Gary Rainwater has lived at least three lives — all at once — spanning a 22-year career as a LA fireman; re-building (and building) large boats starting in 1956; and working as a painter and a woodcarver all along the way. You might have toured his restored vessel during the Wooden Boat Festival this year: S. V. Ladyhawk, originally a Danish fishing boat, shows evidence of Rainwater’s artistry throughout.
Gary’s, LadyHawk, a restored (by Gary) Danish fishing boat. A little history about it:
Ladyhawk. X Tourup #502 was built in Esbjerg, Denmark in 1934 as a North Sea fish Cutter. She was fishing the North Sea for 40 years, out of her home port and mostly off Dogger Bank England.
Gary purchased her in 1977 when he had word that she would be ending her career in 6 month time. Gary had been to Denmark searching for a boat for some time. Gary and Barbara spent 6 weeks every summer until 1980 working on her & keeping her painted & dry until Gary would retire and we would move there to do the renovation, stripping all fishing gear & only keeping what they could possibly use.
It was a 6 year project from Gary’s drawings to convert & fully rig her to a sailing ketch rig. The plan was to make her their home and take 3 years to sail her to the Pacific NW. It was a huge undertaking of work, but worth it in every way. It was all part of a dream come true for both of them. The boat is currently in Port Hadlock, in view of Port Townsend.