An owner of a lakefront vacation home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, recently sought to purchase a small boat that he could use to teach his children how to sail. He soon discovered the diminutive PocketShip, a roughly 15-foot-long kit boat that is light enough to be pulled up on the beach and easily trailered, yet has cabin space that sleeps an adult and two children comfortably. But the kit, which is offered by Maryland’s Chesapeake Light Craft, did not meet his fit-and-finish requirements, so he enlisted his local boat shop to execute the build to the standards of a custom yacht.
Fortunately for the owner, his local yard is the Resort Boat Shop, a division of the 25-year-old Hagadone Marine Group that specializes in restorations and custom wood boats. When presented with the PocketShip, the shop’s craftsmen started by replacing the material for the spars, rub rails, portlight accents, and tiller with African mahogany, which also adorns the cabin. They finished the exterior wood with an ebony stain and high-gloss varnish, and painted a high-end superyacht coating over the epoxy-glass-and-plywood hull of the gaff-rigged boat.
Launched in April, the final product has been so well received that the Resort Boat Shop recently announced it will begin offering additional versions of the PocketShip. Prices for the sailboats, each of which offers custom options, start at about $55,000.