Two friends with a plan to build a wooden sailboat and take her on adventures to the far reaches of the world. Here’s a bit of background on who we are, and why we’re doing this.
Eric and Spencer on a surf trip on Vancouver Island's northwest coast.
We first met on a soccer field while playing for a men’s team in our home town of Salmon Arm, BC, though our friendship didn’t develop until we both moved to Vancouver to study at UBC. Our shared passion for adventure and the outdoors found us hanging out often, talking about places we wanted to explore, and trips we wanted to do. The first trip we did together would turn out to be an unforgettable experience, and unbeknownst to us at the time would catalyze the dream of this project.
Eric had already built Herbert, a 16-foot wooden skiff, with his Dad in the garage of their house in Salmon Arm. In the summer of 2014, along with Eric’s brother Bryn, we loaded her up to the gunwale’s and set off for Burnett Bay, a secluded beach on the BC Coast. Trips like those, more often than not, come with their fair share of obstacles (be it inclement weather, questionable anchorages, or an insufficient supply of whiskey), but the trip to Burnett Bay was a perfect adventure, truly a fortuitous anomaly. The coast welcomed us with a week of calm seas, good fishing, waves to ride, and four kilometers of pristine sandy beach all to ourselves.
Beach camp at Burnett Bay for the week. View of the bay, looking West.
Since that trip, Eric has built a larger boat, we’ve both graduated from University, and the two of us have continued to explore the many inlets, estuaries, and beaches of the BC Coast, chasing that elusive “perfect trip” we experienced at Burnett Bay. In the spring of 2017, we sat down over some of Vancouver’s finest spicy noodles and started our regular chin-wag about parts of the coast we wanted to explore. By the end of the meal the conversation had evolved into a hair-brained idea of building a boat that could take us anywhere in the world we wanted to go. Visions of crossing the Pacific in search of warm waves and empty beaches flashed before our eyes, and from that moment on we were determined to make this dream a reality.
After choosing a design for the boat, building a timber frame workshop to house the project, and sourcing and buying building materials, things are now rolling along in the shop as we turn our attention to the main event - building Burnett!
The Dipper, one of Eric's home-built boats, on BC's coastal waters.
In these pages we hope to share our journey of boat construction and beyond with friends, family, and strangers alike. With a grandiose plan like this and the two of us at the helm there are sure to be some hilarious moments, dramatic failures, and maybe even a little success. So join us, and follow along as we navigate our way through what is sure to be our most exciting adventure yet.
Photos: Michael Barrus and Spencer Duncan