Monday, August 15, 2016
Georgian Bay - Three DeFevers - Hopewell Bay
Shawanga Island is a large island offshore from Pointe au Baril. Most of it is First Nation land, land Canada deeded to the indigenous peoples. It is surrounded by many other islands, creating numerous coves and bays providing good protection, accessible shorelines, and good fishing. As the Last Dance crew was looking at possible anchorages, a view into Hopewell Bay gave a glimpse of boats that look familiar. They were - two DeFever 34 Passagemakers were at anchor, Haligan (Harold and Angie Lowndes, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada) and Rhonda Jean (Tim and Rhonda Peterson, Vero Beach, FL). Most trawlers have been built in Taiwan or China. These three boats were all built in the United States, in California, in the same yard, within a two year period, over 40 years ago. Quite a coincidence that the only three boats in the harbor were not only all DeFevers, but part of a rare group of boats built in the states.
In 1974, Jensen Marine, who also built sailboats, moved from wood construction to fiberglass. The industry at the time did not understand the strength of fiberglass construction in larger boats, so they built the fiberglass hulls as thick as the wooden constructed boats, resulting in extremely stout hull structures. They built two designs, the aft cabin 40 (two staterooms, one being aft and one in the bow, Last Dance being an example) and the 34 (a sedan style, one stateroom forward and a large walkout aft deck). Both designs were called Passagemakers to describe their design intent of being able to make long passages in open waters. The 34 Passagemaker here is Rhonda Jean. Thank you Art DeFever for designing such capable and attractive boats.
Anytime two or more DeFevers get together, a Rendezvous develops. Good times were shared visiting boats, examining modifications and upgrades, sharing munchies and beverages on shoreside
rocks, and telling stories of places visited. This image suffers in intensity from the gray, sunless day, but has some interesting composition with the Inukshuk in the foreground.