Sunday, August 26, 2018

Still in Awe

We've been home for almost a week following our trip to Michigan's UP to launch and sail Gardens of Fenwick.

Sailed three of the four days we were there (the second day was spent rearranging a bit of hardware and adjusting some rigging)... Conditions were just about perfect: Light air on Day 1, progressively stronger winds thru Day 4. Most photos of Gardens were taken on that first day, so there aren't any real action shots - but there are a few 'duffer' shots (slack downhaul, tight outhaul = big crease in the main). (

Gardens at the dock:
Sailing off the dock:
Light air, slack downhaul, tight outhaul:
Friday workday:
Toasting Gardens:
Me throughout the weekend:
My email to another Pathfinder builder best captures, I think, my reactions to Gardens, the Pathfinder design and John Welsford:

The Pathfinder is SO worth it! John Welsford is a genius!

I find it difficult to describe how it feels to sail a boat I have taken so long to get in the water. None of the ‘flaws’ I’ve fretted about matter. No one else saw them. The boat either didn’t notice them or shrugged them off.

Enjoy your build - but don’t dally: sailing a Pathfinder is so much more fun than building one!

I am still in awe!


  1. Bob - I have just binge-read your entire blog to this point. Well done fella! Excuse me if I share just a little bit of your joy. I'm in the very early stages of becoming hooked on the idea of a boat build and so far Pathfinder is favourite. This blog has been somewhat sobering but also informative and fascinating. Thank you for taking the time to record and publish your journey. Now onward to read the rest of the blog. Best regards John (UK)

    1. John, I forgot... Enjoy your boat building journey, whatever design you decide to build. There are so many designs available that selecting ONE is difficult. The Pathfinder is an excellent design and it suits my needs quite well. An important part of building and sailing small boats is that you enjoy the process. Please record and publish your journey for the rest of us to read, enjoy, and learn from.


  2. Thank you, John. I appreciate your kind words. Sometimes I write for myself and other times I write for an audience (not always sure who that audience is...). If what I've written is informative and helpful to you and/or others, I feel I've contributed to the small boat community.

    Your comment that the blog has been somewhat sobering is interesting - and, really, a positive remark. Boat building is challenging and problems arise that seem impossible to resolve. If one of my solutions leads someone to a better solution (better yet, helps someone avoid the problems I've encountered, that is a win.

    Thank you, again.