A welcome to a new voice on the PTSA site, Larry Fisher of the mighty Columbia 30, SILENT WAY.

The price on this boat is dropping $1000 a day. PHRF 117 NW

What if you built it and they didn’t come? Jim Lee has built a wonderful new 26-foot sport boat up in Anacortes, but customer response has been underwhelming. Actually, he hasn’t been able to sell a single one in two years. So he’s hit on a radical measure to sell hull #2 and make way for #3: a reverse auction. He’s lowering the price $1,000 a day until the boat sells.

You can follow the auction here.

Base price on a Dart is $49,950, before sails, instruments, and so on. But this one, tricked out with all the trimmings, would be $73,767 plus shipping. As of today, February 3, it’s going for $62,000. That’s still a good deal of money, but given today’s materials and manufacturing costs, it’s not out of line. And it’s built here. In a more buoyant economy, ahem, Jim would surely have sold some boats by now.

A former software engineer, Jim moved to Anacortes to retire, but got bored quickly and started taking boat-building classes. He’d always liked the lines of the B-25, a southern California sportster designed by Leif Bailey, and thought that something similar would make an excellent all-purpose boat, equally suited to racing round the buoys and camping overnight with the kids. Then, one day, who should appear in class but Bailey himself. They talked, and talked some more, and the result was the Dart, similar to a B-25, but better looking and more modern.

I drove to Anacortes yesterday to have a look for myself, and can attest that the Dart is worthy of the technical term “way cool.” This is just a beautiful boat with a big open cockpit, top of the line hardware just where it should be, and a surprisingly warm and spacious interior. You really could sleep four in this 26-footer, in long, cushy births. Hull #2 comes with a carbon bow sprit for asymmetrical kites and the boat has a great set of Ullman sails, used just twice, in winning the Windemere and Pitch regattas. Check it out!