Like most family stories there is a beginning. In our case Sue and I met on the dock at Hidden Harbour Marina in Victoria. I was living on my first boat ( Temptress ), handing my Surf shop business over to my current staff and thinking of sailing away. My boat at the time was a Brandelmyer 32 built by A Spit, a duch boat builder in 1962. He settled on Stuart Island, building many boats in his boat shed, on the way into Big Bay. Temptress as she was named was a true blue westcoast boat, cedar strip plank on fir frames trimmed off with mahogany that you can’t buy anymore! I had spent the better part of 5 years striping her, rebuilt the interior, re-rigged her, new engine, new or replaced EVERYTHING!
She was a beautiful wood boat that took us up and down the Salish Sea, around Vancouver Island may times, to the Queen Charolets and was our home on the water for may years. We bought water front on Cortes Island and began carving a home out of the forest. Need I say, this became our major focus, demanding all our time and spare cash! We were never far from the water though and always cruised on her every summer even if it was only in our backyard Desolation Sound.
Years later Temptress was in need of another refit and we were moving off island to Vancouver. To give Temptress another life, decks would need to be repaired, transom rebuilt … and I didn’t have the space, time or inclination to take on another major refit. So it was time to find new owners for Temptress. I was happy to find great new owners in Sydney, BC who have lavished Temptress with care and attention not to mention another reincarnation. The picture below taken as we passed each other in Naniamo Harbour is testament to her new life!
We then set out to find our next boat which would not be a wooden boat – I had done all the varnishing I wanted to do in this life. My moto was “I’d rather be sailing”. We also have always toyed with offshore sailing so we thought that this boat could be the one to take us on this adventure. With the help of good friend Rom Van Stolk of Custom Yacht Sales in Sydney BC we embarked on months of Yachtworld searching. Sue and I both had a wish list that went something like this:
- aft cabin for Josh
- fast sailor
- well built with offshore reputation
- wood interior ( fall out from having owned a wooden boat )
- outfitted with most of the gear we would need
- at a price we could afford
In the end we chose the boat that Hal Roth had circumnavigated at least once, the Wauquiez Pretorian. We found her in Annapolis and trucked to Vancouver, Indigo (as we named her) became our next boat. We loved the Pretorian, as a solid fast sailor we traveled up and down the coast with renewed confidence. As I always seem to do, we lavished Indigo with a new engine and numerous other upgrades to make our cruising in the Pacific North West more comfortable. Our sentiment was that this boat was going to be our last! Never say never is my new motto. Our 2011 summer cruise had us meet numerous offshore cruisers, people that had given up houses to return to a boat based lifestyle and the wheels were turning! We were house burdened – you know endless repairs , lawns, taxes coupled with Josh loving sailing we thought its time to take him on an offshore adventure before Sue and I were toooo boring ! If we were going to return to a boat based lifestyle Indigo was a little too small. We decided to run the experiment and see if we could sell Indigo with the plan to sell our house next. Much to our surprise Indigo found a new home almost immediately, and our house proved much harder to sell.
Akk!!! No boat and not enought $$ to really go looking with out selling the house. While we waited for our house to sell, Yatchworld got another workout and again we applaud Rom’s patience as we worked through the question – what boat could replace our love of the Pretorian. Our list hadn’t changed much except we were thinking 40 to 45 feet in length. Though there are many great boats made, the list of possiblities again was smaller than we had thought. The biggest challenge was finding a boat of the same pedigree as the Holman and Pye Pretorian that we could afford. We met the the Ingalls from Seattle who own Wild Horses a custom 61 ft Bob Perry, which had us looking closely at his designs. It could be said that Bob invented the fast cruising boat genre starting with the Valiant 40 and its for this reason the Passport was on our list of possibilities. When the house finally sold and we had money in the bank, one of two Passport 47’s seemed to be our focus. This is where our new adventure begins.