Low Tide

Yacht Designer Tad Roberts' Web Log

Frank Fredette

Francis E. Fredette was born in 1893 and first went to sea as cabin boy on a sealing schooner, the Eva Marie, out of Victoria. The six month winter voyage to the Bering Sea and Pribiloff Islands provided young Frank with the experience of a lifetime, and the basis of a life in boats. Pelagic sealing ended in 1911, too soon for Frank, but he went on to work in boatyards, build his own boats, and eventually create design drawings from carved half models. My favorite Frank quote, handed down from a Victoria Boatbuilder, “A haystack will sail downwind!”.

Some of the Fredette drawings I have access to appear in John Guzzwell’s book Modern Wooden Yacht Construction 1979. Guzzwell includes 3 of Frank’s designs, the 44′ Troller/Cruiser shown above, a 40′ Troller drawn in 1961, and a 34′ double-ended gillnetter drawn 1946-48. The 44′ Troller Cruiser, with hold and trolling cockpit, was built in 1952 by JH Nicholson in Victoria and was originally named MarJayEn and is now called the Secretary Isle.

Another Fredette design we can see today is Poseidon, a 42′ ketch rigged sailing troller, of which drawings appear in Roger Taylor’s book, More Good Boats, 1979. She was designed in 1957 and launched in 1959 by her owner/builder Fergus Walker of Victoria. Apparently she was lost after being run down at sea by a freighter in the Caribbean.

The final design I have seen is a 46′ Sealing Schooner (drawn in 1954) which appeared in National Fisherman many years ago. The story which accompanied these drawings is where the above history originates.

I don’t know where Frank’s drawings ended up, perhaps the Victoria Maritime Museum, Frank lived just up from the fisherman’s wharf (331 Michigan St.)there in his later years.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>