Home remodeling for a dream!
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 by taking a chance on a dream and unique home remodel. They bought a Chinese Junk sailing ship in New Orleans in 1980. The term “junk” means ship in the Chinese culture. 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. The first time I saw the boat, I knew she was in trouble and I knew I had the skills, the tools and the desire to fix her.” Soon after, 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 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. Schooley rebuilt the exterior of the ship out of teak with bronze fastenings. The interior was a collection of fine woods, including heart pine, walnut, cherry, redwood , juniper etc. These beautiful materials were 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 makes up the galley along with matching stairs.
Experience of a lifetime!
The Schooley’s sailed on the Concubine for thirteen years. They traveled from the Caribbean to the Virgin Islands and everywhere in between. They loved their unique home remodel choice and the resulting adventures. A life at the sea does not come without its trials and tribulations. “We are glad we used solid timber throughout, no plywood. The boat 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. They chose to re-invent themselves as land-loving entrepreneurs. However, there are always the memories for all involved, including this blogger who is lucky enough to have spent time on this beautiful vessel as a child (pictured below).