Lose Your Dreams, Lose Your Mind-Guido Builds a Boat


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 167 of total 167 in this topic

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 27, 2010 - 07:54pm PT
Lose Your Dreams and You Will Lose Your Mind

Well for the record , this isn’t about politics, Republican bs, religion, hot dogs or personal attacks on fellow SuperTopians. Indirectly my involvement in climbing was a significant catalyst for the following story. Certainly OT and long but what the heck, I have my Kevlar vest on so take a whack mate.

Part 1 Building the Boat

In The Beginning
I grew up on the San Francisco Bay, an area with a great maritime history and tradition, and as unlikely an environment for one to get jazzed on climbing as one could imagine. Prior to my active early years in climbing, the Bay was my playground. As kids we swam, fished, hunted rats with our slingshots, broke warehouse windows with rocks along the railroad tracks and generally acted like your basic energized juvenile delinquent of the 50s.

My first adventure on the Bay didn’t work out so well. We patched an old life raft, painted it with red lead paint to stop the small leaks, and launched from Kelly’s Beach on Pt Richmond on a beautiful Saturday morning. Half sinking, covered in red lead paint, we were picked up by the Coast Guard, headed out Golden Gate on a late afternoon ebb tide. Momma wasn’t too happy getting that phone call. Ominous beginning.

One time I won first place in a fishing derby on the Berkeley Pier. I had traded my bag of Oreo cookies for a fish, entered the fish and got my well -deserved first place award of a fishing lure. End of fishing career.

Jack London was my boyhood hero. What a life, sailing around the Bay, robbing oyster beds at night and writing when the need for real money prevailed. I forever dreamed of building a boat and sailing to the South Seas. Who hasn’t? Blue skies, tropical water and yes brown- skinned lovelies! Books by London, Slocum, Pye, Gerbault and William Albert Robinson were voraciously consumed and the dreams grew bolder. In later years they would be replaced by works from Moitessier, Hiscock, Griffith and a host of other “modern” day sailors.

I remember a trip to Sausalito with Harper to see the giant, 70ft trimaran Pen Duick IV, that had just arrived sailed by that great French sailor Eric Taberly. When Harper and I, together, had driver training class in high school it wasn’t difficult to coax our instructor Mr. Simon into field trips to Sausalito to look at sailboats.

Harper, always at the forefront, had owned a car since he was 14 and had been driving illegally for years. Better than that he was an excellent sailor and his storytelling was second to none. When he ran off to France to crew on the 176 ft schooner TeVega owned by Omar Darr on a voyage to Tahiti, I almost died with envy.

Around 1958, via the Boy Scouts, Foott and I got involved with climbing and the sailing dreams mostly faded into temporary oblivion. Gone were the days on the Bay to be replaced by afternoons at Indian Rock and weekends at either the Pinnacles or Yosemite. My literary heroes were now Rebuffat, Terray, Buhl, Gervasutti and Bonatti.

Fast forward almost 16 years to 1974: out of grad school, back from an expedition to Afganhistan and beginning a job in American Samoa at the LBJ Tropical Memorial Hospital. One of those big decisions, big changes in life. I had to see and experience the South Pacific. It was going to be either a cure or the death of a dream. Obsessed with this vision of sailing and exploring, I had to go and look. I fell in love.

It was the early days of blue water cruising in the Pacific and often reminds me of the early days in Camp 4 in the 60s. Not a lot of boats by the standard of today, but some fascinating people and interesting boats.

A hardy group of sailors with seaworthy but simple boats. Navigation by sextant, WWV time radio, sun and star sights and basic charts. No GPS, chart plotters, autopilots or other fancy paraphernalia that make up the modern cruising yacht.

I fell in love with a 47ft New Zealand sloop, named Tequila, designed by Paul Whiting at the age of 19, for his dad D”arcy Whiting, a legend in the Kiwi sailing fraternity.

TQ was designed for the 1972 Sydney Hobart race, cold-molded construction of triple-skinned kauri and epoxy. She was strong, fast, voluminous and beautiful. A very serious boat for offshore cruising. Decision time.

I had been reading anything and everything on sailing, all the books and magazines, walking marinas up and down the Cal coast and kicking the proverbial tires for years and even had a nice 24 ft fiberglass sloop in Santa Cruz for a spell but I needed the big fix. The vision was there, I had found the boat and the dream was as powerful as ever. Time to either put it all together or head back to the couch.

Now About the Boat
Shanachie, that is what we eventually named her, is a fin keeled, skeg- hung rudder, 50ft cutter-rigged sailboat built mainly of Alaskan yellow cedar on fir stringers and a yellow cedar backbone. She has a high aspect ratio mainsail and roller furling on the staysail and headsail. She is of moderate displacement and is easily handled by two.

The Shanachie was a story teller in ancient Ireland. He would travel from village to village and share his vast repertoire of tales to all who would listen. A single tale could last three days and in the meantime the village was obligated to keep him supplied with food and drink. Part fact, part fiction but nonetheless an important aspect of tradition and oral history. In essence a great bull shitter. Hey, I resemble that remark.

Since I had never built a boat before, I went on a headhunting trip to NZ and found a talented lad of 23 years old, David Blair, who had already built 23 boats. David was a master craftsman and a pleasure to work with. We have since worked on other projects in both the US and NZ.

Build the Shop and They Will Come
Seems logical: first you have to build the shop to build the boat. So we built a 60ft x 25ft x 29ft high shop on our property in Santa Cruz. The entire structure is on poles. This was my first experience with trusses and what a marvelous way to obtain large roof spans.

Most of the wood came at a bargain when Big Creek Lumber, up the coast in Santa Cruz ended up with 20,000 BF of specially milled lumber that was never picked up. The window frames and trusses are old growth fir from a 100 year old school house in Stockton that we recycled.

Line Drawings and Lofting
The line drawings and a numerical table of offsets are what we utilized to draw the boat to scale on the floor, ie. loft it. A million sheets of 4x8 particle board, painted white and a good week drawing different cross and longitudinal sections to scale on the floor and then with 60 ft battens connecting all the dots.

As you progress with the construction you can go back to the lofting and pull off any other critical measurements for fabrication. We literally laminated the hull and deck beams on the lofting lines drawn up. David has such an artistic eye that after a spell he literally threw out the table of offsets and went with his artistic sense. Mess up with the lofting and you might as well go golfing.

Stations-Frames and Backbone
This stage is easier to comprehend if you can visualize a whale skeleton. Ribs, backbone and overall curvature are analogous to the internal structure of a wood boat. The only difference is we use stringers on top of the frames more analogous to airplane wings of old.

The critical first phase after lofting is to establish the correct contour and curvature of the hull. This is accomplished with a combination of temporary stations and actual laminated frames interspersed along the length of the hull. The backbone is an integral structural component of the entire hull and ties the entire unit together. Once the hull is planked, and the boat is turned over, you can remove the temporary stations.

Three laminates make up the exterior skin of the hull. The first two are 3/8-inch yellow Cedar and are run diagonally opposite each other. They are epoxy saturated and attached to the stringers. The final layer is ½- inch mahogany and it is screwed to the other layers. We used the good old well-proven Yankee screwdriver for its excellent torque and over 13,000 screws. Finally, on alternate stringers, the planking as a unit is copper riveted to the frames. A very long and tedious job.

Next phase is to buy a keg of beer or whatever, invite all those friends that hope to go sailing with you, make up some long-boards with 40 grit sandpaper and have a Long Board Sanding Party. A layer of 10oz. fiberglass, primer paint and the boat is ready to turn over.

Reality check! Big pat on the back, you have just spent 33% of the cost and 25% of the time to complete the boat. Heck, in my amateur naivety I was already visualizing the first sail.

Turning Over
When we designed the shop we had to add a belvedere in order to gain enough height to attach a beam to block and tackle the boat for turning it over. In principle pretty straight forward. Two huge blocks to lift it off the deck, two blocks on the floor one as a preventer and one to pull and then reverse positions as the boat is turned. Bit unnerving with all the noise and creaks but things went quite well.

Interior and Deck
Now the serious work begins. Best to accomplish as much as you can inside before you start the deck structure. Lots of time drawing, mocking up, templates, milling, fabricating, finishing, wiring, plumbing , mechanical systems, sanding, (a zillion sheets of sandpaper and eternal raw fingers), paint, varnish and lots of beer.

Back to the lofting for the deck curvature and patterns for lamination. Underlayer of 1/2-inch marine Fin Ply and then ½-inch teak, epoxied, screwed, plugged and two part Polysulfied Caulking. Messy but traditional and beautiful.

Down the Road

Before we built the shop or boat I asked a friend, Doug Kilner, with a bull dozer and lowboy trailer if he thought we could get a 50ft boat down our steep and curvy road. Three of us walked it with a 50ft rope, one person at each end and one in the center with a 13ft wide board. Visualize a dragon at a Chinese parade. Seemed logical.

In reality he had to straighten out several corners with his dozer and disconnect the stays holding up the PG&E power pole.

Doug at that time also owned a large helicopter that had to capacity to pick up the boat but in talks with my insurance agent, “You want to do what?” (there is a primary school just down the road) we opted out. Without the keel, which we were to attach later at the harbor, it was possible and I was rather excited about the prospect.

Sadly, the designer and a good friend of mine, Paul Whiting his wife and crew were lost at sea when his boat Smackwater Jack disappeared returning to NZ across the Tasman Sea in a 100 kt storm. They had just completed the classic Sydney-Hobart race.

The original keel drawings were lost but D’arcy, his father, had the original wood plug from when they built the parent ship Tequila. D’arcy shipped it up from NZ, we refaired it, had a friend make a ferrocement two-part mold, buried the mold in a huge hole, packed it with sand and after it had cured we spent 6 hours melting 13,500 pounds of lead and poured the keel.

Toys R Us shopping center, in Santa Cruz, now occupies the spot of our temporary foundry. Ah, for the good old days in the Cruz!

We place two temporary 1” eyebolts, deep into the pour at the top, to lift it out of the ground. When the crane came, the operator, seeing just two eyebolts sticking out of the keel, laughed at me when I told him he better put out his outrigger supports because this was heavy. The fool almost flipped the entire crane.

Because the keel is so large, it would be difficult to set the keel bolts in it while pouring the lead. It would be impossible to make a template accurate enough to align and drill all the holes through 30 inches of wood into the boat to secure the keel.

Therefore we fit the keel under the boat by rolling it back and forth to accomplish this. We then drilled down from inside the boat, cut into the keel with a torch, fastened a huge washer and nut and repoured the lead back into the keel. In all nine, 1-inch Monel bolts from 5 to 7ft long. Big job!

Well, finally launch day came, we were outta money, outta time and needed to get the boat into the water to turn the whole project off for a breather. Friends came from far and wide, Nancy christened the good ship Shanachie with a bottle of the finest Irish Whiskey, we had a fantastic party and dance in the now abandoned boathouse and soon headed to the Sierras and Palisade area for a week of cross country exploration and recuperation. Kudos to Peter Haan for all the help on the old and funky photos.

“There is no time to lose I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away.”


Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Mar 27, 2010 - 08:02pm PT
What to say but WOW! Thanks for posting this.

Mar 27, 2010 - 08:04pm PT
This is the stuff that separates the best from the rest.

Absolute masterpiece of quality and workmanship ...........
Mark Rodell

Trad climber
Mar 27, 2010 - 08:18pm PT
Guido, that is what I call a good tale. I will go back to this thread many times. I am in awe. Of course the work is stunning and staggering but the vision more so and to sail it, now, man that's cool. How different this is compared to the tread of the log cabin on the eastside where builder/craftsman will not live within its walls.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Mar 27, 2010 - 08:19pm PT
Guido - this is an incredible story! Thanks for sharing!!

Trad climber
Depends on the day...
Mar 27, 2010 - 08:24pm PT
So where are you posting this from????

Trad climber
san diego
Mar 27, 2010 - 08:42pm PT
Wow, Captain Guido, incredible story!

I was curious in regards to the history of your sloop.

You have certainly lived your dreams.

I bet Shanachie has a few tales to tell...no blarney now, eh!

Thanks for sharing!

EDIT: Certainly inspiring, fill us in on some more of the details!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Mar 27, 2010 - 08:46pm PT
Pilgrims, you can get a lot more on this from the website the family has established: http://www.shanachie.org/

Yes. This is truly a dream come true. They spend time in Fiji, New Zealand and Santa Cruz depending on weather. Right now they are in New Zealand. If you read the site thoroughly you will see that they sold the boat at one point but later bought it back and added some really useful length off the transom.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Mar 27, 2010 - 08:46pm PT
That's just amazing! Thank you!

Did you consider naming the boat Ruby Tuesday?

ps Watch out for faux pirates - there are a few around here.

Big Wall climber
From Back to Big Wall Baby
Mar 27, 2010 - 08:54pm PT
Well, as a yacht designer by profession of course I found this post very interesting and yes OT as it may be there is so much more to life. The process of taking an idea from paper and creating with your hands something from that idea is one of the most rewarding things I can think of. Traditional methods of design and boatbuilding are still alive in many places. However are seen by many as outdated or no longer practical. I disagree as it is those persons that miss the whole point.

The computer has for the most part replaced the drawing board in design and Fiberglass and Carbon Fiber have replaced wood but in this persons opinion I feel hat they should not be seen as any better as they are more or less just different perspectives and options. Although I use the computer for most of my work I still find it rewarding to explore ideas through the physical act of drawing. There is nothing more flexible than a piece of paper and a pencil.

Really nice work Guido. I really enjoyed the TR of sorts.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
Will know soon
Mar 27, 2010 - 09:12pm PT
So Guido, Amazing. "Go confidentally in the direction of your dreams! Live the Life you've imagined."

And you have done it. Stellar, spectacular, incredible......Water, the Ocean, sailing ships and adventure are something I hope to experience, something on my bucket list.

I have never really read thru a thread as long as your's but it was pure pleasure. It was an encouragement for me to keep the All My Dreams Alive.


Trad climber
Mar 27, 2010 - 09:16pm PT
13000 screws with a yankee!?!?!?


Mar 27, 2010 - 10:00pm PT
Dr Woo


Those were some wild times back then.

And this is only a part of what Guido is capable of - he has stretched the boundaries in many arenas.

I spot a Bardini in there.

Roger Breedlove

Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Mar 27, 2010 - 10:12pm PT
Nice story, Joe. Great looking boat.

Trad climber
Mar 27, 2010 - 10:15pm PT

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 27, 2010 - 10:21pm PT
the sirens will now have you, guido.

gravity is a fairytale at sea. make fun.

A long way from where I started
Mar 27, 2010 - 10:23pm PT
The pull of the ocean does not touch me, but the pull of dreams... Ah, yes, I understand that.

Wonderful post Joe. Thank you.

Trad climber
Mar 27, 2010 - 10:26pm PT
I'm speechless, Guido. What a fantastic project, a truly beautiful outcome, and a study in patient, persevering craftsmanship. You can't see it, but I'm bowing.

Trad climber
New York, NY
Mar 27, 2010 - 10:28pm PT
What a cool story! What a beautiful boat!

So sad to read the designer was lost at sea, though, but such is the life, and death, of an adventurer.

Social climber
Across Town From Easy Street
Mar 27, 2010 - 10:32pm PT
A great story and an amazing final product.

Great work, from someone who spent 2 years building custom yachts in Washington state - really nice galley layout.

Kudos, Erik

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 27, 2010 - 10:40pm PT

I had read about some of your adventures before on your website but never gave a thought to where the boat came from or how it was built. Since I can barely pound a nail into a board straight, this was incredibly impressive!

I love history, and it also gave me a look back into a very important, but now mostly forgotten, part of the human drama. Climbing satisfies some of our most primeval instincts, how much more so, humans venturing across the seas.

Thanks for a real inspiration!

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 27, 2010 - 10:45pm PT
i strive to be beautiful.
so my daugthers gawk at me.

your project boldly whispers of your beauty within.

i commend you on harnessing that.


Social climber
Across Town From Easy Street
Mar 27, 2010 - 11:20pm PT
...and the shop!

Love the scissor trusses with the old wood, nestled comfortably in the landscape - really nice.

Social climber
Phobos Monolith
Mar 27, 2010 - 11:23pm PT
This is a great story. Where in Santa Cruz did you build the boat?

Training for the Blue Tape Route on Half Dome
Mar 27, 2010 - 11:30pm PT

You and your wife are my heros!!!! Way to live your dream...and it's not like it didn't take mucho hard work and a hellofalot of trust! Awesome story and I loved the photos (nice clean-up PH).

Just for the record: I was intimidated by the thought of building my own kayak.

You two are my heros.


Mar 27, 2010 - 11:31pm PT
magnificent & stunning...

Social climber
Mar 27, 2010 - 11:35pm PT
Inspiring, thanks.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 27, 2010 - 11:45pm PT

I'm speechless..........


Trad climber
Here and There
Mar 28, 2010 - 12:17am PT
Beautiful!! Wonderful!! Thank you for sharing the amazing work, love, and joy that went into that. I trully hope that you enjoy it.

But. . .... . .umm mm mmm m. .. .. . .well. .. . .are you sure that you're not suicidal?? The oceans can be vicious. And deadly.

Kidding. Only kidding. Awesome work.
pip the dog

Mountain climber
planet dogboy
Mar 28, 2010 - 12:27am PT
today i had a really sh!tty day. it happens.

but i just now had a half hour that fast pulled me out of that funk -- and left me smiling, and dreaming.

exquisite narrative, exquisite project, exquisite cure for a bad day.

thanks man, i really needed that.

^,,^ (michael)

[will crew for a sandwich... nah, forget the sandwich]

a tied-off Tomahawk™
Mar 28, 2010 - 12:28am PT
freakin awesome

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Mar 28, 2010 - 12:50am PT
Wow. That makes building a house look easy. Fiji and Tahiti are nice, but getting there in something you built makes it all the much better.

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Mar 28, 2010 - 01:02am PT
I feel like a buzzard flying over a fresh kill...a cougar burying next weeks leftovers...holysh#t....! do i dare read this masterpiece again , bit by bit....?

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2010 - 01:25am PT

I am most humbled by the response, this has been a boderline yes and no, post or not idea for a long time.

Yes Fuzzy, Bardini was there as were you and some lovely ladies. Can't tell all the war stories at one time can we?

Whenever I think of ST and the camaraderie and all the wild and crazy things we are fortunate to have and still a part of, I think of that beautiful quote from Allan that was read at his Celebration.

Rick A

Boulder, Colorado
Mar 28, 2010 - 10:48am PT
As one whose best mechanical efforts peaked at changing the oil and air filter on my 1972 pinto, I have always admired those who can build and repair. My brother Mark has a World War II-vintage piper cub observation plane project in his garage. Mark sees nothing remarkable about teaching himself how to weld aluminum, so that he can repair the airframe himself.

I recently saw the video, Mountain of Storms, about the 1968 “Fun Hogs” road trip to Fitzroy and I was most impressed at the scene where the Econoline van breaks down in the middle of South America and Chouinard and the guys take the engine out through the passenger door, fix it, put it back, and continue on their way.

Your ability to dream, plan and execute building a vessel so that you could sail it to the South Seas is simply unfathomable to someone like me, who might take all day to put up a window blind, measuring not at all and cutting numerous times.

I can express nothing but wonder and admiration that you saw this through; it is truly inspirational.


Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 28, 2010 - 11:03am PT
I have often thought about you and yours on that boat in far flung places. Very cool to put a face to her, from the ground up, so to speak.

A real life connection eh?

I have built a couple of really cool tables with dowels only....my claim to fame.

I do 5.6, you did 5.13.....

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Mar 28, 2010 - 11:30am PT
Guido: I studied your project story before dinner last night, then ranted and raved about the enormity of the project to Heidi. She then was overwhelmed by your project posting.

Our sincere admiration to you: for both building your dream and living it.

mountain dog

Trad climber
over the hills and far away
Mar 28, 2010 - 11:43am PT

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 28, 2010 - 11:49am PT

Incredible, Guido!
Thanks for sharing!!!!!

Social climber
Mar 28, 2010 - 11:50am PT
That was well worth a slight delay to my day.

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Mar 28, 2010 - 12:06pm PT
Hot Damn! That is soooooooo cool. Reading and seeing this thread was like the sun breaking through stormy skies. Thank you Guido for sharing your remarkable journey. You didn't just build a boat you created a dream. Wonderfully proud effort. You sir have my respect and admiration.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 28, 2010 - 12:11pm PT

Of all the great writing there, I think this is my favorite bit.

The Shanachie was a story teller in ancient Ireland. He would travel from village to village and share his vast repertoire of tales to all who would listen. A single tale could last three days and in the meantime the village was obligated to keep him supplied with food and drink. Part fact, part fiction but nonetheless an important aspect of tradition and oral history. In essence a great bull shitter. Hey, I resemble that remark.

There it is folks!

Arkansas, I suppose
Mar 28, 2010 - 12:50pm PT
That is sick!

Thanks for the inspiration to get my little saily on the water

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 28, 2010 - 01:12pm PT
Guido, I forgot to ask, how the hell did you afford all those clamps?
I bought a few bar clamps for a laminated workbench project, 'bout broke the bank.

In addition to everything else......sheesh!

I guess stuff didn't cost so much back in the stone age.....

Trad climber
Nor Cal
Mar 28, 2010 - 01:12pm PT
Awesome, but it looks like soooo much work.

Trad climber
Triumph, Idaho
Mar 28, 2010 - 01:15pm PT
My hat is off, and will be for quite some time.
I love the boat project and appreciate the gift of sharing.
Thanks for posting, Guido.

Trad climber
Ketchum, Idaho
Mar 28, 2010 - 01:36pm PT
Joe: There's a book here. Nice job. See you in SC. Cheers.....

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Mar 28, 2010 - 01:41pm PT
I am so inspired by this beautiful thread that I want to put up the perfect FA and call it The Shanachie Dream. Unfortunately I lost my mind a while back so my boat is up the creek. Anybody seen my paddle?
Scared Silly

Trad climber
Mar 28, 2010 - 01:49pm PT

Mar 28, 2010 - 01:58pm PT
Need to make this a trip report. So people can refer back to it in the years ahead.

It is a resource.

Engineering question. Would it not allow a lighter keel if you had more of the weight at the tip in a streamlined bulb?

It is the leverage that you are going after.

Trad climber
Modesto, CA
Mar 28, 2010 - 04:26pm PT
Wow, this is just amazing. I've worked on boats, bottom jobs etc, but this is just spectacular. The commitment to this project boggles the mind. Gorgeous boat!

Trad climber
Mar 28, 2010 - 04:52pm PT

How the hell did you get the time and money to do this as a young buck?
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Mar 28, 2010 - 05:06pm PT
Absolutely fantastic.

Where are the sailing TRs?

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2010 - 05:16pm PT
Good question John

Remember this is a design for the infamous and rough Sydney Hobart race in 1972, which we modified for cruising. In later years the idea you presented was well adapted to race boats and now cruising boats. Not only bulbs but also winged keels, ala first Austraillian victory in the Americas Cup.

Problem with some of the race boats is they went to such a narrow attachment at the junction of hull and keel that some keels and boats were lost when this failed. Mike Plant on Duracell in the around the world race is one example. The yacht Charley (sic) on a passage from Hawaii to the west coast also lost its keel, but was able to spin a 180 and head back to Hawaii.

There was a funny saying from years ago that said if a race boat made it more than 100 ft past the finish line it was overbuilt.

Canted keels are now the rage and they can be controlled to move either port or starboard but you can imagine the huge loads associated with this.

I believe Shieds or one of the very early American yacht designers even presented the idea in the early 1900s?

Slakkey would be the one to enlighten all of us on this.

Mar 28, 2010 - 05:25pm PT
A winged keel. Ooof!

I should think you would have to sail by wire with such a rig. Wing would have to sense the load and have its angle set by servo.

Then you are in a control algorithm problem limited by response time.

No fun.

The control system would have to have a "damn friggen wind variation" dial that goes up way above 10!

Good to know that my ideas are only 100 years out of date.


Mar 28, 2010 - 05:33pm PT
Absolutely fantastic story, Guido! Magical and awe-inspiring! Thanks for taking the time to post this.

I was privileged to sail a few times back east on a very similar 38' boat constructed in '68 for the Newport to Bermuda race. Not quite the Sydney to Hobart, however. Wooden boats are the shizzle.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 28, 2010 - 06:20pm PT
Jstan and Guido, Now I'm built too low to the ground.

The stuff you're talking about keeps passing by over my head.....
goatboy smellz

Mar 28, 2010 - 07:49pm PT
Amazing work Guido!

Mar 28, 2010 - 08:06pm PT
I'm just looking at the vectors. Easy to see how a boat can travel with the wind directly at the back. But you can tack back and forth with a wind not at your back if the sail is at say a 45º to the wind. The force on the sail has an x component and a y component and one of them is in the direction you want to go. Cool!

But in that situation the mast is subjected to a force that tends to heel the boat over. That's why you put a keel on it. Six tonnes of lead! Now looking at the boat as if it is coming right at you there is a sideways force pushing left say but if the boat is heeled over the heavy keel is on the right and it is trying to right the boat. Now the further to the right you put the mass the bigger leverage that weight has. That was my initial comment.

But suppose you make the angle of the keel so it's plane is no longer along the axis of the boat. Now it is acting like a wing and will feel an anti-heeling force proportional to the boat's forward velocity. So that angle will have to be changed as the boat's forward speed changes and since it is trying to offset the winds heeling force, it will also have to change when the wind changes. Gusts can kill you. And everything depends upon how fast things are changing.

The weight you put on the boat in the way of mechanisms to achieve this, of course, vitiate what you were trying to accomplish in the first place.

Pretty straight forward vector decompositions.

But what a mess.

But mein gott, what a beautiful thing Joe's crew built.

A work of art.


There is also the story of Einstein not coming back from a day of sailing. He had gotten into the boat and had no idea of where he was or where he was going. Too busy thinking.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2010 - 09:46pm PT

If it will make you feel any better take note of the fact that Einstein was an avid sailor. But, he originally had a very difficult time trying to comprehend the fact that a sailboat could not sail directly into the wind. Yes indeed, it has to sail off the wind etc.......................Now for me that was an easier thing to perceive than his relativity concepts.

Mar 29, 2010 - 10:17am PT

Not only are you an old world craftsman but you're shop looked like it would make a neat house, anyone live in it? Beautiful boat, thanks for posting.

Trad climber
Mar 29, 2010 - 11:01am PT
Finally took the time to read this and have to add my WOW also.
Happy sailing Cap'n

Social climber
No Ut
Mar 29, 2010 - 11:28am PT
Beautiful and inspiring TR, Guido! Thanks for sharing. I always planned to climb until I was 50, then build a boat and sail the world. Though I never did it, I'm glad to know one who did.


Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Mar 29, 2010 - 11:49am PT
A most inspiring thread! As a sailor I am in awe.
That is a beautifully designed boat. She looks like she
rides like a dream come whatever may blow.

Not in the same league but similar:

My 'first mate' pounding pegs...

On the summit!

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Mar 29, 2010 - 12:19pm PT
Nice Reilly!

What the feck is it?

By the way, I'm a big fan of dowel work also. It's a disease I got from my father...
Although I have only completed a couple projects, it's great to know that you built something entirely with dowels.

Thanks for the thread drift too. We need to get a little attention off Guido the attention hog...HA!!

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Mar 29, 2010 - 12:26pm PT
"What the feck is it?"

What, ya never seen a backyard temple to the Mighty UW Husky?

It's a gazebo for grilling and chilling! Can't seem to find
any of the finished product complete with ceiling fan and copper shingles.


If I can be excused a slight amount of wood butcher thread drift I
completely plagiarized my design. It is based on the hammer beam
truss roof that holds up Westminster Hall:

When I took my drawings down to the building dept the head dude
was scratchin' his balls going, "Uh, I dunno."
I says, "Yanno this has been holding up the roof of Westminster Hall
for lo these 500 years, dontchya? And furthermore, the mid-span joint
is the type employed by the Admiralty after they worked through all the
really good oak in England and couldn't cut ribs out of single trees anymore.
The HMS Victory's ribs have this joint."

I got my permit.

Now, back to boats and climbing

Rapping back for lunch, Stockholm Archipelago...

Social climber
The Greeley Triangle
Mar 29, 2010 - 01:50pm PT
Awesome project Guido!
Makes me pine for my Windrose 24 on Humdoldt Bay.........
Carolyn C

Trad climber
the long, long trailer
Mar 29, 2010 - 02:04pm PT
An inspiring and beautiful journey. Also really liked the family website referenced by Peter Haan - great story about the re-purchasing and refurbishing the Shanachie.

A couple of months ago I travelled to Winnemucca, NV, for a concert by an old, crusty folk/western music legend, Ramblin' Jack Elliott. The day following the concert I found myself having lunch at the same restaurant as Ramblin' Jack. So, naturally, I had to share with him how much I enjoyed his concert, and he invited me to chat for a while: all he wanted to talk about was building boats. He lives on the coast in northern CA, and sails all the time. Didn't want to talk about music...nope, just building boats and sailing.

Truly, "Not all those who wander are lost."
Hugh of Lincoln

South Carolina
Mar 29, 2010 - 02:23pm PT

The master provision list for the Shanachie is pretty impressive. Looks almost as complete at what PTPP hauls up on one of his multi-week sieges of El Cap.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 29, 2010 - 02:44pm PT

What a neat project! And Pemits? We "don't need no stinkin permits" was the motto of the day. After endless problems with the building department I formed a company called "Red Tag Construction".

Santa Cruz became the most difficult county in the state to acquire a permit and build.

Ramblin Jack use to hang out in Santa Cruz because that is where his ex lived. We had him down to the house several times and he does love boats and he does love singing and he does love Jack and now you know why his is called Ramblin.

Big Wall climber
From Back to Big Wall Baby
Mar 29, 2010 - 03:29pm PT
jstan and others,

without boring the hell out of everyone here with a alot of technical babble, I think I can address a couple of questions here.

First, the trapezoidal keel configuration found on this particular design is very fitting for a boat of this type and a design of this era. More on this in a minute/

jstan, the leverage that I believe your are trying to describe here is what is known as Righting Moment. of course a moment is a force times a distance and in the case of righting moment this is calculated by multiplying the boats total weight or displacement by the righting arm GZ which is the distance between the boats center of gravity CG and the boats center of buoyancy CB. In order for the boat to float level on its lines these two centers must be in equilibrium. As a force is applied to the sails a counter force is applied to the keel. As this occurs the center of buoyancy begins to move away from the center of gravity CG on a horizontal axis. The distance that occurs between these two centers is the righting arm GZ and as the boats heel angle increases so does the distance. Righting Moment is expressed in Foot Pounds or Kilogram Meters.

Ok, everyone with me so far? No matter what its shape, the primary function of the keel is the same. However the intended purpose of the boat and its overall design can have an effect on the keels shape. jstan the keel configuration you are describing is commonly known as a bulb / fin configuration in which a long slender strut or fin is attached to he hulls underside with a lead bulb at its bottom or tip. This configuration is more commonly seen in racing boat designs where the fin is either made of steel or on some cases carbon fiber and the bulb is lead. This configuration not only fulfills the basic function of the keel but, it also helps reduce wetted surface in an attempt to reduce the various drag components associated with a fuller keel. On top of that it enables the designer to lower the center of gravity which has an effect on Righting Moment. RM can be seen as a measure of a boats ability to carry sail area. In the case of a racing sailboat sail area = horsepower. Also by putting more weight low in the bulb one can reduce weight out of the hull structure.

So, you ask why not employ this technology on Joes boat? Well through the iterative design process one might be able to come to some solution. However as Joe points out there could be some associated problems as well. There is a movement in design called Modern Classics in which above water they have the graceful lines of older designs with modern like Americas Cup technology below the waterline. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into account when we look at keel design. Hull shape, mast height, mast position, Sail center of effort CE, The hulls vertical center of gravity etc. etc. the list goes on.

The bulb / fin configuration could possibly provide a reduction in wetted surface, however there could be a penalty in increased draft as well as the prospect of a less forgiving helm. The trapezoidal keel found on this boat provides the basic function of the keel and although may incur a penalty in the form of more wetted surface and the drag associated with that, it also provides sufficient stability and lift for this particular design. I have seen cases where people have tired to employ more modern keel configurations on older boats in which the result was that the keel generated so much lift that the drag associated with it actually slowed the boat down.

Fuller keels do provide a more forgiving helm (easier to steer) for the most part and in the case of this boats intended purpose now I think that is a major criteria Joes is after.

Hope I did not bore too many people with this. I personally think its a really good looking boat and design.

Trad climber
Beautiful, BC
Mar 29, 2010 - 04:57pm PT
What an achievement !! Congratulations !

Mar 29, 2010 - 06:46pm PT
Thanks for the discussion. Enjoyed it.

I would think people are now probably laser patterning the surfaces of racing hulls to get the same reduction in resistance recently banned from swim suits in the Olympics. Anything that reduces energy deposition in the boundary layer should be very helpful.

And Joe's boat is exquisite.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 29, 2010 - 07:00pm PT
It is also nice to have a a big fat hunk of lead for that occasional encounter with a reef. Have kissed a reef on four occasions over the past years and it isn't fun. Sailing pucker factor of 10 on a scale of 10. There are literally thousands of poorly or uncharted reefs in the south pacific.

They say there are two types of cruisers: those that have hit a reef and those that will hit one. Also, nice to have a powerful skeg from which the rudder is hung as an added protection and strength. Again, we are talking bluewater offshore cruising boats here.

Trad climber
Las Vegas
Mar 29, 2010 - 07:07pm PT

I am trying to work and at same time catch up with the 'Taco' after many days away.
Skimming through threads and finding this one is not making it easy.

Thanks for the explaination of keel design for the others ;)
Neither here nor there but I still have my copy of the N.A.C.A reference book on foil config's and the associated coefficients.

R.I upbringing 'eh?
Where abouts exactly? I Have sailed and surfed all over Narragansett.

I would love the opportunity to meet and bull with you.
Just a couple of days ago I was thinking I should get myself to Santa Cruz for a 'looksee'. There are a lot of sights and friends in Santa Cruz that I have not seen in over 25 years.

I grew up in Marblehead Ma. While other kids went to baseball camp I was in dinghy racing school at Pleon YC. My father is a retired sailmaker/rigger of 25+ years with Hood sail loft. In my early teens I had a lot of great sailing opportunities. I crewed on a 65' Alden Schooner named the 'When and If' during the 1976, Bicentennial tall ship event in Newport RI. I helped build a few boats as a kid and later when they were completed got to take them out on my own. On one occasion at the ripe age of 14 I was able to borrowed for a day sail a 45', ferrocement, 'Tancook Whaler'. A Nova Scotia designed fishing schooner. I took the beautiful, blonde tutor I had a mad crush on out for her first ever sail. She went on to spend years at sea making many transatlantic crossings on a few different schooners that were sail training/school at sea, vessels.

Then the climbing bug hit. Early in my climbing I made road trip money by doing spring/fall boat deliveries. Mostly from New England area too or from the Newport R.I or Annapolis M.D, boat shows. I worked for Hurricane Island Outward Bound school as a climbing instructor which was great to have both worlds wrapped up in a neat little 300 acre package ;)
Then I moved too Santa Cruz to be closer to the Valley but still live on the Ocean. I lived in Santa Cruz for Three years (give or take) mostly working for Larry Tuttle at 'Water Rat' custom boat builders but I did do a winter season with 'Olson' (production) Boat builder on 42'nd street (that totally sukked). I later moved to Hawai'i to build windsurf sails for 'Hot sails Maui'.

So Mr. McKeon your thread is Gold too me ;)
I am sure we could have a zillion stories to swap about everything from keel bolts to keel hauling, from red tide to green flashes, from sunny cockpits to three day gales and knee deep flotsam sloshing around on the cabin sole. I magine you, me and Gene/Mighty Hiker could do an extensive conversation on Hawaiian/Maoli/polynesian culture.
Then we can start with the Santa Cruz and Yosemite area climbing and climber stories. While living in Santa Cruz I was/still am good friends with Mark Grant. I've heard a few wild stories from him that you could validate for me ;).

Although I could never afford to build a boat for myself I have participated in the building of numerous boats. Everything from surf and sail boards through Olympic class, high performance dinghies and on up too a couple different 45' ferrocement boats. Before moving to the Warmer climes of Hawai'i from New England I was very much into winter freeskate/ice sailing. I had built a dozen or so ice sailing decks either for trade or sale. They were constructed with Mahogany wood, UD Graphite, S-Glass and Gougeon/ West System epoxy. I dubbed the craft's class name to be 'Ice-O-Tope' and it has the class insignia of U, over slash, 235. One was traded to a board sailing mentor and the guy that got me into ice sailing Jeff Brown. I recently googled Jeff's name and found out that he is still riding an ice sailing board that I built 25 years ago. He has made extensive modifications too the original suspension since then but the deck is unaltered after all these years. Well I discovered that I now hold the (albeit minor) distinction of being the designer/builder of the craft that holds the world speed sailing record for freesail ice craft:

Your boat 'Shanachie' ? She looks to be basically a cold molded, West system type of construction yes?
Were you using Gougeon epoxy for glue and:
This book for a bible?


Joe, You mention certain things about the construction of the building shed and the moving of the vessel to the water. That conjures a bevy of stories for me. One in particular I thought you'd appreciate. While working for Larry Tuttle at Water Rat in his first S.C shop off Seabright, we built a 40' high performance boat. The shed permit was a bear to get so Larry pulled a swifty and built a shed off the side of our shop. The shed was built using nothing but duplex nails for the framing and polyethylene sheeting for the skin. (yes it was hot!). We never needed a permanent structure building permit. The inspector did drop in one day but after seeing the construction and getting a verbal promise that the shed would be dismantled as soon as the boat was done he left us in peace. I think the shed stood after the boat left for quite some time until the polyethylene was just in tatters.

I have to go but I will check back on this way cool thread this evening.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 29, 2010 - 07:56pm PT

Another crossover between climbing and sailing.

I am really curious as to what the "beautiful blond tutor" was tutoring you in?

"Water Rat" was building the Stradivarius version of the 505 if I remember. Friggin building inspectors!

Yes, it was built to the Gougeon system that was so popular at that time. West Epoxy and all. Arnie Duckworth who worked with the Gougeons and later introduced West Epoxy to New Zealand was the one who introduced me to David Blair. After David worked with me, he returned to Santa Cruz and built the plug for the ever popular Express 37 designed by the late and great Carl Schumakker.

Iceboats! Wild and scary. Would love to try one someday but ice is so hard to crash on. Also I believe ice is cold.


Social climber
Salt Lake City
Mar 29, 2010 - 07:58pm PT
Joe - Lovely!
I always wanted to sail but I guess I'll stick to canoes in northern Canada.

Trad climber
Mar 29, 2010 - 08:16pm PT
I get seasick and don't float, but this story is amazing and inspiring. Thank you!
the Fet

Mar 29, 2010 - 08:23pm PT
There's something about a work of art that has utility that I really appreciate. Like a musical instrument. Not only is the object beautiful just to look at and appreciate it's lines, but there are underlying reasons that drive it's form. Engineering and artwork coming together to create soemthing that transcends the mechanical or functionless.

After the Loma Prieta quake Santa Cruz county waived building permits for a while. We looked at some scary out of code but not illegal houses up in those hills.

I love listenign to Neal's Fandango by the Doobies when I'm cruising up there.

Social climber
The Deli
Mar 29, 2010 - 08:51pm PT
DAMN!!! What a project!

Very nice work there, Guido!

Trad climber
Placerville, California
Mar 29, 2010 - 09:04pm PT
when the mermaids have dry eyes,
it is then that they cry.


Trad climber
Las Vegas
Mar 29, 2010 - 11:30pm PT
Ice is nothing to crash on.
At least with a free sail rig.
Seriously! There is no friction, you just slide and slide and slide...
During a race the worst part of crashing is trying to slip slide back to your rig as fast as possible.

Unless of course your in a poorly built ice boat that got up to speed before it explodes do to the extreme forces. But then the danger is the frags not the slide across the hard water.

One of the super cool things about racing on ice...
You can just about throw away all displacement, water craft tactics.
Because you are sailing 90% on apparent not true wind.


Yes at Water rat we built arguable the highest quality 505's in the world. Larry Hamlin (Hamlin boat builders) in so cal was a close competitor. But both builders pretty much (with time) blew away the old standard from 'Parker boat builders'.


The blonde tutor...

Um nebah mine ;)


Trad climber
Mar 30, 2010 - 12:09am PT
Thanks so much for your post. What a beautiful boat! I have always wanted to build a boat like that. Ha ha, as a woodworker I can read between the lines of your photos and know what a lot of work it was. So sweet.

Trad climber
Sunny Aiea,Hi
Mar 30, 2010 - 02:16am PT
Aloha Brother, That is one sweet build! Thanks for sharing and nudging me to get back out on the water, its been a week and I'm due.

Fair winds and following seas,

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 30, 2010 - 02:59am PT
Guido the Boat Builder. What a noble skill!

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2010 - 03:04am PT

You really know you have made it on ST when you get a personal hit from Locker- I am truly honored. If only life was so simple. Alas it was banishment to the lifelines for even asking such a question about the blond tutor. Would that be a stupid question or is that just assumed?

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 30, 2010 - 03:04am PT
Naw, I'll shoot you for him....

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 30, 2010 - 03:08am PT
Jesus Locker

Perfect-in Polynesia, fat is beautiful. I will use that on my next job application. Cannot thank you enough but then again I am sure there are ways............

Trad climber
Merced CA
Mar 30, 2010 - 03:45am PT
Fantastic mate! Must make it all the more worth while when you are sailing it knowing you built it! Beautiful looking boat!

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 30, 2010 - 03:48am PT
He does have a nice boat though...

I am going to have boat dreams tonight...

I can already smell the salty spray...

light reflected off of uneasy waters...

the wind that blows the water across sun-parched faces...

and those placid moments when we can recount more turbulent moments...

and look forward to how the next day will unfold.

Social climber
Paradise Island
Mar 30, 2010 - 06:13am PT
Quite a fabulous project, Guido!! I was priveleged to peek in on your work during visits to the Cruz in those years and we were all SO proud and happy the day of Shanachie's launch. Just happen to have a few pix here of that day:

I've got a few stories from sea passages aboard Shanachie to tell, but I'll let Guido go first. Good on ya', Mate!

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 30, 2010 - 09:31am PT
my family is currently on a campaign to get me to lose my dreams.
J. Werlin

Social climber
Cedaredge, CO
Mar 30, 2010 - 10:50am PT
This is a really awesome TR. Many thanks Guido.

Hey Guido-- I was a RastaCruz local from '67-'92 and I was trying to figure out where your home is? So many nooks and crannies from Corralitos to Bonny Doon.

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Mar 30, 2010 - 12:56pm PT
Joe, imeffinpressive!
You should bring that to the Valley for "the gathering" and we can float down the Merced!

Trad climber
Washington DC
Mar 30, 2010 - 08:03pm PT
Thank you for this thread. This is why I hang around on the taco. What an incredible accomplishment!

Trad climber
Mar 30, 2010 - 11:54pm PT

Trad climber
carsoncity nv
Mar 31, 2010 - 12:58am PT
definetly speechless. makes me want to float down the merced in a spaghetti pot from the ahwahnee.

Mar 31, 2010 - 01:35am PT
Some people do put up--in spades. Very inspiring but also sad for all the dreams given up, lost in verbiage, or self-satisfyingly and endlessly re-told only 10% done. Thanks also for the unselfconscious writing.

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Mar 31, 2010 - 06:41pm PT
Now here's the other extreme; conspicuous consumption:

I hesitate to call it even a yacht, maybe high speed house boat?
Built for somebody in Monaco. Where else?
58 meters long and 38 meters wide
Three decks, a 25 meter pool, helicopter pad, a spa, saunas, gym and massage room, a promenade of 130 meter, a music room, a dining room, a cinema, sun decks, suites, terraces, a lounge. The decks are connected by stairs but there is also an elevator.

At least those are solar panels!
Nice loungeing areas!


Trad climber
Mar 31, 2010 - 06:43pm PT
This thread is effing awesome.
Don Lauria

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 1, 2010 - 01:42am PT
Little Joe,

I happened upon this thread just today - I've been occupied elsewhere for a few days.

After going through all your photos and remembering those days, I was lamenting how deprived I felt by not spending more time up in Santa Cruz while all this was going on and not being able to share all this - at least in memory.

Then BooDawg posts some photos of the launch and I find myself in one. I swear I had no memory of that event - but I do now. Thanks Ken.

You undoubtedly deserve all the admiration for your sailing prowess - and you certainly have mine. On all of our river trips you probably realized how I manipulated the days so that you got most of the difficult rapids. You must realize that Joyce always felt safer with you at the oars than me. But just so you don't get too big-headed, I got some of my pride back when you admitted that you never felt comfortable running Big Mallard.


Trad climber
The state of confusion
Apr 1, 2010 - 10:27pm PT

Bump for the boat!!!

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Apr 1, 2010 - 11:52pm PT
AH-----"Big Mallard!" Featured in the "Big Drops" book.

I guided on the Middle Fork Salmon in the early 70's, but later got the "guide beta" on Big Mallard on the Main Salmon.

The easy, but scary run, is left of the "Mallard."

Get up close to the left bank, take a deep breath------close your eyes if it feels better-----but don't touch an oar----and you are through.

Otherwise! Go way river right, and row or paddle like a mad-woman-----because the whole river is roaring river left at the "BIG Mallard."


Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 2, 2010 - 01:01am PT
Thanks Fritz

Probably only rowed it 5 times but it always gives me a thrill. Never feel really comfortable with Mallard. Maybe it was the time Rick Barker told me he flipped there? Watched Glen barker, aka Glenbob, gets hammered in his white water canoe. Lauria loves to give me sh#t on this one, I probably deserve it. No way would I ever go right.

Apr 2, 2010 - 01:58am PT
Gotta say sailors are at least as sexy as climbers! Heartwarming photos!

Having experienced both wall climbing and sailing, I readily equated the two. Rope handling and technical maneuvering, living on a small platform above a medium that won't do you any good if you fall into it, and dealing with the other elements. A beautiful existence either way and especially memorable with a close crew.

Social climber
New Zealand -> Santa Barbara
Apr 2, 2010 - 04:00am PT

A truly inspiring project! And an incredible amount of work. My very much small boat project took many many hours...

Cheers, Roy


Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 2, 2010 - 09:41am PT
Stunning, what a beauty!

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Apr 2, 2010 - 10:21am PT
NOICE! But I gotta comment on that you-know-what-eating
grin on your unmasked face while rolling on the epoxy- naughty boy!

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Apr 2, 2010 - 12:03pm PT

Mimi just called you sexy.....NICE!

Apr 2, 2010 - 01:19pm PT
Fantastic Guido! Thanks for sharing.

Wade Icey

Trad climber
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:14pm PT
awesome. thanks

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:18pm PT
Thanks Guido, that is an awesome post. You dream well. Where in Santa Cruz was this boat built? I was trying to see if I knew the area. I can only imagine navigating those mountain roads with a 50 ft boat.

Trad climber
Apr 2, 2010 - 02:28pm PT
Guido, you the man!
David Wilson

Apr 2, 2010 - 07:13pm PT
Guido, WOW, hats off to you on this accomplishment. Do you have that boat down in NZ?


Boulder climber
Apr 5, 2010 - 01:17pm PT

Bump for Captain Guido

Social climber
The internet
Apr 5, 2010 - 01:49pm PT
Off the hook!

This just made my morning.

What kind of time did this project take? I just searched this thread and didn't see any comments.


Gym climber
Apr 5, 2010 - 01:50pm PT
If this ain't a post on those making dreams tangible, then...

Guido, proud man, proud.

And that 'yak isn't none shabby at all neither. What a beauty.

Social climber
Truckee, CA
Apr 5, 2010 - 03:05pm PT
This is such a great thread. I think I'm gonna have to stitch up a kayak one of these days.

Social climber
New Zealand -> Santa Barbara
Apr 5, 2010 - 04:00pm PT


I have to confess that building my boat (previous page) was orders of magnitude easier than Guido's. Some care, but not a lot of special skill, was required. The boat is the "Coho" model from Pygmy boats (www.pygmyboats.com) and took about 130 hours of work. It will consume your garage for a while but the result is a head turner.

Cheers, Roy

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
May 6, 2010 - 08:15pm PT
It seems too trite to just say "stunning" or "amazing." I can't put together words that do justice to the magnitude of this effort! It is truly inspiring, and a beautiful allegory for the rewards of right living.

Guido, I was already impressed by you after I flailed on Coonyard Pinnacle last year, but this is at such another level... the vision, the determination, perseverance, the skill, and obviously huge passion required to slice through the mind-numbing amount of tedious work to complete the masterpiece. Such a huge capacity to love life and make good things happen!

Very well done.
Lee Bow

Trad climber
wet island
May 7, 2010 - 12:37am PT
I actually am a professional boat builder by trade. I cannot tell you how PROUD your achievement is...you already know!

For what it is worth I have put together a couple of multi-million dollar power-cruisers...but never put togrther so much as a canoe for myself.

Jim Henson's Basement
May 7, 2010 - 10:28pm PT
Great story Guido. Thanks for putting that TR together. It was a great read.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 7, 2010 - 10:49pm PT
Mtnmun, Jude this boat was built on Happy Valley Road off of Branciforte.

David Wilson, Joe and his family go between Aukland NZ and Fiji during the year and even come to Santa Cruz.

Trad climber
Boulder Creek CA
May 7, 2010 - 11:04pm PT
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
May 8, 2010 - 10:56pm PT
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 6, 2010 - 08:59pm PT
Float this Bump!

Trad climber
Sep 27, 2010 - 05:22pm PT
Great job in the most beautiful of boat building mediums, wood.

Here's an interesting story about building a sailboat and then camping out on the ocean for 1152 days non-stop:


Also a great solo, around the world race due to start in a few weeks:


On a climbing note; the chest harness sailors use is terrible. They need to go to some sort of seat harness, like in climbing.

Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 28, 2010 - 07:55pm PT
Funny that this thread should pop up. I was thinking about it in terms of its title. Keith Richards has just published an autobiography, and apparently in it he reveals what the song Ruby Tuesday is really about. Or at least what he can remember of it, 40+ years later.

Trad climber
Oct 28, 2010 - 08:21pm PT

bump for probably the best non-climbing thread ever

Social climber
Oct 29, 2010 - 12:23am PT
hey there say, all.... wow, i sure missed this one... this is really wonderful, guido...

thanks for sharing all this...
and thanks for the bump, that came along...


Gym climber
the ground up
Dec 12, 2010 - 02:49am PT
Just thought the taco could use some Keali'i Reichel


Park Rat

Social climber
Jan 22, 2011 - 09:08am PT
BUMP for a great story.

Joe, thanks much for your help.

The Alpine

Big Wall climber
May 23, 2011 - 06:38pm PT
More please.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jan 15, 2012 - 12:28am PT


Trad climber
Jan 15, 2012 - 12:46am PT
To say this is impressive is an understatement.
The Alpine

Big Wall climber
Feb 1, 2012 - 02:00pm PT

Feb 1, 2012 - 03:12pm PT
Add me to the list of the amazed Joe - I'd bet a lot of us think about doing something like this but less than 1% have the skill, drive, money and smarts to pull it off.

You did.... wow, congrats. Thanks for sharing the story too.

Social climber
Butterfly Town
Oct 5, 2012 - 04:03pm PT
Here's a pic of me aboard Shanachie, sailing into Bora-Bora in anticipation of our crossing from French Polynesia to Hawaii.

Mark Rodell

Trad climber
Jul 14, 2014 - 12:20am PT
Big bump for a favorite of mine.

Jul 14, 2014 - 06:53am PT

I was speechless when I first read this. Still am.

Great story that stands up with time. Wonder how much it cost in scratch and time. ....?

John M

Jul 14, 2014 - 09:33am PT
Good bump.. loved this thread. More sailing stories please.. hahaha..

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 14, 2014 - 09:40am PT
I'd bet a lot of us think about doing something like this but less than 1% have the skill, drive, money and smarts to pull it off.

1%? I'd say yer off by a factor of at least five decimal places, if not six. ;-)

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jul 14, 2014 - 11:31am PT

Boat bump!
Mark Rodell

Trad climber
Jan 5, 2015 - 08:08pm PT
I love this thread. I never tire of it.

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 5, 2015 - 08:33pm PT
How exactly did you attach that keel with the interior installed...?

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 6, 2015 - 09:09pm PT
Design leads to easy access to keel bolts with lifting the floor in the galley. Fabricated some 1/4 inch stainless backing plates several years ago and routered them into the mast step. Keel bolts go thru multiple laminations (24 inches total) of the mast step, frame, backbone and false keel stump before entering the lead keel where they are at alternating lengths between 36-64 inches long.

Just relaunched here in Kiwiland after 3 hectic weeks in the boat yard, yahoo another summer down under.


Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 6, 2015 - 09:34pm PT
Joe, you're still the boss!

Such great stuff. I bow in your general direction!

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 6, 2015 - 09:56pm PT
Shanachie is real looker and, I have no doubt, a goer, much like her master.

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Jan 6, 2015 - 10:35pm PT
Wow! Guido you're the man. Where will you be spending your time this summer exactly? I forgot if it's Tassie or N.Z. Would love to see that boat some time.


Social climber
Jan 7, 2015 - 03:42pm PT
What I like is that you show what can be done if you got the guts to dream it.
I also liked that the Coast guard picked you up as you were drifting off to sea

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 17, 2019 - 01:29pm PT
Thought I would bump this up as I may not be around ST much longer and it certainly "ain't" climbing bucko.........

As Roper use to say Adios Muthu Fuker........

Social climber
Apr 17, 2019 - 01:31pm PT
Adios indeed!
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Apr 17, 2019 - 01:39pm PT
this is one of my favorites from ST - looked it up and downloaded it just this morning! What an incredible tale

Trad climber
Apr 17, 2019 - 02:08pm PT
This is also my favorite thread of all time, thanks Guido!
What an amazing story....
John M

Apr 17, 2019 - 02:13pm PT
One of my favorite threads too.. Adios..

Thanks Guido for putting in all the hard work to produce it. Living it must have been a blast. Thanks for taking us along on your journey.

It seems to me like RJ and Chris don't really value the effort put in to creating these threads, plus the historic value. Their scorched earth policy is pretty sad.

But of course the excuse is that the site is free and doesn't make money. They could have put up a "buy us a beer" link. I'm willing to bet many people would have. I certainly would have to help offset the cost of running the forum.

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
Apr 17, 2019 - 03:57pm PT
Guido! Thanks again for sharing so many great stories on ST. It's been great knowing you on this forum, but happily I now know you & many others that I have met here, in the outside world too.

Just livin' the dream
Apr 17, 2019 - 06:44pm PT
Just read this again and submerged myself in all those fabulous photos.

It's always good to remember that dreams can come true...but they may take a hella lotta work.

Bon voyage, mi amigo!

A long way from where I started
Apr 17, 2019 - 06:59pm PT
Thought I would bump this up as I may not be around ST much longer

I always loved this TR, and I hope it somehow survives.

So long Monsieur le Guide.

Trad climber
Apr 17, 2019 - 07:55pm PT
Awesome project and story
Fossil climber

Trad climber
Atlin, B. C.
Apr 17, 2019 - 08:20pm PT
Guido sent me his/her book describing this, and it was fascinating and beautiful. What a great build and what a great life spent on it!

Mountain climber
The Ocean
Apr 18, 2019 - 02:55am PT
I'm glad you bumped this thread. Was a favorite of mine and actually was an early introduction to the sailing world for me. A glimpse into what can really be done. Blows my mind even more now.


Sport climber
Apr 18, 2019 - 06:26am PT

A thread of hard work, determined play and sheer joy...

Trad climber
san Jose, CA
Apr 18, 2019 - 11:43am PT
Hi Joe! A wonderful thread. I hope we can connect again some day. Thanks!

Sport climber
100-year Visitor
Apr 18, 2019 - 06:39pm PT
Skip and I were just laughing about 13,500 pounds of lead...

The delivery guys are always like "what do you have in here? Lead?"
Tony Bird

Northridge, CA
Apr 20, 2019 - 07:35am PT
Avast ye swabs.
Flip Flop

Earth Planet, Universe
Apr 20, 2019 - 06:44pm PT

Social climber
Southern Arizona
May 20, 2019 - 06:37am PT
Wow, wow, wow. Respect. What a story!
Messages 1 - 167 of total 167 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta