Latest Sailing Adventure! Join Dave as he and a friend sail Drake III, a classic 1947 46ft wooden ketch, to the North Channel and back! [many photos]   North Channel Voyage

Sailing has always been a passion for Dave. His very first vehicle (after a bicycle) was a sailboat, an 11ft Styrofoam Sea Snark, in which he and brother Chris and friends from the cottage would spend long summer days, conducting voyages right out of Swallows and Amazons.

Much later, once Dave and Robin had Austin and Kelly, they bought a boat to go sailing in the large wilderness lakes in Manitoba, a 26ft MacGregor sloop. This was a wonderful adventure-machine. It needed only 15″ of water to float, and they launched it everywhere.

The kids took it entirely for granted as they explored Lake Winnipeg, Lake of the Woods, Lac Seul, and many other wilderness places — normally frequented only by small tin fishing boats. In time, they sailed the North Shore of Lake Superior, and Manitoulin Island’s North Channel. It was called Drake, standing for David-Robin-Austin-Kelly-Et al. The dinghy was named Drake II.

But kids tend to keep growing. During one trip Robin said, “We need a bigger boat!”. Dave, not slow to react, said, “Sure”, and they bought a classic, a 1947 wooden ketch which they renamed Drake III.

At 40′ on deck, 46′ overall, totally traditional, cypress-on-oak, she’s a beauty! Her furnishings are all 1950, but they work well and ooze charm. Fancy? No, but wonderfully smooth and pleasant to sail and live upon. Some summer voyages lasted for 6 weeks, and the ketch has made it as far as the South Shore of Lake Superior.

A large steel centerboard reduces her draft to 40 inches, when retracted. She can poke into the shallow-water places that usually 40-footers haven’t a hope of entering. Her Sitka masts are original. Her live-oak keelson does not rot. And the old-growth cypress of her planks have never needed replacement.

She’s a wonderful time-warp treasure.

In this long-running thread there are many pictures and adventures, blog-style.


L — Drake at the dock, spring, 2018

R — An anchorage in the 30,000 Islands, 2016

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