The MHN Blog is a companion to the Maritime Heritage Network, a not-for-profit, comprehensive website of maritime heritage organizations, attractions, and activities in the Pacific Northwest. The blog highlights news, activities, and resources useful to the entire maritime heritage community. All views expressed are the author's own. Opposing views are welcome.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Visit to M/V Lotus, Owner Needs Moorage

My wife and I took a overnight trip to Port Townsend recently to visit Christian Gruye, caretaker of the M/V Lotus, a 1909 houseboat cruiser built for Maurice McMicken of Olympia, an attorney who was legal counsel for the Washington State legislature. He was also publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the Lotus was designed to cruise Puget Sound and the Inside Passage of British Columbia by naval architects Lee & Brinton. I visited the 92-foot boat as research for an upcoming article in Maritime Life & Traditions magazine.

The passengers cruised in luxury. Here's a photo of the saloon, the living room of the vessel. All of the woodwork and fireplace ceramics and ironwork is period. Christian and her volunteers have put nearly 2,000 hours of volunteer labor into the vessel this year after a haulout and new paint on her bottom. The vessel usually divides its time between Port Townsend and Port Hadlock, but Christian is looking for winter moorage, since her normal winter moorage at PT is not available this year. If you have any suggestions, e-mail me at or e-mail Christian at


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