Look Under the Canvas

By Jack Klang 

 

You never know where you’ll find the boat of your dreams. For two decades, Dazy sat under a weathering tarp on Carter Road in Traverse City, Michigan waiting for a new owner. Then along came Jeff Fisher, an experienced sailboat racer, who wanted a new boat.

 

Fisher had been away from racing for several years before he started looking for a cruiser. He wanted something to accommodate his family and 11 grandchildren. A friend told Fisher about an older boat in Traverse City that he might like to look at. Fisher envisioned an old, heavy displacement vessel, full keeled and slow under sail. To his surprise, he found Dazy under the canvas.

 

A 40-foot racing sloop designed by Ron Holland, Dazy was built in 1975 by Vic Carpenter and a crew that included Mead and Jan Gougeon (developers of the West System Epoxy) and Steve Van Dam (Van Dam Custom Boats). They used the cold molded technique – mahogany strip planking covered with 1/8 inch veneer and sealed with epoxy. The resulting hull was a light weight, formidable competitor in numerous events including the Trans Superior race.

 

After purchasing Dazy, Fisher selected The Boat Shop’s Dave Dean in Suttons Bay, Michigan to lead the restoration project. Dean started by replacing the original Atomic 4 engine with a Yanmar diesel. Then he gutted the cabin interior and replaced it with new bulkheads, berths, tankage, chart table, and galley. He rewired the electricity and added extra navigation instruments. The finishing touch – new Quantum® sails. 

 

The Fisher family now cruises the Great Lakes, the Canadian North Channel and beyond on Dazy. She is fast under sail, holds her own in a blow, and draws a crowd at the dock. Don’t ignore weathering tarps; you never know what treasure may be awaiting your discovery.

 
 
Photo by Lynn Doherty
 
Photo by Lynn Doherty
 
 
Photo by Lynn Doherty 
 

Photo Courtesy Jeff Fisher

Photo Courtesy Jeff Fisher

 

 

About the Author: Jack Klang is a Cruising Consultant for Quantum Sail Design Group. He has shared his vast experience with thousands of sailors through his seminars, a syndicated newspaper column, magazine feature articles, television and movie appearances. He is the author of  “Cruising with Quantum” a series of how-to articles covering all aspects of sailboat cruising as well as an instructional video. Jack is recognized as one of the country’s five best sailing speakers, appearing at boat shows across the country. For the past five decades, Jack has sailed the Great Lakes, Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico. He earned his first Coast Guard captain’s license at age 18 and has logged over 30,000 miles under sail as a cruiser, ASA instructor, charter captain and delivery skipper. 

 

 

 

 


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