UPDATE on Gilbert Klingel’s “Freya”

I recently returned from a trip to Maine, in part to visit with Mark Jackson on Green Island. Mark was the Maritime Technical Instructor at Vinalhaven High School and he was seeking a boat that needed restoration and would fulfill the need of his project; to provide a sailing experience and a challenge for the students to develop the myriad of skills to complete the task. 

A candidate was the “Katie” a steel boat designed by Al Mason, the Intrepid, and built by Gilbert Klingel on Gwynn’s Island, Virginia. The “Katie” was in Mark’s possession by a gift from a friend and he had sailed it up from Florida to Maine, but a close inspection found the hull not suitable for the project. He liked the Intrepid design for its sailing characteristics and layout. He began checking several internet sites focused on boats for donation and found another Gilbert Klingel steel built with Intrepid design, which had been purchased by Tim Loncarich and was on the hard in Ocala, Florida. The local enthusiasm for this project was generous. The local Hopkins Boatyard picked up the boat and brought it to the island. The High School built a large post and beam shop to be used by all the trade students. Many businesses in the Penobscot Bay area contributed funds for the restoration. The survey of the boat showed the hull and rigging to be in good shape, but the wooden deck and cabin had to removed. The mast was beyond repair, but the Klingel-built mast on the “Katie” was a perfect match. The hull was cleaned and painted inside and out. Mark redesigned the deck and cabin to accommodate the use of the boat as a floating classroom. The work was completed in May 2006, and she was christened “Freya”, the Norwegian Goddess of Love. 

The voyage began the next school year, Mark and the students completed their trip to St. Augustine, Florida and back. Tim Loncarich bought the boat back and had it transported to St. Augustine and placed on the hard at a local marina. 

The Mathews Maritime Foundation contacted Mr. Loncarich and was able to get the donation of the “Freya” in 2016. We made three trips to St. Augustine to prepare the boat for the sail to Gwynn’s Island and a berth at Gilbert Klingel’s old boatyard. With the help of the BBC, Bob Bonner Construction, and volunteers, we were able to repair the mast, clean the thick layer of mold from the cabin, reinstall the lifelines and toe rails, and repair the rudder. The best we could do for the rotted cabin top was to seal it, and we sailed to Virginia. 

Freya interior

Restoring the “Freya” Together

The Mathews Maritime Foundation is committed to restoring the “Freya” to the design by Al Mason and Gilbert Klingel’s workmanship. To accomplish this, we will need volunteers and donations to bring her back to service. She has some great sailing in her and we would love to get her back on the water and coax her to do a few boats shows and maybe win a race or two. She is fast when the wind blows. 

_John Bonner

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