The Story of S/V Discovery 15797
S/V Discovery is a 1981 Cooper 416 Pilothouse sloop. She was designed by Stan Huntingford, and built by Cooper Yachts in Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada. Hull construction began on 10/29/1981. She is every bit a "furniture-forty" as you can imagine with the 14' beam providing a cavernous interior, 2 state rooms, a full sized head (bathroom) complete with a separate sit-down shower/tub, and about 200 gallons of fresh hot water on demand.
The mast is a short 51' tall offering about 920 sq. ft. of sail area with a 135% genoa. She has a shoal draft keel with a skeg hung rudder. This is a good compromise between a full keel and a long fin keel with a spade rudder (the later design I would never take off-shore as there is no protection for the rudder and deep keels hit coral heads). See the Spec Sheet and Equipment List for complete details of the ship and her systems.
Upon my return to America in 1994 (after 15 years in Southeast Asia) I bought a Stan Huntingford designed True North 34. She was a beautiful boat...lots of teak inside and out, pointy at both ends, and a full-keeled 13 ton brick-shithouse. This boat was designed and built to survive everything short of a nuclear blast.
She was a beautiful boat for sure, but sailed like a pig in the waters of Puget Sound. Between rain showers I would tend to the brightwork, track down leaks in the teak deck, and sometimes even polish the brass.
When I wasn't spending time with brightwork, I would plod along at 3 - 4 knots in the light summer PNW winds. And with only a 2 lung SAAB diesel she barely puttered along at 5 knots.
I got lots of complements, but by 1999 I was in the market for another boat more suited for Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest. I learned my lesson...beauty is expensive!
I wasn't sure about the pilothouse designs, but I admit I despise standing in the cockpit in a downpour while motoring across a windless flat body of water. Anyway, after a short 6 month search I found S/V Discovery at Shilshole Marina in Ballard, Washington.
I contacted the broker, looked her over from stem to stern lifting every panel, took her out for sea-trails and made an offer contingent on the survey. I immediately contacted William Evans at Blue Water Marine Surveys for another round of sea-trails, hull-out, and complete marine survey. By January 2000, S/V Discovery was all mine!
I am the 3rd owner. The first owner was a Canadian gentleman who commissioned the build and obviously had some long distance cruising plans for her that sadly never materialized. The second owner bought her to live aboard, but after six months he decided that living aboard didn't fit his lifestyle, and so she sat at the dock for then next 16 months. (Which IMHO is akin to animal abuse...except it's a boat.) Over the past 20 years there have been numerous upgrades, and now we are off to discover the world.!
Oh, and just in case your are curious about the sail number 15797? That is my PADI Master Diver Instructor number.