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Qayaq: the Boat

Qayaq, a Robert Perry designed Valiant 32, was built by Nordic in Bellingham, Washington in 1979 and is a non-Uniflight boat. We are the third owners of the boat and bought her in 1998 at which time this was her name. Since we have owned her, she has had an overhaul of the electrical and plumbing systems. She now has a watermaker, an SSB radio, a wind generator, two solar panels along with all the other cruising paraphernalia. She was dressed with a beautiful new suit of sails in 2001, thanks to the hands-on craftsmanship of Frank and Axel at Schattauer Sails in Seattle, and recently they added storm sails to her wardrobe. She also sports a fun red and blue cruising (asymmetrical) spinnaker. Thanks to talented Tricia Schattauer, she has a rugged and attractive dodger and a custom designed bimini. She has new rigging, new port lights and hatches thanks to Richard and friends hard work. In short, she’s had nearly everything except the hull updated. She travels at 5-6 knots at best. She is a cutter-rigged, fiberglass, cutaway (modified) keel, canoe stern, cruising/performance boat, state of the art at the time she was built.


The Crew


Richard has been sailing since about 1983, mostly racing on any boat he could find in the Pacific Northwest. He has sailed a variety of boats in the 24 to 50 foot range, mostly racing. He owned a Martin 242 racing sailboat prior to purchasing Qayaq. In 1989 Betsy introduced him to sea kayaking and for 7 years they kayaked extensively in the San Juan and Gulf Islands, on the West coast of Vancouver Island, and the Queen Charlotte Islands, celebrating their honeymoon with a kayak trip in Greece. He has sailed with friends from San Francisco to Mexico, from Seattle to San Francisco and an inter-island trip in French Polynesia. Working with a publisher, he has assisted with research trips on boats in Alaska and the Virgin Islands. Together Betsy and Richard spent 4 months traveling to Alaska and back in Qayaq in 2001. We still think of the Pacific Northwest as home


Betsy started her water career in childhood as a synchronized swimmer. She has been attracted to the water her whole life. In 1984, a friend introduced her to sea kayaking and it was love at first stroke. She has kayaked virtually the entire West Coast of Vancouver Island along with trips to the Queen Charlottes, the Greek Islands, Cape Cod, and the San Juan and Gulf Islands with Richard. In 1996, Richard sneakily introduced her to sailing by bringing kayaks along on the sailboat and she’s been addicted to the combination ever since. When the boat of his dreams was on the market and named Qayaq, it was fate and now they own it together. She started racing sailboats in 2000 to gain experience and traveled to Alaska in 2001 on Qayaq.



Life Before Cruising

We both have backgrounds in the medical field which is where we met. Richard was a commercial photographer before entering the medical world. Our previous experience seems to come in quite handy in the cruising world.