Highly recommend Cunningham Ships Carpentry

I own two antique wooden vessels, Catalyst is 75’ long and was launched in 1932, Westward is 86’ and was launched in 1924. I bought Catalyst in 2005 and Westward in 2012. Both boats are employed as charter vessels running regular schedules in SE Alaska and Mexico’s Sea of Cortes.

Because they are working passenger vessels, they have to be maintained in good operating condition and meet their schedules. Missing a sailing because we are hung up in the ship yard is simply not an option.

I hauled Westward in Port Townsend in late June 2015, with a short list of projects and a modest budget and an even more modest schedule. On the recommendation of a friend I hired Bob Cunningham to explore the cause of a persistent leak in the bow, which I assumed was caused by an open seam under the anchor guard.

What we found was a disaster, all of the bow planking was rotten, as was most of the underlying framing. We faced either destroy the boat or borrow the money to repair her.

In the process of determining the extent of the damage, Bob noted that the sagging bow which had been noted by generations of owners and attributed to hogging was in fact a failure in the keel timber. It was decided that since we were going to be so far into her structure that the time was right to make the long needed repair to her keel.

I had a tight budget and schedule (My first charter for our 2016 Baja season was in mid-January). Bob and Mary, and their team worked full days rebuilding Westward. The budget and schedule expanded to suit the expanded scope of the project as additional problems were found and corrected, but the charges and added time were fully justified.

I firmly believe that had I ended up with any other wooden boat shop in the area that Westward would have been lost to insoluble budget and schedule problems.

I highly recommend Cunningham Ships Carpentry to anyone owning a traditional boat!

Regards, Captain Bill Bailey

M/V Westward
M/V Catalyst

A no-nonsense, hardworking, efficient and honest group

As a veteran of bringing a 100’ classic wood yacht to Port Townsend for yearly maintenance for the past 10+years, it has been a stress relief and delight to have fond the Cunningham outfit since 2014!

A non nonsense, hardworking, efficient and honest group of skilled crew with a professional approach to any project whether it’s structural or ornamental woodwork to preparation and application of paint and varnish, these projects end with consistently beautiful results.

The Cunninhams take it on, with clear and open communication of the time and costs to remain within budget and time line.

Again, Thank you for the great work during our spring haul out 2016!

Best Regards,

Capt. Brian Reed
M/Y Montego
1967 97’ Punat Trawler

Your experience was very impressive

I would like to recognize you for your grand efforts in the rebuilding of the M.V Westward. The 5 months’ project, in the second half on 2015 was extensive and very detailed. As I watched the “opening up” of the forward hull structure your shipwright knowledge and expertise and apparent, all your work was professional, efficient and moved forward at a pace that only the best of the best could do. Your planking, floor timber and keel section renewal installations was commendable. Your experience was very impressive to me. Thank you for also sharing your knowledge and the details of the project as it moved forward.

It would be a pleasure to work with you again, anytime in the future.

Most Sincerely,
Lee H Ehrheart
Accredited Marine Surveyor

Their professionalism and competence as shipwrights are exemplary

Mr. Bob Cunningham and his wife, Mary, were hired by me to do repairs on my 31’ wooden Tahiti ketch. The work has performed this fall at their shipyard.

In all respects, I am very happy with the work they did. Estimates were timely, accurate and anticipated problems. The work was completed on schedule and I was kept informed throughout the process. Their professionalism and competence as shipwrights are exemplary. I would not hesitate to hire them again.


Richard (Rick) Kirkwood, MD
PO Box 15
Norland, WA 98358

I highly recommend Mr. Cunningham

As owner of the Temptress – a 1962 Wooden Dutch Yacht (Ketch) the time came to do a hull inspection and repair for insurance purposes. As wood boats goes, the wear and tear sometimes requires attention, and in our case there was extensive repair work to be done.

Any wooden boat owner knows how hard it is to find a qualified “shipwright”. I was fortunate enough to locate Bob Cunningham, who had recently relocated to the northwest. We are most fortunate to have such a master “shipwright” living and available here in the northwest.

The scope of the work required, comprised of the entire aft cabin being replaced, deck beams, replacing teak deck surrounding the entire cabin and adding 10 feet onto the mizzen mast. The finish work Mr. Cunningham did on the Temptress is as good as any work that any of us has seen. I have included a couple of pictures of the interior finished work for your review.

I highly recommend Mr. Cunningham and ask that you pass this information on to anyone in your club in need of wood work or boat building. His contact information is Bob Cunningham 360-385-9824.


Michael Fessler
31 Condon Lane
Port LudlowWA 98365-9604