In the Beginning

In about 1990 I was talking to my wife about retirement & she said (yes she really did) "I'd sorta like to live on a sailboat".

My reply of "Great idea" came after about 4 nanoseconds of contemplation, and we started to look at boats. Lots and lots and lots of boats. We probably spent an average of 1 - 2 hours a day cruising the net and browsing the various magazines. Lots of boats - and lots of decisions about what we wanted.

In the middle of April, 2003 came the first part of the First Big Step -we listed our house for sale. As the market was soft in Port Alberni at the time, we were allowing several months, at least for it to sell. That would put us in the time of year that is traditionally a buyers market for boats.

SURPRISE!!!...the house sold within 8 hours of being listed - for exactly what we wanted for it. Good news, but also panic city as the new owners wanted in by June 1st. Oh, well - no problem, lots of boats to choose from, right? WRONG. The only things on the market seemed to be the ones that were too much money, or junk, or not quite right.

Time passes - quickly. We spent 10 days living in a motel and then moved "back home" to my Dad's place while he and his lady go on a driving holiday. We even try to buy a boat in the States, but can't make the deal. Dad is coming home soon, so unless we want to live sleeping on his hide-a-bed, we gotta find something.

Janice had seen a boat in the ads that she thought looked nice from the outside, and it had a great name, Gandalf, her favourite wizard. Yawn. It was a Banner 37, and I had looked at another Banner 37 and decided that it was unsuitable. We made a trip over to Vancouver to see some other boats, all of which ended up being disappointing. So, as a last resort, with much prodding from Janice, we finally went to look at Gandalf.

What a gorgeous boat. I had obviously mis-remembered the interior layout in the Banner 37, and it fit us well. After much apologising to Janice, emailing offer and counter offer and counter-counter offer, we finally had a home.

This is Gandalf III, and that has been her name since she was launched in 1983.

She is a Banner 37, made at Coquitlam BC in 1983 by Cooper Enterprises. A sloop with a removeable inner forestay, she is masthead rigged with fore & aft lowers and twin backstays. She has a single stateroom foreward, a huge nav station, respectable galley and head, and a gorgeous salon