Making boats seaworthy again: Friday Marine Works repairs, restores vessels on NOP

Friday Marine Works

Location: 1451 West Sequim Bay Road, Sequim

Contact: 360-474-5505


Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-noon Saturday

From hull to topside and all the detailing in between, Friday Marine Works can make your boat look and run like new in its cavernous workshops just a few miles from Sequim’s John Wayne Marina.

Randy and Debbie Nau launched the business in the fall of 2017 and after getting their footing are gaining a reputation for quality and craftsmanship.

The couple can rejuvenate boats 29 feet and under inside year-round and provide pick-up and delivery services across the Olympic Peninsula. Randy is a licensed 100-ton captain and the company is fully insured to take large boats to a haul-out yard.

“It’s kind of our thing, to take boats that are not well kept and help them become good looking and seaworthy, to bring them back to original or close to it,” said Debbie, who taught herself to layout and sew the enormous canvas sails.

“I think there’s joy in seeing that transformation.”

One such weather-beaten boat, Randy said, had sat under pine trees for several years. To begin its resurrection, he ended up filling two 55-gallon barrels with cones and needles. He and Debbie spent about two months in its mechanical and cosmetic restoration.

“(We did) about everything we can do,” Randy said, noting, “a lot of owners haven’t had the time or the tools to work on their boats. We’re not reinventing the wheel here — we’re just trying to help them get it done. It was totally nice when it left here.”

Friday Marine Works offers these services:

• Marine electronics: depth sounders, radar and GPS

• Canvas work: sails, fenders, boat covers for outside electronics and equipment

• Mobile repairs: tune-ups, major engine repair

• Interior and exterior cleaning

• Body painting and woodwork refinishing

Currently, Randy is replacing a dozen port lights (windows) in a sailboat moored at John Wayne Marina, something he called “a fairly good task” because they’d never been removed before. He’s licensed at the Port Angeles Boat Haven and Port Townsend Boatyard, true to his motto of “At your door or at the shore.”

Randy is also Seahawks paint certified and one of few in the area licensed for epoxy work.

“Older fiberglass hulls had the tendency of saturation, which is like a slow death, so I sand, dry out and epoxy the hull to make it stand up to the elements,” Randy explained.

“Salt is why we’re in business — it’s just awful stuff,” Randy said. “The worst thing you can do to a boat is put it in saltwater.”

“I like to say, ‘It’s not her age, it’s how she’s kept.’ And that’s really true. There’s no reason a boat can’t be maintained like an antique car. If you like your car shiny and clean, you’d be one to have your boat polished.”

That Debbie has the knowledge to replace a boat’s softside elements is a bonus for Friday Marine Works, too. She and Randy have been sailing since they met in the early 1980s, and out of necessity have had to learn how to maintain their own boats.

“With canvas, it’s mostly layout and the materials are heavier, so it takes a lot of hand strength. If you make it wrong, you have to buy a full sheet — 54 inches by 110 inches,” Debbie said. “I also use scratch-resistant isinglass for all the windows on the boat. The machines are heavier, too.

“You’re not going to use a Singer to do this type of work,” she quipped.

Other than being able to work together, the couple said the best part of their business is pleasing their clients. Randy said his joy is in seeing each boat come alive.

Debbie said her satisfaction is “seeing that pleasurable look on the client’s face, knowing the work has a lot of pride in it, and keeping it cost effective for people to maintain their boats.”

Because Randy and Debbie take such pride in their work, having a client not trust their judgment about what prudently can or can’t be done within the owner’s budget is difficult for them at times.

“People have a certain idea and we’ll come in and say we think this is what this will cost you, what we can do for you,” Debbie said. “Then we proceed and it turns into something different. The most difficult for me is when I can’t do what I need to for what we discussed. People need to realize it may not work out, but I’ll give it a good shot.”

And about the company name? Debbie explained.

“We got married in Friday Harbor and Randy always has liked Friday,” she said. “You gotta love Fridays.”