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Schooner Creek Boat Works Launches New Morrelli & Melvin Cat Destined for Hawaii

There hasn’t been a lot of new sailboat building on the West Coast for well over a decade, but that doesn’t mean there’s none. Last week we shared a short story on Saildrone, which we think is likely the largest new-sailboat builder on the West Coast. This week we received a note from Amber Mohr at Schooner Creek Boat Works in Portland, OR, announcing the launching of their recent build, the new Morrelli & Melvin 55, destined for the charter trade in Hawaii.

Schooner Creek Boatworks
The crew from Schooner Creek Boat Works lines up in front of their latest creation.
© 2024 Schooner Creek Boat Works

As Amber wrote, “Schooner Creek Boat Works is proud to announce the launching of Four Winds III. She is a 55-ft custom Charter Catamaran for Maui Classic Charters. She was designed by Morrelli & Melvin to carry 149 passengers out of Maui, Hawaii. She is a double-decker boat with underwater viewing windows and dual BBQs off the stern. After sea trials on the Columbia River, she will set sail to Hawaii this summer.”

Schooner Creek Boatworks
The purpose-built cat has been launched in Oregon and will sail west to Hawaii this summer.
© 2024 Schooner Creek Boat Works

Schooner Creek Boat Works has built a number of Morrelli & Melvin catamarans for the Hawaii charter trade, but is probably best known to San Francisco sailors for building Steve Rander’s Wylie 70 Rage and Bruce Schwab’s Vendée Globe Wylie 60 Ocean Planet. Steve Rander founded the yard in 1977, the same year Latitude 38 started publishing. They’ve operated as both a full-service boat yard and custom boat builder ever since. In 2015 Kevin Flanigan, who used to race his Wylie 44 Ocelot on the Bay, bought the yard to continue the tradition.

Schooner Creek Boatworks
This cat is different from what many are used to seeing from the Morrelli & Melvin drawing boards.
© 2024 Schooner Creek Boat Works

“Currently Hawaii charter boats are our primary new boatbuilding projects, though other boatbuilding projects are always of interest,” Kevin explained.

In addition to the Hawaii charter cats, Newport Beach-based Morrelli & Melvin are primarily known for high-performance and production catamarans, including Steve Fossett’s record-setting circumnavigator Cheyenne.

Though different from the volume-production days of Costa Mesa, the West Coast working waterfront continues to pioneer and launch new sailboats every year.

1 Comment

  1. Jay Lambert 3 weeks ago

    In 1984, Schooner Creek built a 36 foot Kurt Hughes- designed cat for my charter business in Kona, Hawaii.
    They did a beautiful job (cold molded ply and epoxy) and the testament to that is the boat “Kamanu”
    is still in operation (under different ownership) in Kona after 40 years! All the best to them…Aloha, Jay

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