Franz Baichl, a third generation Bay Area shipwright, joined the team in February to oversee all ship yard activities. As the Matthew Turner project gains momentum, we’ll be working on multiple projects simultaneously; frames, deck beams, centerline structure and transom in the main yard. We will also be opening a joinery shop at 60C Libertyship.
Managing multiple projects fits right in with Franz’ background. He’s worked on many marine construction and remodels in his career, from fabricating boats used on the silver screen (Cold Mountain and The Notebook) to restoring local classic vessels Mirene, Legend and Wanda. He even apprenticed on America.
Franz is no stranger to the tallship world as he spearheaded the initial movement to build the Spirit of South Carolina in Charleston. When he and Alan discussed the use of his ship’s saw in 2012, the path was set. Franz’ experience in felling trees, milling wood and swinging a hammer make him the perfect addition to the construction team.
A life-long sailor, Franz began his sailing career in Santa Cruz aboard a Sunfish at age 8. From 10-18, he was foredeck on a J24 and went to their Worlds four times. He’s been a professional sailor with the Fearless team where he raced on the East Coast and Caribbean. When not on the circuit, he and his wife Kristina, cruised their 10 Meter Twilight, built in 1926, on the east coast, through the canal and spent two years cruising in Central America.