2018 Pocket Yacht Palooza

and Palooza Crooza!


Details on The

Seventh Annual


& Palooza Crooza

The seventh annual Pocket Yacht Palooza will be held Saturday, July 21, 2018 at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, and will feature more than 60 small boats on the Commons, along the adjoining beach and next door at Point Hudson Marina.

The Palooza is a celebration of small-boat design, showcasing the widest variety of watercraft--wood, fiberglass, rowing, paddling, sailing and even a few small, traditional motorboats. There is some emphasis on boats suitable for camp cruising, but all interesting designs are welcome and equally appreciated.

Besides the boats and endless boat talk, we’ll share a potluck on the edge of the beach Saturday.

Following the potluck, those who are planning to take part in the ensuing Palooza Crooza (which starts the following morning) will gather for a skippers meeting--either on the beach, or upstairs at the Maritime Center. (Location of the meeting will be determined by weather that evening.)



The Pocket Yacht Palooza is utterly free to boat owners and the public. Registration is just as simple--all you have to do is let organizer Marty Loken know you plan to bring a boat; give him a brief description of your craft and indicate if you’d like to display on its trailer or a boat stand, on the adjoining beach, or perhaps anchored just offshore with a tether line to shore. Marty’s email address is Norseboater22@gmail.com


(July 22-24)

In response to a number of suggestions, this year’s Palooza Crooza will involve a new, different and exciting cruising area--South Puget Sound, where we’ll once again offer a circular course that in this case takes us around Harstine Island, with overnight stops at Jarrell Cove State Park and Hope Island State Park.

We’ve always loved cruising in South Sound, which offers terrific anchorages, quiet back bays, state parks with tent sites for those of us who need to sleep ashore, and waterways that are generally free of the rocky shoals, strong tide rips and other excitements of farther-North destinations.

Some of fine-print details will be discussed during the skippers’ meeting Saturday evening, July 21, but here’s the basic plan:

Sunday morning, those who wish to participate in the Palooza Crooza will convoy south from Port Townsend, towing their boat trailers to the just-rebuilt ramp next to Fair Harbor Marina in Grapeview, just south of Allyn on Case Inlet. (Some folks who live in places like Oregon and Southwestern Washington, who perhaps do not take part in Saturday’s Pocket Yacht Palooza, will be able to rendezvous with the rest of us at the Grapeview ramp.)

We’ll depart Port Townsend by 10 a.m. Sunday and have boats in the water at the Grapeview ramp by noon. Once everybody’s onboard and ready to go, our fleet will begin rowing, sailing, paddling or motoring 5.4 nautical miles south in Case Inlet to our overnight destination, Jarrell Cove Marine State Park at the north end of Harstine Island. (See adjoining chart reproduction, upper right.)

Jarrell Cove State Park offers mooring buoys, lots of space at two different floats, an excellent protected anchorage for boaters who prefer to be on their own hooks (vs. using the park’s mooring buoys), and lots of space ashore for tent campers. The park has bathrooms with showers, water, picnic tables and some nice trails for those who want to stretch their legs. (If you’ve forgotten something in terms of supplies, there’s also a private marina with store and gas dock just across from Jarrell Cove State Park.)

We’ve been returning to Jarrell Cove for many decades--it has always been our go-to favorite overnight spot in South Sound since it offers total protection, one of the largest great blue heron rookeries in Puget Sound (down the side channel next to the state park) and fellow park guests who seems to appreciate the quiet environment.

Monday morning, most Palooza Crooza boats will leave Jarrell Cove and work their way south along the west shore of Harstine Island, traveling 8 nautical miles through Pickering Passage to Hope Island Marine State Park, just south of Squaxin Island. We’ll have flood currents with us for the first half of the distance, before facing the flood along the southern portion of Harstine and as we round Squaxin Island enroute to Hope Island. (Fortunately, tidal currents in this part of South Sound are mild, compared to what we often experience in North Sound.)

Note: Boaters who need to get home early can join our fleet for the cruise to Jarrell Cove, then return to the Grapeview launch ramp Sunday evening or Monday morning, rather than heading south with others on Monday.

Hope Island, like a lot of Washington’s state park islands, was once private property. Early settlers built the cabin structures still seen on the island. The last private party to own Hope Island purchased the entire island in 1943 for $20,000, long before the property became a state park.

Tent-camping sites are found on the southern shore of Hope Island, just up from a soft-gravel beach. There are some mooring buoys around the island, and those who are sleeping aboard may wish to anchor along the eastern shore (we’ll talk about details at the skippers meeting), where one of the island’s several woodsy trails hits the beach. (The eastern shore has slower currents than the southern side of the island, which faces relatively narrow Squaxin Passage...and is also a bit more exposed to wakes from passing boats.)

Hope Island State Park has eight official camping sites, plus another site that is part of the Cascadia Marine Trail system. (If the Cascadia site has not been claimed by sea kayakers or canoeists, it’ll be available to members of our fleet who are aboard non-motorized boats.) There are two vault toilets on Hope Island, but no fresh water source, so be prepared for semi-primitive camping.

After overnighting at Hope Island, we’ll begin our longest leg of the cruise, rowing, sailing, paddling or motoring north around the southern tip of Harstine Island, then north in Case Inlet on our way back to the launch ramp at Fair Harbor Marina. This leg is 15.7 nautical miles, which will be easy if we have a typical southerly breeze for northbound sailing. Some of us may with to make a lunch stop at small and scenic McMicken Island State Park, halfway up the eastern shore of Harstine Island. We’ll have the benefit of a flood current almost all of the way, so that’ll help. And if there’s little wind and some folks need a tow, we’ll have volunteers with motors who are happy to assist.

Palooza Crooza Registration

Like the Pocket Yacht Palooza, there’s no charge to participate in the Palooza Crooza.

To register for the Palooza Crooza, just email Marty at Norseboater22@gmail.com letting him know you’d like to join in the fun for one, two or all three days.

The Pocket Yacht Palooza typically features 60-75 small boats on display, and the ensuing Palooza Crooza generally starts out with 20 to 30 small boats...with many needing to head home before the third day due to other commitments. Weather can play a role, too, although last year we had great conditions and saw orcas on the last day.

In terms of pre-Crooza logistics, boats displayed in the water or on the beach during Saturday’s Pocket Yacht Palooza will be put back on their trailers either Saturday evening or early Sunday, so that we can convoy south from Port Townsend  10 a.m. Sunday morning.

Once again, if you’d like to take part in the Pocket Yacht Palooza and/or the Palooza Crooza--or if you have questions--please get in touch with Marty Loken via email at Norseboater22@gmail.com

The only known costs for folks taking part in the Palooza Crooza--beyond your expenses for fuel, food, camping gear, etc.--are as follows:

  1. 1)Overnight tent-camping or boat-moorage fees at Jarrell Cove State Park and Hope Island State Park. (If you sleep aboard your boat and do not use the parks’ mooring buoys or docks, you can stay for free.)

  2. 2)The Port of Grapeview, which operates the launch ramp next to Fair Harbor Marina, charges $6 for launching and retrieval of your boat. Payment is by credit or debit card only, using a machine at the ramp. (No cash or checks.)

  3. 3)By special arrangement, we will be allowed to park our tow vehicles and empty trailers on property owned by Fair Harbor Marina, just south of the launch ramp. Total parking fee for the Palooza Crooza will be $14, which will need to be paid to organizer Marty Loken...either in advance by check or in cash during the Palooza Crooza skippers meeting Saturday evening, July 21.

If you have any questions about the fees, contact Marty via email at Norseboater22@gmail.com

Finally, and importantly, if you plan to take part in the Palooza Crooza, we recommend that you have the following items aboard your boat:

PFDs – One Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person aboard, plus one throwable if your boat is longer than 16 feet.

Fire Extinguisher – Required if your boat has an inboard engine; is longer than 26 feet, or has closed compartments for storage of fuel or other flammable materials.

Sound-Signaling Device – Some means of making an efficient sound signal (whistle, typically).

Navigation Lights – Boats under 23 feet in length, if not equipped with sidelights and a stern light, must have ready at hand a flashlight or lantern showing a white light that must be displayed in sufficient time to avoid a collision...according to CG regulations.

Visual Signaling – For boats under 16 feet, distress signals (red flares, flashlights) are required for distress signals between sunset and sunrise. For boats over 16 feet, requirements are for one orange distress flag and one electric distress light, or three handheld or floating orange smoke signals and one electric distress light, or three combination day-night red flares, handheld, meteor or parachute type.

Anchor and Rode – Anchor, chain and/or line appropriate for the boat. (We recommend but do not require two anchors, with suitable rode, for the Crooza.)

Reboarding Device – A ladder, other device or plan for getting skipper/crew back in the boat in open water.

Compass – Magnetic or electronic compass.

Bilge Pump, Bailer, Buckets – Some way to bail out the boat.

VHF Radio – If handheld (ideally waterproof), bring extra battery. Monitor Ch. 69 during all active hours of the Palooza Crooza

Charts – Covering the area of the Palooza Crooza, paper or electronic.

First Aid – A basic or more-than-basic kit

Lines -- enough for mooring and towing...or being towed.

Boat Fenders (at least 2)


Foulweather Gear, extra clothing for everyone aboard.

Water, food and cooking equipment for four days. (Don’t plan on restaurant meals....they don’t exist on our route.)

Dry Bags to protect extra clothing and electronic gear.

Camping Gear, including tarp(s), for those tent-camping ashore.

Other Items – Recommended but not required: Handheld GPS, depth-sounding line and lead; flashlight, timepiece, cellphone and camera to capture all of the memorable scenes.

Hope to see you here in July! - Marty