Galene popped from her molds in the spring of 1981, in Napersville, Quebec. Since then she has been at the fading end of sailing dreams for two previous owners. The first was in Albany, NY, where she had her internal lead ballast poured, was bought a new Yanmar 3QM30, and then sold within two years for reasons I never learned. The second owner had dreams of sailing the Great Lakes. He set her up in a cozy Quonset hut in Winamac, IN, where, for about a year, he roughed-in bulkheads and furniture, and then let her sit quietly for the next fifteen years as the demands of a new family overtook his life.

A patient girl, Galene has now been
hauled over 2000 road miles and is
yet to touch the water.

I was just a few miles away when she came to life in 1981, working as an apprentice to a cedar canvas canoe builder just over the border in northern Vermont, and happily oblivious to this arc of my life that would come back to close upon itself some 20 years later. In hindsight these circles are often so clearly visible. All my life has been spent on water. I grew up sailing on the Great Lakes of Michigan. Every weekend there was the trudge down to the boat behind my parents-- first to a 36', and then a 25' enclosure surrounded by water for a growing boy. In my teen years, when I could begin to vote with my own choices, I forsook sailing for the elevated life of a skier. Looking back I now laugh, for it seems such an obvious slow descent ever since. Like water itself, I moved down from the snowy hills, through years of whitewater and wilderness canoeing, until finally, when my dad moved his current boat out to the coast of Maine, I joined him again and it was like discovering sailing all over again... my life opening out onto an absolute ocean.

The choice to build a boat often does not feel like much of a choice. For us amateur builders, a project of this scale is best understood as a creative act, rather than as a practical solution to a problem. You build because a boat is unavoidably in you. In the mid 1990s I recognized this fact about myself. What followed were years of research, planning and saving money. Then on a late winter night standing among the magazine racks of a Barnes & Noble, mindlessly thumbing through the pages of some boat trader rag for Nth time, my eyes came to rest on what I have now come to call "the unavoidable fact." And by the time I was through the checkout and out under that night sky, there were butterflies in stomach, for I had already begun to recognize that I come to that rare juncture in a life where a dream must decisively turn into action or be let to die. Four months later I owned the hull, within twelve months she was on her way to Connecticut, and today I no longer think of her as hull 106, but as Galene.