The Enchanting Sea Witch






Sea Witch

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52 Ft. Trading Witch?

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Sea Witch

Sea Witch

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Quest for the Lines
of the Sea Witch

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Hugh Angelman

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Sea Witches

Sea Witches
 on Canvas

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Webmaster's Comments
on Sea Witch



"Heritage of a Sea Witch"

Herb & Nancy Payson's

The "Ida May"
Perhaps Angelman - WILBO's
most famous boat

Doug Templin
Red Star on the Sail



The Square Rigger




The Famous Clipper Ship


The Driscolls'
Blue Water Odyssey
with the Sea Witch
available on DVD 





NOTICE: The following Sea Witches are For Sale:






Angelman Ketch - Facebook
Visit the Angelman Ketch Facebook Page


In the webmaster's considerably biased opinion, if any boat ever deserved its own home page it would be Hugh Angelman's 36 foot auxiliary ketch, the Sea Witch a boat that not only became a classic, but (in spite of the relatively small number that have been built), went on to win the Trans Pac race and become a "class" in itself known as the "Sea Witch Class." It is a boat that has never since been equaled, much less surpassed, for romantic appearance and living space and comfort in a small cruising design.

New Feature Sea Witches on Canvas

Sea Witch Painting
Sea Witches on Canvas

This is a "One Boat" (or, rather, one design), web site. It's "my boat" only in the sense that I've had a long and ongoing  Love Affair with the design. Many others have fallen under the spell of Sea Witch too, and this site is intended as a place where they can all come together.

Auxiliary Ketch


35' 9"
31' 9"
13' 3"
 5' 6"
11 to 14 tons
821 Sq. Ft.
Sleeps 8

Specs. vary somewhat depending on date, individual yard, and/or builder.

As fellow Sea Witch admirer, Greg Jordan (owner of the Sea Spirit, Lobo de Mar), has put it, Sea Witch is, "... not merely a boat but a piece of art that evokes a romantic desire to break free from all the pomp and pretense..." (see quote at greater length below)

Sea Witch owners and other interested parties are invited to participate in this web page by submitting photos and information about their Sea Witch. If you have something to contribute to the Sea Witch Home Page, please feel free to make submissions by email in care of this webmaster at:

This site will remain under construction for the foreseeable future. And separate pages featuring photos, articles, and comments will be added from time to time. If you send material or information about a Sea Witch, be sure to let me know if you "don't" want your email address posted with your material or comments on this site.

Though this is a non-commercial web site, I do have an ulterior motive. I'm in hopes of eventually finding (and maybe obtaining), a set of plans of the SEA WITCH. It is hoped we can make it possible that future Sea Witches will be built and Hugh Angelman and Charles Davies' crowning artistic achievement will be materially immortalized.


Hugh Angelman designed Sea Witch in 1937. Stephen Carlson (owner of the American Marine built, Sea Quest), tells me that Dave Lee was Angelman's original collaborator on the design, but was apparently one of those invisible helping hands, and Charles Davies later became the acknowledged co-designer.

Angelman built the original Sea Witch for himself in 1939 at his Wilmington Boat Works in Wilmington, California, and sailed her for a year and a half before selling her. According to Dorothy Douglas:

"He found her to be comfortable at all times and with a fair turn of speed particularly on a reach. He failed to realize her fatal charm however, until he had sold her. Oh but the lucky fellow that he is, he built a duplicate, the Sea Rover, just able to launch before turning his ship yard over to work for the Navy. He said, 'Since I couldn't improve on her, I built a second Sea Witch.'" and Dorothy added, "We wonder if that could be possible."

Apparently Haldane and Dorothy Douglas were the ones who bought the Sea Witch from Angelman (or WILBO), and Dorothy penned an article about Sea Witch in an early magazine article (quoted in previous paragraph), the clipping of which remains in my possession. Unfortunately, the article was clipped but the identity and date of the magazine was not preserved (circa early 1940s).

The second Sea Witch, completed in 1941, was named Sea Rover and Angelman kept this one for many years. He and his wife, Leslie, made it their home in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

As shown above, the Sea Witch initially had only a single bowsprit, but Angelman decided to go the extra mile with the Sea Rover and put a double bowsprit on her. The owners of Sea Witch had him refit it the same fashion, so the two boats became true twins. Dorothy Douglas' article included the above photo by W. C. Sawyer, as well as the famous shot of the Sea Rover and Sea Witch (right, below) side by side, with Hugh Angelman between with Sea Witch newly fitted out with bowsprit and jibboom.

The Sea Witch placed remarkably well in the 1949 and 1951 Transpac races from California to Honolulu, winning the 1951 race on corrected time. Stephen Carlson, of the Sea Quest, has dug up the headline from the TIME/CNN archives: 

"Sea Witch Wins LA to Honolulu Race
July 30, 1951, 2,225 miles, 14 days, 14 hours, 46 minutes."

plque.jpg (55183 bytes)
Transpac Plaque

That surprised a good many people, and sparked a great deal of interest in the design. It became a "class" in itself, and orders for more of the same started coming in. Additionally, Angelman and Davies sold several sets of plans to amateur boat builders.

Including those first two Sea Witches, about thirty have been built over the years. A few more of this design were built at Wilmington Boat Works. Some hull and keel design changes were made in the plans dated 1956 and most Sea Witches built afterwards, including the Golden Hind (built in 1959), have a reconfigured keel and forefoot.

American Marine in Hong Kong built close to a dozen in 1960-61 more than any other yard. Cheoy Lee, also of Hong Kong, built half a dozen or so. Others were built in Taiwan, Vietnam, Denmark, and an undetermined number have been built by amateurs, mostly in the United States.

Two Sea Witches (the Sea Forth and Southern Cross) starred, along with Cliff Robertson and Angie Dickinson, in the 1978 TV movie Overboard. The Sea Forth was in the Tahiti scenes and the Southern Cross in the California scenes. The movie is a Factor - Newland Production, owned by CBS).

(Current not available to the public).

Comment on SEA WITCH and OVERBOARD movie

"Beautiful boat....Angie's pretty gorgeous too!, 27 July 2006

"...I did see a portion of it on TV back in 1978, but have since fallen in love with the make and model of the sailboat in the movie.... A Hugh "Angelman" gaff rigged "Sea Witch" ketch. This specific boat's name is "Sea Forthe" ...It's a Wooden hull Sailboat, built sometime in the 60's, and is by far the most incredibly beautiful "Angelman - Sea Witch" I have ever come across. Even if you're not a sailor, or even into boats for that matter, you would appreciate the boat, as it is not merely a boat but a piece of art that evokes a romantic desire to break free from all the pomp and pretense that is Los Angeles California or anywhere else similarly dysfunctional..."

Comment by Greg Jordan, owner of Lobo de Mar.

Here's a link to a 1978 article about the movie. Link contributed by Stephen Carlson of the Sea Quest

Bob Driscoll owned "the" Sea Witch after the Douglas family, and made a circumnavigation in her with his wife and children in the 1970s. He produced a great video account of his five year family adventure. Available from Bennett Marine Video for $24.95 VHS

Stephen Carlson, of the Sea Quest, has informed us that the Driscolls' Blue Water Odyssey is now available on DVD from


Herb and Nancy Payson shucked their shore jobs and spent the next few years cruising with their children aboard their Sea Foam. Herb's books Blown Away (shown here with two dust jackets) and You Can't Blow Home Again, written as only Herb could, tell of their adventures and misadventures sailing the broad Pacific. Both books, as well as Herb's Advice to the Sealorn, can be found at

Doug Templin, long time owner of the Sea Mist, has announced the publication of his book, Red Star on the Sail, with a fictitious Sea Mist in a star role. Get details at his website at:


The original Sea Witch is still sailing, and is presently owned by Henry and Barbara Whittier, home ported in Florida. The Sea Rover doesn't appear in the registry, and we were told she sunk in Ala Wai Yacht Basin, Honolulu. Robby Coleman has told us she is was salvaged and is now in Kauai. Many others are still around too.
     It seems no Sea Witches have been built since 1974, mainly due to the growing popularity of plastic production designs and the increasing expense of building quality wooden boats. And there is one other very prominent reason Sea Witch plans have not been available for many decades.

See Robby Coleman's "Heritage of a Sea Witch"
The "autobiography" of the Southern Cross Cross.htm


First and foremost, I'm dedicating this site to the men who gave us the Sea Witch "The Grand Old Man of Pacific Yachting," himself, Hugh Angelman (1886 1967), and to his long time business partner, and Sea Witch co-designer, Charles Davies ( 1998). Both of these men have long passed into better cruising grounds, but their generous legacy lives on in many boats, hearts, and minds.

Though this web site is devoted exclusively to the Sea Witch, there is a much larger "Angelman community" of boats and boat owners out there. In the early 1990's Long Beach yacht broker, and owner of the Sea Spirit, "Fairwind," James Skogsberg, organized an "Angelman Owners' Association." 

First three issues of Angelman News, dated March, April, and May of 1991. Contributed by Greg Jordan

The AOA published a newsletter called the Angelman News (Sent out from Pier 2, Berth 54, Long Beach, CA). Perhaps a web based version will someday be resurrected.

Well over a decade ago, Cynthia Curtis, then Research Associate for the WoodenBoat magazine (upon receiving my query about the availability of Sea Witch plans), sent me a packet of photocopies of several magazine articles featuring the Sea Witch. She filled in several gaps in my Sea Witch file. She didn't know whether the plans were available, but provided Charles Davies' address as a probable source for information. Ms. Curtis's effort, I'm sure, went far above and beyond the call of duty, and I remain most appreciative.

And, in addition to all who have written or published articles about the Sea Witch down through the years, I'd like to acknowledge WoodenBoat magazine itself, and its editors, along with writers Robby Coleman (owner of the Southern Cross), and Thomas G. Skahill, for the excellent article that appeared in WoodenBoat No. 147 (March/April 1999), entitled "The Grand Old Man of Pacific Yachting, the Enduring West Coast Legacy of Hugh Angelman" and the "Pure SEA WITCH" sidebar by "RJC" (Robby Coleman), which included a drawing of the original 1937 lines of the Sea Witch the first I had seen, and perhaps the first ever published. (See Robby & Lorraine Coleman's Web Site at:

In 2005, I made the email acquaintance of Stephen Carlson, owner of Sea Quest (which he presently lives aboard in the San Francisco Bay area). Stephen sent me a considerable amount of helpful material including many fine photos of his beautifully restored boat. Perhaps more than anything else, Stephen caused me to create this web site. Until he sent me photos of his boat, the idea of a Sea Witch web site had just been another of those "something that ought to be" notions languishing in the back of my mind.

Last, but not least, I must acknowledge my late father, James R. Carr, who (in spite of remaining firmly anchored far inland in the Heartland), initially opened my eyes to the "world out there," and to cruising sail. He introduced me to Slocum and several other early world cruisers, showed me the fundamentals of celestial navigation and yacht design, and provided me with the books that still make up a large part of my cruising and boat designing and building library. And, of course, he introduced me to the Sea Witch.


At the time this site was launched, this landlocked webmaster had had contact with only one Sea Witch owner. Since then he has had the pleasure of meeting (via email), several other members of the Sea Witch and "Angelman" communities. All have offered encouragement and had something of interest to contribute.

Since I am endeavoring to keep the focus of this site strictly on the Sea Witch (rather than the much broader "Angelman/Davies/WILBO community"), some of the contributions have not been transformed into content on this site but they are nonetheless very welcome and much appreciated. I'd particularly like to acknowledge the contributions of the following individuals:

  • Stephen Carlson, owner of Sea Quest

  • David and Janet Peters, former owner's of the Sea Mist.

  • Greg Jordan, former owner of the Sea Spirit, Lobo de Mar

  • George Hylkema, owner of the Sea Dragon

  • Robby and Lorraine Coleman, owners of the Southern Cross

  • Dr. Ted Nolan Thompson, former owner of Sea Belle

  • Dwight Alderdyce, owner of the Hestviken

  • Barbara and Henry Whittier, owners of Sea Witch

  • Godwin Pelissero, Jr., son of former owners, Godwin, Sr. and Deborah Pelissero, contributed photos of Sea Witch.

  • William Heritage, former owner of the Leeway, featured on the (WILBO Page)

  • Dave Lee, Jr., contributed photos for the WILBO and Sea Queen Pages.

  • Beth Campbell and Jeff Berg, co-owners of  Hannah Girl

  • Gary Gero, owner of the Sea Pirate

  • Barbara (Buchanan) Medders, contributed to WILBO page.

  • Anita C. Mason, contributed to WILBO page.

  • Robin (Carlson) Miles, contributed to WILBO page.

  • Roger Marlin, former owner of the Golden Hind, has contributed images of the 1956 Sea Witch Plans.

  • Mark Robertson, owner of the Sea Mist, has contributed images of the 1956 Sea Witch Plans.

And thanks to all of the Sea Witch owners who have contributed photos and information for display on the various individual Sea Witch pages featured on this site.

This web site may contain copyrighted material not specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available on a nonprofit basis for educational and general interest purposes in in the interests of disseminating information on the Sea Witch. It is believed this constitutes "fair use" under section 107 of the US Copyright Law. For more information see:

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