Monday, October 24, 2016

A Unique Home Remodel for A Life at Sea!


Choosing quality materials for your home remodel is always an important decision! But what if your home was a boat?! Frank and Doreen Schooley, longtime friends and owners of Florida-based business Tropical Kitchens, accepted that challenge when they took a chance on a dream. They bought a Chinese Junk sailing ship in New Orleans in 1980. The term "junk" means ship in the Chinese culture. However, it is commonly associated with a sailing ship of a particular design. "The boat had been wrecked, sunk and abandoned and needed to be totally rebuilt when I found her," said Schooley. "It was love at first sight. When I first saw the boat, I knew she was in trouble but I knew I had the skills, the tools and the desire to fix her." The Schooley's set off on one of the most unique home remodels of them all, turning a wrecked, oriental sailing ship from the 1960's into a home!


After 3 1/2 years of restoration, the ship named the Concubine was ready to set sail (pictured above). Owner Frank Schooley had completed most of the rebuild with his own two hands. The final result was a masterpiece of solid wood inside and out. The exterior of the ship was built out of teak with bronze fastenings. Interior was a collection of fine woods, including heart pine, walnut, cherry, redwood , juniper etc. all bronze fastened and  lovingly built by the Schooleys. Reclaimed flooring business, Albany Woodworks, was lucky enough to play a role in this amazing rebuild by supplying cherry and heart pine.


(Pictured above) Cherry cabinets with heart pine flooring. (Pictured below) Black walnut cabinetry was placed in the galley along with matching stairs. 


The Schooley's sailed on the Concubine for thirteen years, traveling from the Caribbean to the Virgin Islands and everywhere in between. A life at the sea does not come without its trials and tribulations. "We were glad we used solid timber throughout, no plywood. It held together perfectly through years of abuse, including a couple of partial sinkings and hurricanes." The adventurous couple enjoyed their life at sea, but eventually gave it up to settle in Fort Myers, Florida to re-invent themselves as land-loving entrepreneurs. However, there will always be the memories for all involved, including this blogger who was lucky enough to spend time on this beautiful vessel as a child (pictured below).