A Sail with Barrett
| By Owen Sinclair - Nelson,
I had spent 10 days sailing in the Canadian
San Juan Islands (as Americans call them) or the Gulf
Islands (as Canadians call them). This was the result
of a generous invitation from my friend Mel, to join
him and some other people on two sailboats sailing
in this area. In the event, some of his other friends
were not able to join us and I joined Mel on Marianne’s
immaculate Catalina 28. Marianne was a cheerful host
and an excellent cook and we had a most enjoyable
trip in an area which was entirely new to me.
a most enjoyable trip in an area which
was entirely new to me.
images to enlarge)
Before leaving New Zealand I had emailed Barrett
Faneuf, famous as the builder of two Navigators
simultaneously, to say that I would be in the region
and wondered if I might be able to see her boat. I
got an enthusiastic reply encouraging me to contact
her once in America.
famous as the builder of two Navigators
I had a week staying with Mel and his wife Carol-Jean
in Edmonds, north of Seattle after the cruise. Barrett
and I arranged to meet at the Steilacoom Deli &
Pub, south of Seattle, for lunch on July 28, followed
by a sail. Some of Barrett’s Intel colleagues
came along to look at Yuko.
and I arranged to meet for lunch on July
28, followed by a sail.
First impression: Yuko was dwarfed by the huge Dodge
4 x 4 (about 6 litre V8) Barrett drives! Further impressions
followed at the beach which we drove under a railway
trestle to reach: everything was extremely well thought
out. Evidence for this is that it took the 2 of us
only 20 minutes to have Yuko rigged and ready for
launch. By way of comparison it took me just under
35 minutes to ready Tusk for launching last weekend.
I do have an engine and a light-board, but even so
I was impressed at how well everything went together
on Yuko, especially for what was essentially a first
sail. Barrett has chosen not to have an engine, because
in Washington she would then have to register the
boat. Oars substitute.
| Barrett has
chosen not to have an engine, because in
Washington she would then have to register
the boat. Oars substitute.
Barrett rowed us clear of the ferry landing visible
in the background of some of the photos. We set sail
in virtually perfect conditions, about 8 to 12 knots
of wind and a small chop. It felt good to reconnect,
in another hemisphere and across the Pacific, with
small boat sailing. The gentle wind allowed plenty
of time to look around Yuko as we sailed and talked.
Early impressions were confirmed: the whole boat displays
evidence of careful thought and neat execution. Everyone
refines their boat in the light of experience, but
I don’t think there will be much for Barrett
to refine. Barrett turned control over to me after
a while and the same very light balanced helm familiar
from Tusk was evident. We did have some trouble with
mainsail shape and did not point very well because
of this. Barrett has since changed the attachment
of the peak halyard and overcome the problem.
boat displays evidence of careful thought
and neat execution.
We spent nearly three hours, from memory, on the
water and it seemed much less. On return to the beach,
we furled the sails and I rowed the last 100 metres
or so to the launching point. Navigators are not rowboats,
but it moved along readily enough. However it would
be tough in a head wind. Looking at Jamie’s
photo in the Yahoo discussion group the rowing position
looks a bit far back. I wonder if a rowing station
could be made in a forward position with the rowers
back to the coaming. This would help lift the transom
a bit with 2 people in and make steering to windward
a little easier for a solo rower. There would be limits
to the length of stroke that could be achieved. But
none of this amounts to criticism of Yuko, which is
a fine craft.
for a most enjoyable afternoon.
Thanks Barrett, for a most enjoyable afternoon. I
wish you the best of sailing in Yuko and lots of enjoyment
building your next boat
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