Rumors have been circulating that the historic Tradewinds Kingfisher, donated in 2001 to the Lincoln County Historical Society by Rich and Val Allyn, will be destroyed. That is an option put forward by a member of the Society’s board of directors but will be considered only if all other options have been explored and are not possible, Steve Wyatt, executive director of the Society, explained.
The Society has tried to keep the boat water worthy rather than dry docking it. To continue this would take an immediate $50,000 plus another $10,000 a year in maintenance, Wyatt said.
“We recognize the historic value of the Tradewinds Kingfisher, but with budget cuts and a shortage of resources in general, we are unable to care for it in the manner it deserves,” Steve Wyatt, executive director of the Society, said.
The Society will consider a number of options if the funds cannot be raised including finding a new home for the vessel. “We will not let this boat quietly rot away in an undignified manner,” Wyatt said.
Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, the Kingfisher was used as a charter fishing and touring boat from 1941 until it was donated to the Society except for its time in service as a Coast Guard patrol boat during World War II.
Stan Allyn (Rich Allyn’s father) designed the boat in 1940 to be the ultimate in charter boats, and that is exactly what it became. At one time the Coast Guard used it as a standard for all passenger-carrying sea vessels in this region. The Kingfisher joined Allyn’s growing fleet of charter boats in June of 1941.
Allyn was a colorful character whose love of the sea came through not only as a boat skipper but also as a writer of sea stories with salty language and vivid description.