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Design No. 0231

Built for: John Guzzwell Builder: John Guzzwell, Victoria, Canada Date designed:  1955

Class – Hull Number  Columbia Class No. 1

Principal Design Data

L.O.A:   20′ 6”  (6.25 m) Datum: 18’ 5”  (5.65 m) Beam Max: 6’ 5″  (1.98 m) Draft:   4’ 5”  (1.37m) Displacement tons: 1.39 T.M.: 3 tons Ballast ratio: 31.8% Sail Area:  197 sq. ft Rig: Bermudan Yawl

John Guzzwell’s design brief called for a self-build 20’- 21’ L.O.A. yawl and his requirements included a sufficient length of straight keel to facilitate slipping. Reverse sheer, self-draining cockpit, watertight compartments fore and aft to be used for stowage.  The hull should be sufficiently robust to resist damage by collision with “deadheads”, i.e. water-logged logs, a common hazard of British Colombian waters.  The ability to ride out bad weather at sea was called for, and was in the owner’s mind in deciding on a yawl rig.

An essential feature of the Columbia Class, and one to which Jack Giles attached great importance was that they should be, so far as possible, unsinkable; achieved by providing watertight compartments fore and aft.  The hull possesses an enormous reserve of buoyancy and the bow and stern compartments are closed by removable watertight hatches and panels.  The somewhat unusual angled covering board was designed to give acceptable headroom in the cabin without excessive apparent freeboard and windage in the topsides.

We are currently updating the online purchase facility. For those of you who would like to buy copies of the original historical drawings, plan for the construction of scale models, stock plan sets for full size construction, study notes or our brochure please contact us stating which design and items you require. We will do our best to help.

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Additional Information

Individual drawing copies.

Please download and print the drawings list for Trekka, Individual plan copies cost $85.00 which includes standard airmail. Please contact us using the link for information on how to order.

Study Notes

14 page A4 format colour booklet containing many small scale drawings and photographs as well as technical data and an abridged specifications of Trekka and the Columbia Class. Construction scantlings of the cold moulded and strip plank versions are outlined as are the variant rig arrangements. Included are generic drawing lists for each of the alternative designs and information for clients considering building a new Columbia class or replica of Trekka

Model Plans

D:Blue Laurent Giles Naval Architects (NZ) LtdProjects�200-02

Full set of Stock Building Plans

2313 Construction & General Arrangement low res

A replica of Trekka can be constructed from the original 1955 drawings for cold moulded construction, or if preferred using strip plank construction for which full construction, rigging and outfit drawings will be provided, please specify when ordering.

Poster & Art Prints


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  • #TBT: Trekka Sails Again


In our latest Throwback Thursday, we revisit the relaunching of John Guzzwell’s famous 20-foot yawl,  Trekka, from the October 2005 issue of  48° North by Shirley Hewett.

After 25 years on shore, one of the world’s most famous yachts returned to the water in Victoria Harbour for the June Tall Ships 2005 events. With her builder John Guzzwell at the helm, the 20-foot yawl Trekka was reunited with the Northwest sailing community during the parade of sail off the Victoria waterfront.


Trekka continued her comeback during Victoria’s Labour Day weekend Classic Boat Festival. Festival judge, Port Townsend’s Carol Hasse, joined another sailmaker, Victoria’s Sandy Goodall, for the Sunday Sailpast and open classic race. The yawl concluded her 2005 summer of sail the next weekend when Goodall took her across the Juan de Fuca Strait to the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival.

In September 1980, Guzzwell helped Honolulu delivery skipper Eric Abranovich sail Trekka into Victoria Harbour after her final blue water voyage to begin a new life as an exhibit. For a number of years, Victoria’s Maritime Museum of British Columbia (MMBC) showcased the small yacht inside its heritage building on Bastion Square. Then she was warehoused, coming out of mothballs for two public displays last year. Following a five month exhibit in the lobby of the downtown Hudson’s Bay Centre, the two international sailing icons teamed up at Government House to help the citizens celebrate 2004 B.C. Day. While the public admired the robin’s egg blue boat sitting on the massive front lawn of the Queen’s B.C. representative, John Guzzwell chatted with Lieutenant Governor Iona Campagnolo and a parade of admirers.

“After we put Trekka on display last year, we noticed there was a whole lot of public momentum and interest,” says MMBC President Jamie Webb. “This provided the impetus to get her fixed up.”

Trekka’s refit was assigned to another classic Victoria Harbour institution. Shipwrights at the Sail and Life Training Society (SALTS) shipyard by the Johnson Street bridge found that the boat’s red cedar hull and plywood deck were in fine shape.

“Her designer Jack Giles was a consummate engineer,” says John West, Victoria Classic Boat Festival Chairman. “Although she is very lightly built, she is incredibly strong. In a lot of ways she’s like an aircraft in that everything’s working. All the berth fronts are structural.”

For Trekka’s return to the briny, tradesmen fashioned a new spruce mizzen mast, made two big angle iron flanges to bolt the keel back on, and installed new bronze through hull fittings. Except for her lifelines, which Guzzwell noted were missing, the original rigging, main mast and 35 year-old sails were still in good shape.

“The Museum will keep her in showable condition,” says Webb. “Not in the water over the winter, but in a shed at SALTS and launch her in the spring for the shows. She’ll probably spend four months a year in the water.”

Six years ago, John Guzzwell and his wife Dorothy relocated from Seattle to the Poulsbo waterfront. At 75, he still relies on a suitcase-sized box of traditional woodworking tools to earn his livelihood as a cabinet maker and shipwright. There is no slipway, so he converted a two car garage to a workshop, completes a project, then transports the finished item wherever it has to go. He also transports his tool box to marine ways in other towns to apply his shipwright skills on location.

As well as projects for other people, John also maintains the two “woodies” that he built after he sold Trekka in 1961. In Britain, he built another Laurent Giles design, the 45-foot Treasure , and sailed her to the South Pacific in 1965. Although sturdy and seaworthy, the Canadian rock elm-planked cutter proved to be a very slow competitor. She took 52 days to complete the 1994 Pan-Pacific Los Angeles to Osaka Race. The Guzzwells still enjoy short local cruises in Treasure , which served as their Victoria Harbour base when John presided as the 2003 Classic Boat Festival Honourary Commodore.

“There’s never enough time,” he comments about maintaining his own boats. This fall, John is devoting all his energies to fixing up Treasure . He took her out of the water in Port Townsend early in September, removed her mast, and began a six week major refit.

Blue water racing remains a passion for the man who earned fame as a blue water cruiser. Once a year, John usually hauls out his “racing machine” Endangered Species to maintain her bright hull. He designed the cold molded 30-foot yacht to campaign in major ocean races. Like the French boats that he used as models, Species (as he calls the boat) has tanks built into the hull on either side below decks. This inside water ballast can be pumped to the high side of the boat and is the equivalent to four men hiked out on the rail, a bonus for solo racers.

Between the 1998 and 2002 singlehanded TransPac Races from Los Angeles to Hawaii,  Species completed two Cadillac Van Isle 360 International Yacht Races. Designed for reaching and running with a considerable wetted area, she’s not the ideal boat for the Swiftsure’s often light and fluky winds. She has twice tackled the overnight event, but stalled in one of its “black holes” in 2003. For the 2004 Swiftsure, Guzzwell joined the Coruba crew.

Although his family feels that he should give up singlehanded racing “because I have nothing left to prove,” John Guzzwell is keeping his options open. For instance, if the 2006 Vic-Maui Race has a doublehanded division, he’s very interested in setting the sails on Endangered Species for another downwind ride across the Pacific Ocean.

“I’m getting a bit ancient for this sort of thing,” he explains, “but I still enjoy it. As long as I’m still enjoying it and capable of doing it, I’ll keep doing it.”

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Yachting World

  • Digital Edition

Yachting World cover

Smallest boats: The bonkers world of Microyacht adventures

  • Elaine Bunting
  • November 28, 2022

What are the smallest boats sailors consider for crossing and ocean? For ‘microyacht’ voyagers, there's no limit. Elaine Bunting finds out why they put to sea in tiny vessels

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Often the smallest boats to cross oceans look much like a child’s crayon picture of a little boat on a big sea, certainly Yann Quenet’s Baluchon does. Baluchon is only 13ft 1in (4m long), with one simple sail and a stubby, blunt-nosed hull painted cherry red and ice cream white.

Baluchon is no toy, though. When Quenet sailed it back to Brittany in August, he had fulfilled his childhood ambition of circumnavigating in a tiny boat. Its simple appearance is emblematic of his philosophy. “I have loved little boats since I was a child,” he says, “and I am still a child at heart. Sailing round the world on a little boat is something I have dreamed about since I was a teenager.”

Quenet, now 51, has dedicated much of his adult life to designing, building and sailing microyachts. Whereas most of us progress in incrementally larger boats, Quenet’s craft have always been minuscule. He has created numerous self-build designs for plywood construction from a 9m gaffer to a 5m trimaran and a 6.5m gaff yawl (see them at ).

In 2015, Quenet attempted to cross the Atlantic in a 14ft 1in (4.3m) plywood scow, but it capsized in a storm off the coast of Spain and he was rescued by a ship. After that experience he resolved to come up with a bulletproof self-righting microyacht suitable for ocean sailing, and went back to the drawing board.

His solution was a pram-style design that could be built in plywood in under 4,000 hours and would cost no more than €4,000. Baluchon is the result, a tiny boat to be sailed by one person for up to six weeks at a time and resilient enough to take anything the oceans throw at it.

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Yann Quenet’s 4m long Baluchon

Smallest boats getting smaller

The history of sailing across oceans in the smallest boats is a surprisingly long one. With a few exceptions (of which more later), it is not about breaking records. This is about stripping away everything complex and extraneous – including other people.

One of the most famous small boat voyages was nearly 70 years ago when Patrick Elam and Colin Mudie made several ocean passages in Sopranino , which was only 17ft 9in (5.4m) on the waterline. Elam observed: “I would not pretend that Sopranino is the optimum size. At sea she is near perfect, but could with advantage be a few inches longer to give a slightly bigger cockpit and a separate stowage for wet oilskins below. In harbour, she is too small (for comfort) and too delicate and vulnerable.”

Also in the 1950s, John Guzzwell consulted Jack Giles about the smallest boat practical to sail around the world and Giles drew the 20ft 6in (6.2m) Trekka , which Guzzwell built and circumnavigated in twice. Smaller still was Shane Acton’s 18ft 4in (5.5m) Shrimpy , a Robert Tucker design which he sailed round the world in 1972 despite having very little sailing experience when he left.

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Tom McNally planned to retake his small-boat Atlantic crossing record in Big C. Photo: Ajax News

In 1987, Serge Testa beat that by sailing round the world in his self-designed 11ft 10in (3.6m) aluminium sloop, Acrohc Australis . He broke the record for the smallest yacht to be sailed round the world, one that is still standing 35 years later.

This feat, together with Acton’s well-publicised voyages in the 1970s, ignited a lasting interest in small boat or microyacht voyages. Money is usually a factor in the choice of such small craft but overlaid by a streak of determined romanticism, the almost spiritual challenge of sailing a nutshell craft across a vast ocean.

Yann Quenet is not alone in creating self-build plans for aspiring micro-voyagers. New Zealander John Welsford also specialises in small boats such as the 18ft (5.5m) junk-rigged Swaggie – ‘a mighty, miniature long range cruiser’ – and a sturdy oceangoing 21ft (6.5m) gaff cutter, Sundowner (see ).

As with Quenet’s little boats, Welsford’s designs are for plywood construction. The plans, he says, are detailed for “real beginners with very basic woodworking skills and a good attitude… the other skills will come as the project progresses.”

In his thinking, people can experience a deep sense of escape even through the process of building such a boat. “I anticipate a lot of builders will be people who find themselves trapped in a soulless desk job which condemns them to commuting for hours in heavy traffic, living in a thin-walled and crowded apartment and dreaming with longing of the freedom of the seas, golden sands and warm breezes.”

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John Guzzwell’s Trekka. Photo: Historic Images/Alamy

Perhaps unsurprisingly the small boat community attracts a mixture of adventurers, inventors, idealists and eccentrics. One of the less successful was the self-styled ‘Admiral Dinghy’, a former Hollywood B-movie star and retired dance teacher from the US whose longtime aim was to sail round the world in a 9ft 11in (3m) boat. He had scant ocean sailing experience and no money. He’d been building and tinkering with his tiny junk-rigged boat since 1975 and began preparing for a circumnavigation in earnest in 2009. But he had problems with his boat, never went offshore and has since vanished from the radar.

A small boat living legend

A mixture of naïve courage and inexperience appears characteristic of many of the smallest boat sailors. It’s easy to imagine a dichotomy at the heart of it: many of the ideas could be perilous in hands of someone inexperienced, yet how many seasoned sailors would contemplate voyaging in a tiny craft?

Someone who has, numerous times, is Sven Yrvind. A Swedish sailor and boatbuilder, now aged 83, he has been designing and sailing tiny yachts for more than 60 years. He built his first tiny open boat in 1962, and decades of experimentation and voyaging followed.

In 1969, he built a 15ft 7in (4.2m) boat and sailed to Ireland. In 1971, he built his first Bris (or Breeze) in his mother’s basement, its size dictated by the dimensions of the cellar and the door it would have to be taken out through. He sailed this 19ft 8in (6m) cold moulded epoxy double-ender across the Atlantic seven times in four years and went as far as Argentina and Tristan da Cunha. (I highly recommend reading his fascinating and entertaining account at ).

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Yann Quenet completed a three-year world tour on his 4m Baluchon. Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty

In his next boat, the 15ft 9in (5.9m) Bris II , he went much further, sailing south to the Falkland Islands in 1980, before rounding Cape Horn and going north to Chile.

Over the decades, Yrvind (his birth surname was Lundin but he changed it to the Swedish term for a turbulent wind) has continually experimented with tiny yachts. In 1986, he built a 15ft 8in (5.76m) double-ender and sailed it to Newfoundland. In his most recent boat, Exlex (Outlaw), he sailed to the Azores in 2018, and in 2020 from Norway to the Azores and Madeira, returning to Ireland, a voyage of 150 days.

Right now, he is working on Exlex Minor , a glassfibre sailing canoe design of 20ft 4in (6.2m) which he intends to sail round Cape Horn to Valdivia in Chile. This new boat has twin keels and 12m2 of canvas split between three square sails on freestanding masts.

His food, water and all his possessions for up to 150 days at sea amount to around 1 tonne. He stores 111 litres of water on board as he “doesn’t trust desalinators. They can break down.” At sea, his diet is a simple mix of oatmeal and almond flour – “like muesli” – and sardines. “I eat the same every day,” he says, “and at lunchtime, not any other time.”

“I am a health nut. I believe in running and eating once a day for a long life.”

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small-boat sailing legend Sven Yrvind. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty

Yrvind’s way of life divides opinion. Many casual followers think his choice of yacht slightly mad, but the tiny boat community reveres him as a living legend. To him, it just makes plain sense. “My boats are very functional. If you go back to old magazines from the 1950s and 1960s, boats were not much bigger. Back then, a 30ft boat was quite a decent size. The Hiscocks sailed twice round the world in such a boat. Now 40ft is too small; it must be 50ft.

“And what is big enough? With a small boat, you don’t have a lot of problems with money. You go back to first principles. You also have a boat you can tow behind a car. I have been doing that down to France and Ireland. Or you can put it in a container. So small boats are really handy.”

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Yrvind in his 15ft 8in Exlex. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty

No room to stretch out

Smaller even than Sven Yrvind’s vessels are the record breakers’ boats, no bigger than a bathtub.

For many years, the record for the smallest yacht to cross the Atlantic was held by Hugo Vihlen, a former Korean War fighter pilot and Delta Airlines captain from Florida. In 1968, he crossed from west to east in the 5ft 11in April Fool . In 1993, his record was broken by Tom McNally, a fine arts lecturer from Liverpool, in his 5ft 4 1/2in (1.6m) Vera Hugh .

That prompted Vihlen, then aged 61, to go back out a few months later to recapture his record in Father’s Day , which was half an inch shorter than Vera Hugh . Vihlen crossed from Newfoundland to Falmouth in 105 days.

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Andrew Bedwell intends to take former record holder Tom McNally’s modified 1.1m Big C to a new Atlantic record. Photo: Paul Larkin Photography

Not to be outdone, McNally designed and built an even smaller boat for the record, the 3ft 10in (1.1m) Big C . His plans were shattered when he was diagnosed with kidney cancer and he was unable to sail it before he died in 2017.

Next year, British sailor Andrew Bedwell hopes to break Vihlen’s 30-year record. As a sailmaker and experienced sailor, he knows exactly what he is getting into. Bedwell has previously sailed a Mini 6.50 to the Arctic and been round Britain in a Class 40 .

In 2018 he started reading up about small boats. “I had always had an interest in unusual challenges and things that were raw. I saw these boats and was amazed by them, and I started designing a vessel.”

He contacted Tom McNally’s daughter and was amazed to learn that Big C was still lying in her garden. “It had never been in the water, or fitted out. Sails had been made for it, but they had never been used.”

Lorraine McNally agreed to sell, and Bedwell worked out how he could modify it for him to sail across the Atlantic. He calculates that it will take him around 60-80 days to cover the 1,900 miles from Newfoundland to the Lizard, sailing at an average of 2.5 knots. It has twin headsails set on one furler, and external floats, or pods, that make it behave a little like a trimaran when heeled. Freeboard is only 35cm and “she really does bob like a cork”, Bedwell says.

The boat is so tiny he cannot stretch out in it. “When in there I have to sit. It is dead flat in the bottom and in calm conditions I can just about get into a foetal position – and I mean just. I’ve modified the hull so my hip can just fit into a recess.”

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Big C is a tight squeeze for British sailor Andrew Bedwell, and he could spend up to 80 days in it crossing the Atlantic from Newfoundland to the Lizard.

With the hatch fully shut the boat is watertight and airtight, but has only 40 minutes’ worth of air, so Bedwell is making two rotating air scoops at the bow.

When conditions allow, he might be able to stand up, or even go for a swim, but mainly “there is very little you can do with the lower body at all.”

Muscle wastage will be a major issue. To offset this at least partially, Bedwell will use a manual desalinator to make water. “We looked at putting in a generator to pedal but there isn’t space.”

His rationed food will amount to only 1,000 calories a day, “so I will lose weight and muscle mass, but I want a slow, slow decline.”

The food will all be the same. “It is a protein food similar to Shackleton’s pemmican, a clever nutritional bar made of fat and protein, salt and honey, with a little bit of paracetamol to thin the blood and ascorbic acid to preserve it and prevent scurvy,” he explains. “I will eat that for at least a month before I go, to get used to it.”

All 12 of the boat’s watertight compartments will be filled with it. “It will be moulded in bags and pushed into the hull. I will take food from the external pods to start with and work inwards, so increasing stability as we go.”

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Italian skipper Alessandro Di Benedetto returns to Les Sables d’Olonne in 2010 after a non-stop circumnavigation with his 21ft Mini Transat 6.50. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty

Bedwell’s planning sounds scrupulous. But… isn’t it the definition of suffering?

“Yes, very close to it,” he replies cheerfully. “If you said you were going to do this to prisoners, you wouldn’t be allowed to, it’d be against human rights.

“There’s not going to be any comfort in it whatsoever. Food and navigation equipment are the absolute keys. There’ll be no changes of clothes, for example, as there’s no room. It’s so tight. I can use some water to wash but it will be a flannel wash. l’ll do what I can to prevent saltwater sores but there’s not going to be any soap.”

When close to the finish of one of his voyages, Tom McNally was hit by a ferry. The hull of his boat split and he had to be fished out of the water almost by the seat of his pants. Bedwell says: “If I’m hit by a tanker I’m not going to survive that, but tech has changed. Tom didn’t have AIS but we have a standalone Class B transponder as well as a VHF with AIS receiver . I have a masthead light – the boat is so short it doesn’t need to be a tricolour.”

Bedwell says: “Planning this keeps your mind completely occupied as every single little detail has to be completely thought through.” He rejects any suggestion that he is ‘making a bid’ for the record or similar phraseology. “I am not attempting it. I’m doing it. My theory is if I’m just trying, I’m not really pushing myself.”

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Matt Kent’s 2017 solo Atlantic crossing attempt in the 42in Undaunted ended in failure.

Smallest boats, smallest problems

The micro-voyagers seem to share a different way of looking at the world, a can-do attitude galvanised by their repudiations.

“Human beings are very adaptable,” says Sven Yrvind. “Lawrence of Arabia lived simply in the desert and said wine takes away the taste of water. It is the same with comfort. It depends on your mindset and how you think, how you look at life. Some people go on holiday on bicycles and put up a tent. Some want a car and a caravan. I think when they get back the man with the bicycle is happier and has more to think about.”

“You can get spoilt,” he argues. “If you get something without fighting for it, you’re not so happy when you get it.”

Returning after 31,000 miles and 360 days under sail in his little yacht, Yann Quenet insists that a small boat is the best. “Small boat equals small problems. When there is no engine, there is nothing to go wrong, just a simple boat that is simple to sail.”

Andrew Bedwell explains how he gradually dismissed fripperies. “I’d had plusher boats, but hated it – all the cushions and wiring hidden behind panels. It’s just not me. I kept coming back to the simple things.” Like Sven Yrvind and Yann Quenet, he made the realisation that his sense of achievement might be in inverse proportion to boat size.

When people ask now about what he is doing with Big C , he tells them, without a hint of irony: “Everyone is different. I need something really big.”

If you enjoyed this….

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Pocket Cruisers That Sail Far

It is not the size of your boat that matters, it is the size of your dreams  (published June 2018)

Today’s cruising fleet is made up of boats that are much larger than they were only just a decade ago. There is a lot to be said for the comfort and speed of larger cruising boats. And with all of the modern sailing gear and electronics available to us, big boats are much easier to handle than they used to be. But they are also much more complicated and thus more prone to need maintenance and repairs than small, simpler boats of yore.

Small boat cruising now includes boats up to about 35 feet and it is worth noting that some of the largest builders of production sailboats have very few models in the 35 and under category that could be considered a boat you could live aboard. Smaller weekending boats and daysailers are more common in their range.

POCKET CRUISERS The term “pocket cruiser” was coined a generation ago to identify the many small but capable cruisers that were launched at the beginning of the fiberglass age of boat building. Boats like the Pearson Triton, Tartan 27 and Catalina 30 were all considered perfectly suitable boats for a family to cruise for a week or an entire summer.

The early fiberglass pocket cruisers were often designs based on hull shapes that had evolved from the days of wood construction so they had long overhangs, attached rudders and narrow beams. They were cramped and tended to heel over hard in a blow. If the leeward rail went under, you knew it was time to reef.

trekka yacht for sale

Today’s boats are designed to sail fairly upright and use beam and even chines to provide a lot of initial stability. Sailing flat is more comfortable for everyone onboard and is faster than pushing the boat too hard and burying the rail. It means the boats can be sailed efficiently without heavy crew on the rail which means a couple can still get great performance without having to bring the whole neighborhood along. Plus, because the deigns are quite light, you end of reefing early and often, which takes the sweat out of managing your pocket cruiser when the breeze picks up. Some companies will even offer in-mast furling on their smaller boats, and that simplifies sailing even more.

trekka yacht for sale

Catalina’s 315, built in Florida, is an American classic among the fleet of pocket cruiser. Light and powered with an ample rig, the boat sails very well and is a real pleasure to handle. Catalina continues to build “American Style” into their boats so you will find solid joinery below decks and a lot of traditional features that set them apart from the fleet. Details like solid wood doors and louvers on cabinets turn the little 31-footer into a properly fitted out yacht.

trekka yacht for sale

Seaward Yachts are also built in Florida and are part of the Island Packet company with was recently bought by Darrell and Leslie Allen. The Seaward 26 and 32 are unique boats with swing keels and kick-up rudders. The boats were designed in Florida for the shallows of Florida’s west coast and the Bahamas across the Gulf Stream and in those waters they are ideal. But, the designs have also proven popular in the Chesapeake Bay, Southern New England and the Great Lakes. The 26 is a roomy little weekender while the 32 is a cruising boat that can be your home for long cruises.

Germany has become a world leader in production boat building in the last decade and three companies–Hanse, Bavaria and Dehler–have small cruisers that are modern pocket cruisers. The Dehler 29 is one of the most popular racer-cruisers in Europe with large well-established fleets that get together to both race and cruise. The Dehler brand is not that well known in North America but the boats and the builder behind them are first class.

Hanse has quietly but steadily built a market for their boats in North America that now accounts for a significant slice of new boat sales. The Hanse 315 is a perfect little cruiser that is fast, easy to sail, roomy and affordable. It even has twin wheels. Hanse is a high volume builder but they do not skimp on materials, hardware and the quality of the workmanship.

trekka yacht for sale

The Tartan 101 and 115 started life under the C&C brand, which is also owned by Tartan. When the company decided to split off the C&C brand, they renamed and re-engineered the two designs to meet traditional Tartan style and construction. Both boats are fast racer-cruisers that have done well in fleets all around America. But, they are also great little cruising boats that will be the right combination of qualities for couples or family who want the best of both worlds.

NOTABLE SMALL BOAT VOYAGES Since the early days of yachts there have been many great adventures and cruises in pocket cruisers so it is fair to say that it is not the size of your boat that matters, it is the size of your dreams. Here are some of my favorites.

trekka yacht for sale

Also in the 50s, Englishman John Guzzwell succumbed to the call of the sea. With a modest budget, he built a 21-foot Laurent Giles design that he named  Trekka  and in this little boat he set off from his home in British Columbia around the world. In 1959, after many adventures and several years, he returned to B.C. as the youngest solo circumnavigator in the smallest vessel to sail around the world.

trekka yacht for sale

Also in the Seventies, Yves Gelinas set off on his Alberg 30, Jean-du-Sud , from St. Malo in France with the intention of sailing non-stop around the world via the five great southern Capes. While he had to make a stop to repair his mast, he finished his circumnavigation in Canada having sailed 28,000 miles alone. Gelinas is the inventor of the elegant and simple Cape Horn self-steering windvane and his prototype steered his boat around the world in all conditions.

In the Eighties, young Tanya Aebi convinced her father that instead of attending university she would get a much better education if she sailed solo around the world. Her father agreed and took the tuition money he had saved and bought her a 26 foot fiberglass Folkboat design named  Varuna . Learning as she went, Tanya spent two years cruising around the world in the classic tradewind route via Panama and Suez. She returned to her home port in New York City to a hero’s welcome and her book,  Maiden Voyage, remains a best seller 30 years later.

trekka yacht for sale

More recently, in 2011 and 2012, young Matt Rutherford sailed a borrowed, 27-foot Albin Vega sloop north from his home in Maryland to the Northwest Passage. His mission was to complete a non-stop circumnavigation of the America via the NW Passage and Cape Horn. The grueling and arduous adventures took him 10 months yet he prevailed. And along the way he raised $130,000 for a local Maryland charity.

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He is currently, at age 75, sailing a Moore 24 racing boat around the world and has thus far got to Australia. It is his hope, he writes, to complete his sixth solo circumnavigation before he leaves this planet.

Author: Blue Water Sailing

Laurent Giles Trekka 22 foot yacht

Laurent Giles Trekka 22 foot yacht


1996 Trekka 22 now for sale with DBY Boat Sales.

Laurent Giles designed and built many quality yachts from the 1950's through to 2000. He needs no introduction.

This classic head turner is just under 22 feet long and is the perfect yacht for entry level to boating or to someone that is looking for a seriously capable ocean going vessel but on a tighter budget.

Built by Robert Playdon to strict plans and layout in 1996, she is cold moulded, Honduras Mahogany with dynal sheathed marine ply decking and external layup.

Her Internal fitout is super neat, tidy and bone dry.

Her rigging is just on 10 years and has been lightly used for coastal work in fair winds.

She sleeps 4 and has metho cooking.

Tiller steering.

Genoa is on a Furlex furler plus a storm jib alongside a battened main giving around 200 sqm of sail in total.

There is no easier way to get into a quality seaworthy vessel at this price point.

Safety gear includes, V sheet, life jackets x 4, spares, tools, compass, fire blanket and more. A small GRP dinghy and oars complete the package.

Exclusive to DBY Boatsales. Inspection will impress the enthusiast.


trekka yacht for sale

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Trekka On The Move

by John West 2015

Trekka emerging from the old Museum. It is our hope to have Trekka and Dorothy in the water within the next two years as ambassadors for the museum. The plan had been for this year, but was delayed by our forced move.( Photo courtesy of John West )

Another famous and significant vessel in the collection of the Maritime museum of British Columbia is the little sailing vessel Trekka . There was never room in the old Bastion Square quarters of the Museum to properly display this vessel and she was more or less in visible storage.

Before emigrating to Canada as a young man, John Guzzwell’s childhood in England included a voyage to South Africa on the family’s 52–foot ketch. His father taught him the principles of celestial navigation and woodworking while the family was held in a German prison camp during the Second World War. He built the Trekka (designed by Jack Laurent Giles) in Victoria BC and sailed it solo around the world. He is now residing on Bainbridge Island WA USA. In 1959 he was awarded the Bluewater Medal of the Cruising Club of America for his single handed circumnavigation in home–built yawl 20–foot 10–inches overall via the Cape of Good Hope and the Panama Canal. From Victoria, B.C., to Victoria, September 10, 1955 to September 10, 1959. he has built a variety of sailing craft, including the 133 foot Zeus , the 65–foot Farr–designed Lively , the 158-foot topsail schooner Tole Mour , and his own 46–foot pilothouse cutter, Treasure , also built to a Giles design. He designed and built a sister ship to the Treasure in Hawaii called the Sunrise. He and his family cruised the Pacific several times on this boat and in 1994 he entered her in the Pan Pacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Osaka Japan, then returned via the Aleutians and mainland Alaska.

John and his wife Dorothy were up to Victoria last month and over at our place for dinner. John said "I just realized that it will be sixty years since I left Victoria in Trekka the day after tomorrow." We persuaded them to stay for the anniversary and Gregor Cragie interviewed him on CBC, it’s a good interview

In 1954–1961 the Trekka circumnavigated the globe. In 1964 she circumnavigated the globe. In 1959 John Guzzwell was awarded the coveted Blue Water Medal of the Cruising Club of America for "the year’s most meritorious example of seamanship, the recipient selected from among the amateurs of all nations". In 1975 she was licenced in Hawaii. In 1990 she was designated as a British Columbia Vintage Vessel and she is part of the permanent collection of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia.

Trekka in a view not seen in recent years ( Photo courtesy of John West )

Trekka was moved out of the old building in October 2015 and transported to a new display location at Ogden Point in Victoria BC where she will be seen by thousands of visitors to the City arriving at the cruise ship terminal.

Treasure in 2015 ( Photo courtesy of John West )

Editor’s Note : John West is a Past President of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia and a lifelong enthusiast of floating heritage. Besides the Maritime Museum he has worked tirelessly for the Victoria Classic Boat Festival. The details of John Guzzwell and the Trekka are derived from the entries in The Nauticapedia database.

To quote from this article please cite:

West, John (2015) Trekka On The Move. 2015.

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The vessel database has been updated and is now holding 91,201 vessel histories (with 15,558 images and 12,828 records of ship wrecks and marine disasters). The mariner and naval biography database has also been updated and now contains 58,612 entries (with 4,007 images).

In 2023 the Nauticapedia celebrated the 50th Anniversary of it’s original inception in 1973 (initially it was on 3" x 5" file cards). It has developed, expanded, digitized and enlarged in those ensuing years to what it is now online. If it was printed out it would fill more than 300,000 pages!

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I have been a recreational sailor for many years, with a particular interest in small sailing craft; therefore much of the content of my 'blog' will be related to this subject.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

The audacity and other small yachts designed by laurent giles.

trekka yacht for sale


trekka yacht for sale

Bill, I am very glad that you have added the Audacity class to your Parthenon of worthy craft - I think she is a great addition to your fleet. Although some would say she is not classically beautiful, which I would agree with, there is something very quirky and likeable about her. In the Adrian Lee / Ruby Philpott book 'Laurent Giles and His Yacht Designs' where the Audacity is featured there is a long quote of Giles where he talks about all the influences that fed into the design of this little yacht. He talks of the design being influenced by yachts (some of which you have featured here in this post) -- such as 'Wapipi' (1939), 'Mousetrap' ("An important forbear" 1956), 'Myth of Malham' (No introduction required there!), 'Theta', 'Sopranino' (1950), 'L'aghulas' and the famous 'Trekka'. When I look at the Audacity hull I can see the big influence of 'Sopranino' and 'Trekka', she is a fuller, beamer version of this type of hull. Also there is the rounded gunnels / gunwales copying this feature of 'Trekka'. In the cabin trunk I can see echoes of much larger boats - 'Beyond' and 'Gulvain' to mention two have this rounded treatment of the doghouse with the forward facing windows - a feature suited to the 'Birmabright' aluminium that those two boats were constructed of - and here in Audacity being featured in fiberglass. For coastal cruising I think she has adequate hull displacement to give her enough gravitus for the rough stuff and enough shoal draft with her folding rudder and centerboard for the creeks and rivers. I came across a photo of a rather dilapidated Audacity on the web that had had a couple of runners attached either side of the keel (not quite bilge keels) that would be a useful addition, enabling sitting upright on the mud. As you can see Bill, I rather like this little boat!!

Bill, I may be telling you something you already know but I was thinking today about how nice the original International Dragon is. When first designed it had a little cabin with a couple of bunks and enough space for overnighting / weekend sailing. I have a book called 'Gerda's Sea Saga' written by Morin Scott who did a couple of long cruises in 1948 in an International dragon in its original build version with cabin and berths. The first cruise was from Clyde to the South Coast of England. The second from Harwich to Holland, through the Kiel canal and as far as Larvik in Norway, returning to Cowes. The little dragon coped very well with a variety of weather, some pretty rough. There are some photographs of one of Morin Scotts crew, one 'Conny' Cornelis van Rietschoten who was the owner skipper of two of the famous Dutch yachts 'Flyer' that won the Whitbread Round the world races in the 1970 / 80s. If a person who was handy with tools (you and me) wanted a nice fast delight of a boat to sail, what better project than to add a small cabin to an old but sound wooden racing version of the International Dragon. There is a book you probably know of by Dick Hewitt 'The Royal Dragon' which is a history of Prince Phillips 'Blue Bottle' - There is a nice photograph of her as originally built with a nice little cabin with a couple of ports on either side. I didn't have much luck on the net looking for cruising version, if you are interested, you may have more luck!

trekka yacht for sale

Alden, When my brother and I were looking for a suitable boat to enter the 1974 Round Britain Race, we considered a cruising version of the Dragon, but in the end, we elected for a Wessex One Design. The latter had a shorter waterline, and a better handicap advantage. A factor that swayed us against the Dragon was the loss of one at Torbay. She was overwhelmed by a couple of large waves and sank! Had we had chosen a Dragon we would have modified her by converting her to being junk-rigged and with an enclosed cabin similar to that of ‘Jester’. Cheers, Bill.

I have heard of, and seen photographs of the raising of sunken Dragons. I think they should have water tight bulkheads fore and aft. I think your idea of a 'Jester' scheme for the Dragon is a good idea - but in the scheme of things there are other more suitable yachts of doin't require major modification work. I always thought that if I was modifying a Dragon for coastal cruising I would raise the topsides by at least 12 inches and then have a cambered treatment al la the Atalanta / Trekka / Audacity. The benefit of doing some time consuming modifications would be that the dragon is a fine, fast little hull.

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Trekka Replica

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I gave a deposit for it. I dunno much about boats, but I might get this one. Here is the add with some pics. Its cedar planking over cedar ribs with the outside fiberglassed over. Aluminum mast stepped over the cabin. It doesnt have leak signs inside. Comes with 4 sails (main,2 jibs, Spi) which are supposed to be in good condition (Will see them tomorrow). Has compass, depth finder, barometer, solar panel and battery, 5hp 4 stroke that starts well and sounds good. The picture on the dry is 5 years old, so Im sure it needs a new layer underneath. The man, like he says, is selling it cause he has another boat and doesnt want to sail alone because of his back. He had it for 18 months and took it out only a few times, says it's fast. The paint is peeling off on deck, topside hull is still holding. It looks pretty solid. I am going to dive under and take a look right now, scrub the stuff off (A bit fouled) and look at and feel the hull. He wants 4500$ firm, wouldnt negotiate on the price, as hes not in a hurry to sell. I like the boat. I guess I should get it surveyed, but thats a lot of money considering my budget. Ill probably phone some surveyors tomorrow to ask for prices, and find one that knows wood. Also, if anyone lives in Victoria and would like to take a look at it, I would be very thankful and could offer some compensation for their time. The cabin is different from the original, as it doesnt have all the watertight bulkheads(doesnt have any). A man who was there said the rigging should be more solid than original trekka's, althou it is slightly different. I did take a quick look under and it has a big bulb on its fin keel just like Trekka. What do you guys think ?  


t4li3sin said: ....What do you guys think ? Click to expand...


I live in Victoria and would be glad to look at the Trekka replica with you. I can't email you but you can email me and we can arrange a time. Brian  


Ditto what JRP said.  

I backed out of the deal. I had a bad feeling about it. I might take a look at a cal 20 sometime soon. I would really like a wooden boat, but that one was glassed over. I found it takes the wood out of wooden. But maybe that's just me. A survey would have been good. But there must be situations where a survey isnt necessarily the best thing to do. What if it costs you half the price of the boat ? Might as well buy it, sail it a bit and if something comes up sell it for half the price you paid. Now doesnt that make sense? Ahah !  

I found out what was the matter. She had a short boom. Then after hours of pondering, I went to look at pictures of the original Trekka ... She had a mizzen! The boat I looked at has similar lines, but was modified at the stern for reasons I do not understand (Space?). Now it's clearly outta my mind, cause what's a Giles design with a different sail plan, really ?  


I had a bad feeling about that boat too. Just from reading your post it seemed a bit sketchy!  

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