GANNET is a Moore 24, one of the first ultra-light displacement boats from Santa Cruz, California, where she was launched in 1979.  156 Moore 24s were built in the late 1970s and 1980s.  GANNET is hull number 40.

I’d harbored vague thoughts about buying a second boat ever since we moved from Boston to Evanston in 2006; but it wasn’t until I completed my fifth circumnavigation in 2009 that I started to take them seriously.

If I bought a second boat, I wanted her to be small, simple, strong, sail well, be offshore proven, even though initially this was to be a lake boat, and, as always with me, inexpensive.

Mostly a West Coast class, with still active fleets in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Seattle, Moore 24s have won races, including some to Hawaii, from their first launching to the present.  Capable of surfing downwind, they often finish boat for boat ahead of much bigger competitors.

Moore 24s elicit great respect and affection from those who have sailed them.  Many have called them the best boat they have ever owned, big or small.  One owner told me,  “She will take you most anywhere you want to go and she will bring you back.”  That she would also do so at times making ten to twenty knots was even better.  I wanted new experiences and a boat from which I could learn.

I took possession of GANNET, formerly GROWLER, in May 2011.  This is what she looked like then.

After working on her for a couple of summers and sailing on Lake Michigan, in October 2012 I had the little sloop towed to San Diego, California, where I completed her transformation from day racer to ocean voyager.  In May 2014 I set out on what became my sixth circumnavigation completed on April 29, 2019.

           San Diego.  February 2014.  Photo by Steve Earley     

Bay of Islands, New Zealand   October 2015