AS IT HAPPENED
In August, 1972, just after moving to Sidney, B.C. for a teaching position, I happened to meet Bill Garden and we were to remain firm friends until he died in 2011. In 1978 he drew plans for a 36’ schooner, in essence, a stretched version of his 27’ “Toadstool”. “But and Ben” was a front yard project, launched in 1982. During the years between 1982 and 1998, Bill and I contemplated the building of a larger schooner. Various preliminary drawings were made, the first being 42’, then 45’, finally a vessel 55’ on deck, 67’ overall, 16’6” beam and with a 7’ 3” foot draught . Her hull shape was inspired by a “workshop creation” of Bill’s, a half-model made from scrap wood (he would call the pieces “off-cuts”). Based upon this creation I made a couple of ½” to the foot half-models which were used for measurements for the new hull.
During the winter of 1997-1998, the take-offs and molds were made in the basement and in the summer months of 1998 the stem and deadwood pieces were begun. With the selling of “But and Ben” in the spring of 1999 and my retirement two months later, full commitment to construction commenced. After ten years of steady effort and thorough enjoyment, “The Ghillie” was launched on November 4, 2008.