By Tim Davis
I recently bought a 1972 Rawson 38′ Tri-Cabin Power Cruiser. White Fox is a very stout Ed Monk Sr. design, built to commercial standards back in the day by Ron Rawson Inc. in Kirkland, Washington. They are somewhat of a rarity in the Pacific Northwest and are nonexistent on the Internet. My guess is there were probably less than 20 built and I have no idea how many are left or how many may be operational.
I’m hoping to find other Rawson 38 owners around to share experiences and trade notes and photos. I know of one or two in Anacortes, my boat and maybe one or two in Alaska, but that’s it. (Ed note: If you want to contact Tim, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get it to him)
We like this boat for its clean no-nonsense workboat aesthetic, full keel and single engine economy. Ron Rawson’s boats are well known in the Alaskan commercial fisheries and many of his fishing vessels are still working there today. They are ruggedly built (read heavy) displacement hulls designed by the likes of Ed Monk Sr. and William Garden, and his cruisers were built the same way. As a semi-professional boat builder I appreciate just how much thought and work went into these boats.
Construction details such as limited use of exterior wood and wide side decks with aggressive commercial style molded non-skid (instead of teak) speak to a quiet workboat knowledge of how things work in the real world. Another big plus was the fastidious care this boat has received by all her previous owners (including former owners Terry and Jill Hummel of Bellingham) over its busy 42-year life. A big “thank you” to everyone for fixing things when they needed fixed! Surveyor Matt Harris wrote about its condition in an email, “White Fox is a stout old boat built to commercial standards that runs like a top.”
White Fox is powered by a single Cummins V-555, 220 HP diesel tractor engine. The former owners report that it never uses more than 2.5 GPH fuel consumption, and the engine survey by Northwest Diesel Power came up rosy.
And thanks to Wes Koenig at San Juan Sailing in Bellingham for brokering the deal.
Fortunately, because of the excellent care I don’t have a lot of work to do on the boat. I’m replacing the two old corroded stainless steel exhaust risers with new ones fabricated by National Marine Exhaust in Marysville, There are a few assorted cosmetic interior upgrades and eventually I’ll replace the “swoopy” powerboat style radar mast with a salmon troller style mast and lifting boom so a rowing skiff can be launched from the aft cabin roof. Someday maybe she’ll get new exterior topside and cabin paint.
Susan Kirn and I plan to live aboard in Olympia and cruise South Sound and all points North including the Inside Passage.