MV Westward

MV Westward is an 86-foot (26 m) motor yacht, "arguably Seattle’s most famous motor yacht," originally constructed in 1924 by Ted Geary for inventor Campbell Church, Sr., and currently owned by Hugh Reilly. Its home port is Seattle, Washington and it is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

The Westward was modeled after a salmon cannery tender and constructed—around a 1923 Atlas-Imperial diesel engine—at the Martinolich Shipyard on Maury Island near Seattle. It was designed to travel the Inside Passage along the British Columbia coast to Alaska. Its construction marked a turning point in Geary's career: previously he had built workboats; from this time he built yachts.

In its early years, expeditions on the Westward were hunting expeditions, with "a Norwegian whale gun shooting harpoons fitted with time fuse bombs, a 10-horse gasoline winch with thirty-six hundred feet of quarter-inch plow steel cable as a fishing line, and all of the accessories for 'scrapping it out' with fifty-ton whales". These expeditions were led by Church's son Campbell Church, Jr., who founded The Alaska Coast Hunting and Cruising Company. The Churches ended up owning numerous notable motor yachts. Besides the Westward were the Nooya, Deerleap, Caroline, Alarwee, Acania, Onawa, Malibu, Cadrew, Electra, Olympus, and Taconite. Campbell Jr. made extensive films of his journeys.

Among the many people who have traveled aboard the Westward are A. C. Gilbert, inventor of the Erector Set, George Eastman (of Eastman Kodak), banker Paul Mellon, George Pabst of Pabst Brewing Company, investor E.F. Hutton and his wife Marjorie Merriweather Post, Walt Disney, John Wayne, Phil Harris, Fibber McGee & Molly and Amos & Andy.

During World War II, the Westward was pressed into military service. Don Gumpertz bought the Westward in 1967 and circumnavigated the globe in it in the 1970s. Current owner Hugh Reilly, once the owner of a fleet of fishing trawlers in the Alaska seafood industry (coincidentally named Westward Trawlers), bought the Westward in 1993. From 1997 to 2004 he returned it to its roots as a vessel for Alaska tourism (minus the blood sports). He then put the boat through a major refitting before taking it on a two-year tour of the Pacific, from which he returned in early September 2008. After a brief visit to Puget Sound, he took it down the West Coast to Mexico and then in May 2009 crossed for the South Pacific.

The Westwardis slated to make a trip along the Inside Passage in the spring of 2013.

The Westward is still powered by its original 1923 Atlas-Imperial diesel engine. which provides 110 horsepower and gives her a cruising speed of eight knots.

Famous quotes containing the word westward:

    The westward march has stopped, upon the final plains of the Pacific; and now the plot thickens ... with the change, the pause, the settlement, our people draw into closer groups, stand face to face, to know each other and be known.
    Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924)