POLA  |  Bear Boat No. 8
History
Launched from the Richmond shoreline in 1939, POLA is the first of the hand-built Bear Boats, constructed by Jay & Barbara Vincent.  Raised in Point Richmond, Jay A. Vincent, Jr. was Commodore of the Richmond Yacht Club and Founding President of the Bay Area Bear Boat Association.  Professionally, he was a Chemical Engineer with the Chevron Corporation.  Barbara was a writer and founding Board member of the Save San Francisco Bay Association, now known as Save the Bay.  She helped the association give rise to the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which has served as a model for environmental conservation agencies across the country and “basically kept people from filling in the Bay and turning it into a river” (David Vincent, Son).  Barbara contributed stories of her and Jay’s adventures with POLA to SAIL magazine.  Out of respect for their lifelong contributions to their community and San Francisco Bay, a community park in Marina Bay has been named in their honor.

After MERRY Bear, Bear Boat No. 1, prototype of the Bear class of sloops, built by the Nunes Brothers Boatyard in Sausalito, launched in 1936 and now resident at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park & Museum on Hyde Street Pier, POLA is the second-oldest surviving Bear Boat. Notoriously stable and seaworthy for their short 23 foot length, the Bear class boats stand as fine examples of West Coast, depression-era yacht design; a perfect “everyman’s yacht.”

A keel boat design, POLA was built with great skill and of solid materials – cast iron keel, white Oak stem and framing, cotton-caulked Douglas fir Douglas fir planking, tongue-and-groove Douglas fir decking covered in Irish felt and canvas, and solid Mahogany cabin, transom and combings.

Raced actively in the 1940’s, POLA won the St. Francis Yacht Club Cup in her class in 1940.

Our Stewardship
When we purchased POLA in June 2009, she was in rough shape - she was a bare Bear boat!  She had not been well maintained and her original interior construction, head and motor had been removed.  Many of her original frames were cracked and her woodwork was in poor shape.  Her standing rigging was structurally compromised and her boom was cracked.  She had no running lights, nor electrical system.

Since taking ownership of POLA, we have embarked on a path of returning her to her original integrity, respecting her history and updating her in discrete ways for safety and usability.  She was hauled-out at the Spaulding Wooden Boat Center in Sausalito, CA for 4-months of repairs.  Since that initial effort, she has had additional maintenance and restoration work conducted at Keefe Kaplan Maritime (KKMI) in Richmond, CA.  The following work has been undertaken:

Structure:
Repaired, strengthened and restored wood structure:
     - Repaired (sistered and/or replaced) damaged frame members
     - Repaired hull planking, treated fasteners, re-fastened and re-caulked planks wherever necessary
Replaced keel bolts (stainless steel)
Strengthened aft-deck and transom for outboard motor mount
Strengthened cockpit floor framing
Repaired & restored main boom
Stepped & restored mast, fitted new canvas mast boot
Replaced shroud strap fittings (bronze, custom-fabricated)

Cabin & Interior:
Fitted 2 new port holes (cast-bronze, vintage design) at cabin-front, operable, glass with insect screens
Designed and fitted new interior cabin:
     - Sole with lift-out panels (Mahogany, teak, hardwood)
     - Ladder, removable (Mahogany)
     - Navigation Station with electronic control panel & map locker (Mahogany, Lacewood)
     - Berths with under-berth storage areas (fitted with cedar ribbed lining)
     - Custom-fitted cushions at seating areas (open-cell foam & Sunbrella marine canvas)
     - Head (electronic flushing operation) with holding tank, thru-hull seawater inlet, deck pump-out and hull ventilation fittings
     - Interior wood planking (Mahogany)
     - Interior lighting (adjustable LED lighting) at berths, navigation station & anchor locker
     - Convenience power outlets (120V & 12V), with battery charger & heater
     - Interior finishes (paint & varnish) restored to new
     - Clock, bronze
     - Life ring with hand-painted "POLA 1939" script

Cockpit:
Fitted new Ritchie illuminated compass with cover
Installed new winch handle holder
Installed new electrical power inlet fitting
Designed & fitted new wood floor grid panel (teak, removable)
Fitted new gas tank (within lazzerette) for outboard motor
Fabricated new wood cross-stay for boom (Mahogany)
Fitted new wood tiller (Mahogany, hardwood)
Custom-fitted cushions at seating areas (open-cell foam & Sunbrella marine canvas)

Rigging:
Replaced all standing rigging (stainless steel cables & fittings, laced leather boots at shrouds)
Restored original running rigging design for ease of control from cockpit
Added cockpit down-haul for jib sail
Added mahogany and stainless steel fittings in character with vintage design
Replaced all running lines with new

Running Lights & Fittings:
Fitted new running lights - port, starboard, stern, mast steaming (cast-bronze, incandescent, period-correct design)
Fitted new thru-deck cabin ventilator (bronze, vintage design)
Fitted new thru-hull fittings for head (water inlet & ventilator, bronze & stainless steel)
Fitted new fore-deck cleat (bronze, on Mahogany block)
Fitted outboard motor mount on aft-deck (bronze, on Mahogany block, removable, polymer motor mounting panel)
Fitted new aft-deck flag mast fitting (bronze)

Electrical Power:
Installed dual-marine-battery electric system with master control panel at cabin interior with charging system
Installed running lights, cabin lights and convenience outlets (120V & 12V)
Connected electronic-flushing head, electronic bilge pump and illuminated compass

Outboard Motor:
Fitted new 6 Horsepower Tohatsu "Sailpro" outboard motor with extended shaft at aft-deck

Finishes:
Re-surfaced and restored topside hull finishes (articulating hull planks) with hand-painted registration numbers
Re-surfaced cast-iron keel & restored below-water finishes
Re-surfaced and painted deck
Re-finished cabin top (paint & varnish)
Restored cockpit and lazzerette finishes (paint & varnish)
Re-finished transom and combing finishes (varnish) with hand-painted "POLA 1939" script

Equipment:
Custom-fitted full boat cover (Sunbrella marine canvas)
Dock lines
Bumpers
Gas can
Boat pole
Electric heater
Hose & sprayer
Dockside power cable