Gardens of Fenwick - odd name for a boat, isn't it? Let me explain…
I don't care for cutesy boat names. I like meaningful boat names even if the meanings are lost on all but the owners. I also like what I call compound names: Maid of Endor (and the variation, Witch of Endor), Vicar of Skye, Star of India, City of Ragusa and similar names.
When I retired at the end of 2010, my sister and brother-in-law offered their central Michigan refuge, named Little House in the Moonlit Woods, to me as my home-base. Little House is a special place and is not just my home-base, it has become my safe haven, refuge and home. When I decided to build another boat I wanted to pay tribute to Little House and, in turn, pay tribute to my sister and brother-in-law who have welcomed me to Little House in the Moonlit Woods in Fenwick, Michigan.
At the Fourth of July Parade last summer in Cedarville, Michigan, one of the local civic groups distributed packets of flower seeds and encouraged people to plant them. From those packets arose the idea for a boat name: "Flower of Fenwick" but that didn't really 'feel' right to me. However, gardens are an important feature at Little House - flower and vegetable gardens flourish here. Gardens are, to me, visually pleasing, inspirational, meditative and functional. Those are features I want in a boat (along with being seaworthy and weatherly). The idea for the name came to me over a period of several days in a sort of slow-motion stream-of-consciousness. Beginning with the packets of seeds, flowers, gardens… an idea emerged: Gardens of Fenwick. The more I thought about it the more I liked it. In my mind the name references the Little House in the Moonlit Woods, the gardens here and my sister and brother-in-law.
As I looked at designs for a boat suitable for boat camp cruising I was drawn to John Welsford's Pathfinder. I realized those characteristics and features I like in gardens are also present in the Pathfinder - along with some design-specific features. I decided to build a Pathfinder and name it Gardens of Fenwick.