In 1953, Ann Davison became the first woman to single hand sail across the Atlantic Ocean alone. Ann documented her experience in the book titled My Ship Is So Small. As you can imagine, this woman did not have the modern technology of today’s sailing vessels. John Doherty, in his book “The Boats They Sailed In”, relates her accomplishment to that of climbing Everest or landing on the moon.
The boat that Davison sailed is a UK-built 23 foot sloop called Felicity Ann. Felicity Ann was donated to the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in 2009. The Repair and Restoration class uses this boat as a teaching project each summer. Guided by Instructors Ben Kahn and Tim Lee, the students have attached the original ballast and installed new planks. However, this large scale restoration project requires significant funding.
Inspired by Ann Davison’s courageous story, a local group of women are collaborating with the Boat School to develop a vision for this historic vessel. In conjunction with the Community Boat Project and the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding, Penelope Partridge, Anne Teater, and Kelley Watson are spearheading this effort. For these women, the boat is a symbol of inspiration. Their goal is to design, fundraise, and implement an educational program for high school girls and young women culminating in the completed restoration of Felicity Ann. Like Ann Davison, these women resemble the determination necessary to take on a project of this magnitude.
Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-op donated 650 board foot of larch to the Boat School for planking the Felicity Ann. If you are also interested in donating to this project, volunteering time/resources, or learning more about Felicity Ann, refer to the Felicity Ann website.