Builders of the Pacific Coast Book (37)

The Spud Queen Built by Lloyd House

The Spud Queen was a floating home with three legs, or “spuds” built into it. (Spuds are the legs on pile drivers that are used to raise and lower the pile driver.)

“I’d float in at high tide, jack the boat up, and squat like a trojan horse against the ownership of the property. I parked there and I lived there, and I didn’t pay any taxes!”

Lloyd lived on the boat for over 20 years, docking it in four different places on an island in the Strait of Georgia…

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Alan Beckwith's Homestead

…Alan did everything himself: carpentry, plumbing, wiring (solar electricity and hydro), and developed his own water supply. He drives a tractor, maintains several miles of roads, makes beer and wine, and raises pigs and ducks. A lot of people have started homesteads since the 60’s, but seldom have they got as far along as this…

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Seaside Cabin Built by Bruno Atkey

The wilderness seaside cabin is 43 miles from the nearest road and is on the westernmost point of land on the ocean side of Vancouver Island. It is 20′ × 24′ and framed entirely from beach wood. All the wall and roof sheathing boards are split from cedar on the site, as is the roofing, which is 3′ long. It was built 1987.

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Godfrey Stephens' New Sculpture

Godfrey just sent this photo. After two day’s work. What a fucking genius! He’s getting better.

His combination of Kwakwaka’wakw training and artistic sensibilities from the depths of his soul produce powerful art. He’s in Builders of the Pacific Coast, Tiny Homes on the Move, and throughout this blog, and has been in my life for over 50 years.

He’s more of an artist — wild, productive, joyous — than the world-famous rich artists out there getting all the attention. He’s a Picasso under the radar.

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Godfrey Stephens' Junk-Rigged Snookwis

…An ancient Nitnat canoe (carved from one cedar tree), which Godfrey rebuilt in the ’70s. It’s sheathed in copper, with an underwater Nautilus window and a tiny stainless steel wood stove; there’s room for two. Tilikum (Godfrey’s daughter) is now the caretaker of the boat and keeps it in Port Townsend, Washington…

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Tom's Cabin

It started as a “Tall Barn” prefab kit from Tuff Shed (which has a large selection of pre-fabbed little structures). It was about $4,000 for the structure, exterior walls, roof deck, floor, and floor framing, delivered on a truck. Studs are 2×4’s two feet on center. Exterior walls are ⅜″ particle board with a wood grain pattern. Tom insulated the inside walls and roof with R-11 fiberglass batting, then used ⅜″ CD plywood for sheathing…

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Jan's Cabin

“As I was finishing it, nailing the last shake on the roof, a surveyor came along.” Bad news: The building was completely on his neighbors’ land. What else to do but move it? He jacked up the building, slid four logs underneath, put axle grease on them, and with a come-along, a 5-wheel block and tackle, and 1″ steel cable, skidded the building up onto the logs, onto four other logs and then onto the repositioned original logs, a distance of 70 feet onto his own property.

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Godfrey Stephens' Toomany Pocketts Sailing Vessel

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Godfrey Stephens’ latest sailboat is this little 12′ San Francisco Bay Pelican, a model designed in 1959 by Bill Short.

It’s a much beloved boat among sailors. Godfrey worked on and off customizing it. A leeboard on the side provides lateral resistance; this way he doesn’t need a centerboard, and can go up on the beach…

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Bill Heick's Northern California Home

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Photo by Lloyd Kahn

Bill’s piece of land is at the end of a two-mile dirt road. His 1900 sq. ft. house has a pentagonal floor plan with an 800-year-old salvaged old-growth redwood log as the center post. There are 21 Douglas fir rafters that Bill peeled and then sanded with an auto-body grinder. There are structural posts under eleven of the rafters. In between the posts are 2″×6″ studs with traditional plaster walls.

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