be under 30 feet. But every boat I looked at failed to measure up to the rugged but familiar comforts of a Dana 24. After researching a bunch of other boats, it all seemed too much. I said to Jim just as we hauled out Raven, “I’m going to stop searching for another boat, as long as we can get back to cruising on her.”

Then fate stepped in.

Our friend Chris, an ocean kayaker, sailor, and author, called to tell us that his wife, also a friend and an experienced solo hiker, had died in a hiking accident. The shock was overwhelming. Chris also happened to be the owner of Sockdolager, our old Dana 24, now named Ouzel after the water-bird. We all fell into sadness over the next couple of weeks, but then Chris called us. “I’m rounding Point Wilson,” he said, “I had to get away, want to go for a sail?” 

Sockdolager sails on Port Townsend Bay

On a perfect early August afternoon under a gentle breeze with the mountains and sea glowing in the summer light, we sailed and talked and grieved and ate lunch and sailed some more. Sailing is healing as well as heeling. Chris talked about possible plans that included some serious ocean sailing, maybe on a larger boat, and Jim said, “If you ever decide to sell Sockdolager, let us know, because we might be interested in buying her back.” Jim had certainly read my mind, too.

 That evening after dinner at our house with Chris, we all looked at listings for the larger boat he’s interested in. Chris sailed home the next day and continued the difficult tasks of wrapping up the life of his beloved wife and figuring out what to do next. Meanwhile Jim and I talked about it. “We’d have to sell Raven,” I said. “It feels like selling our child, and we’ve just spent a fortune on her. But I really want Sockdolager back, if Chris decides to sell her.” 

And then he did. “Would you be interested in buying her back?” he asked a few days later. “Hell yes!” we answered, and suddenly we were all laughing. 

“I haven’t laughed in a long time,” said Chris. It felt good. The strangeness of how the world feels after a sudden, shocking death is perhaps a subconscious recognition that sorrow, however all-consuming, is still not big enough to contain a whole life. Maybe it’s a knowing that even in the wake of death we are supposed to bust through it and laugh in order that life can continue. The laughter itself feels strange at first, even sacrilegious, yet we do it anyway, to reclaim light from shadow. This to me is the meaning of the unbought grace of life. 

Raven at anchor, Reid Harbor, Glacier Bay National Park, 2018

All these events happened while Raven was hauled out for painting. We had no idea any of them were coming to change all three of our lives. Fast forward to January 2024, and our slip at Boat Haven now has a familiar green Dana 24 in it. 

Look who's baaaaaaack!!

We are nesting like crazy, and it feels great to have her back. Raven is in another slip, all spiffed up and ready for her next owner. After my first Dana, Minstrel, and then having Sockdolager together, and now having her back in our lives again, I guess a Dana 24 is my totem animal. 

So, if you’re interested in cruising aboard a most unique 29-foot trawler that the Off Center Harbor folks call the “Swiss Army Knife of Boats,” a boat that took us comfortably all the way to Glacier Bay in Alaska without having to plug in because of her two big solar panels, and have a 10-foot sailing dinghy thrown into the bargain, then get in touch with us at jheumann (at) And visit the web page that Off Center Harbor made for her, with photos and two videos, one a tour from her builder and former owner, Leif Knutsen, and the other an interview with Jim and me about going up the Inside Passage to Glacier Bay. 

Somewhere in SE Alaska at sunrise.

We hope to pass our dear Raven on to the next owner who will love her as much as we have. 

Raven's General Specifications
Boat type: trawler 
Year launched: 2008 
LOA: 29’10” 
LWL: 27’ 
Beam: 12’ 
Draft: 3’3” 
Displacement: 6,500 lbs. (approx.) 
Headroom: Cabin, head and enclosed deck, at least 6’5”. Aft deck in dinghy transport mode, 4’8”; in 'lounge mode,' at least 6 feet

A marine surveyor established a fair price for Raven of $49,500

Raven in the slings

Raven's prop and rudder

Builder: Leif Knutsen, master shipwright and co-founder of the Port Townsend Shipwright’s Coop
Designers: Leif Knutsen and Steve Davis, N.A. 
Make/Model: Bigfoot 29  
Design: Part Chincoteague skiff, part tugboat with some pickup truck DNA. Raven is a one-off design that can carry a massive supply of stores and provisions.

Jim pulls the sailing dinghy inside. View from fwd cabin--note bookshelves built to hold cruising guides. Under all those floorboards is a huge amount of storage.

Details about her construction
Hull material: 13 ply 3⁄4 in. full-length marine plywood core with 6 oz woven roving & epoxy on both sides. Leif made 16:1 scarfs that were router-faced on a wide jig, then glued together into full-length panels. When glued and manually lofted, one needed, as Leif says, "a magnifying glass to see the seam." This plywood was then covered with the 6 oz woven roving and epoxy, essentially making it a fiberglass hull. 
Hull type: Double chine monohull 
Keel bolts: 3/4” galvanized steel 
Keel: Full, Fir planks 5 1/2 in. x 12 in. 
Wormshoe: UHMW (ultra high molecular weight) 2 in. x 6 in. 
Stern: Raven has a drop-down tailgate that allows for easy boarding via dinghy, and serves as a platform for fishing, crabbing, or sitting with drinks at sunset. 

The tailgate angle is infinitely adjustable, and the sailing dinghy slides up for easy storage inside the boat. 

Main Engine & Systems 

Type: 3-cylinder diesel - Yanmar 3YM20 Horsepower: 20hp 
Fuel usage: ~1/2 gallon per hour at 5.5kts. As an example, to go from Port Townsend to Glacier Bay and back, taking many detours into fiords and along the "outside passage" over 4 months, we used 250 gallons of diesel.
Engine Hours: ~1500 
Transmission: Kanzaki, mechanical
Steering system: Teleflex Sea Star model 1.7 
Helm: RM hydraulic system 
Emergency steering: Removable tiller connects to top of rudder shaft 
Propeller: Bronze 3-blade 18x11 LH 
Propeller shaft: 1 1/4 in. Stainless steel 
Rudder: Wood, balanced on skeg
Rudder post: 1 ¼ inch stainless steel 

Bilge Pumps: Attwood 950 gph 12v with manual switch, manual whale gusher 
Thru-hull fittings: Bronze alloy 
Seacocks: Bronze alloy 
Fuel filter: Turbine Series Fuel Filter/Water Separator, 60 GPH 
Engine Shaft Packing Gland: Bronze nut type with flax packing 

Waste/Sewage: AirHead composting toilet, new in 2023. 

AirHead composting toilet, new in 2023

Head sink

Double door encloses the head (no ventilation problems there) and swings shut to close the main cabin. Also visible is an alternate dining area with fold-down table.


Diesel: Two 35 gallon aluminum tanks
Water: Two 25 gallon  flexible bladder tanks, filtered
Water pump: 12volt 
Propane: Two 40 lb. tanks, solenoid valve, locker open to cockpit & with overboard vent 

Propane locker vents overboard.

Galley, Refrigeration & Heat

Stove: Force 10 2-burner stove with oven & broiler, new in 2014 
Barbecue: Magma, stainless, new in 2022 
Refrigeration: Dometic CoolFreeze CF-40 
Heat #1: Propex Heatsource 2800 propane heater 10,000 btu 
Heat #2: REAL Heat 6013 5,300 Btu Marine Hydronic Fan Heater (heats via engine) 
Sinks: Two, stainless steel 

Galley - 2-burner Force 10 stove with oven & broiler

Dinner is served. Four can eat here, on the covered deck. If it's just two and the weather's cold, you can eat down below.

Six can comfortably dine in 'lounge mode.'

...or, you can have a private table for two.

Electronics and Navigation Equipment 

VHF: Standard Horizon MATRIX AIS/GPS GK 2200 VHF with loud hailer 
GPS: Garmin GPS700 chart plotter 
Radar: Garmin 18 HD+ Radar 
Depth finder: AIRMAR P79 depth/sonar/fish finder 
Barometer: WEEMS & PLATH Electronic barometer with gale alarm 
Rudder angle: Raritan Rudder angle indicator 
Autopilot: Raymarine SmartPilot SPX-10 autopilot 
Compass: Ritchie magnetic compass 
Electrical System A/C: 120 volt Shore Power: 30 amp with smart plug GFCI Protected 
Outlets: Yes
12 volt House Batteries: Two 100AH 31M-PC2150ST Odyssey sealed AGM 
Starting Battery: One 80 AH 34M-PC1500ST Odyssey sealed AGM 
Battery charger: DeltaVolt Sportsman series Uni Pro model SS1 - 10 amp 
Battery switch: Blue Sea SI-ACR 
Automatic Charging Relay with Start Isolation Solar panels: Two 150-watt solar panels 
Charge controllers: Two GENASUN GV-10 12V 10.5 amp charge controllers 

Deck Equipment, Hardware & Ground Tackle

Nav Lights: LED
Anchor light: LED 
Interior lights: LED 
High-power spotlights: Two Rigid Industries DUALLY XL LED 
Chain locker: Foredeck recess open area accessed via forward cabin 
Bow Anchor/Rode: 33 lb. Spade; 70’ of chain and 250’ of 9/16” mega-braid 12-strand nylon rode 
Stern Anchor/ Rode: 33 lb. Bruce; 10’ of 5/16 g3 chain; 300’ of 9/16 nylon three-strand rode 
Windlass: Lewmar Pro-Fish 1000 12v 
Deck Hardware: Sampson posts, mooring cleats, belaying pins 

Sailing dinghy stored inside.


Belowdecks is a forward trunk cabin with sitting area that converts to port & starboard single berths, plus storage compartments on both sides and galley sink aft. With some woodworking and design innovation, there is enough room to convert them into one large double. 

An aft step leads up to the wheelhouse area with its forward, aft and side windows and a steering station with helm chair to starboard. Near the wheelhouse chair to port is the galley area with stove, sink and counter space. A double door aft leads out to a large covered deck with enclosed head compartment containing toilet and sink. The open aft cockpit with high bulwark and storage shelves has adjustable seats included for use as port & starboard sitting areas or additional single berths. 

Sleeping capacity: Two/four 
Cushions in cabin: Closed-cell foam covered with upholstery fabric 
Wheelhouse seats: Thin cushions topped with sheepskins for winter cruising warmth. 
Cushions for deck lounging: Four adjustable folding chair-cushions that lay flat for napping 

Forward cabin. Clothing storage to starboard, pots and pans to port. Ladder to foredeck is removable and can also be stowed against the bulkhead. Sink is under the carving board cover.

Berths made up. Two of the wheelhouse floorboards can serve as bunk leeboards. 

Safety Equipment 

Throw rings: One 
Portable Fire Extinguishers: Two ABC Dry chemical 5 lb. 
Propane detector: XINTEX S-1 propane fume detector 
Exhaust overheat alarm: Aqualarm wet exhaust overheat alarm 
Bilge fan: Yes  

Little details, like this carved seabird that captures a swing-down interior window, are a delight.


Spare Starter for Yanmar diesel engine 
Chart storage: In overhead rack in wheelhouse. 
Cruising guide storage: Around and beneath starboard wheelhouse seat 
Below decks storage: Extensive 
Side and stern covers: “Top Gun” waterproof fabric (2015) re-stitched and re-waterproofed with “Aqua-Tite” in 2023. 
Bar that converts to a fish-cleaning station

Raven's bar

Same, but as a fish cleaning station

Maintenance: Well maintained; maintenance log available. 

Price: $49,500

 Contact Jim at: jheumann (at)

We had an unbelievable amount of fun with Raven, and will miss her.

1 comment:

  1. Well well old friends, Congrats on the new boat. This is very exciting. Cheers from the islands...