Refitting a Wauquiez Hood 38

2007.11_Sojourner checking out the start of the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner race

My Mom and Dad bought their first sailboat when they were about the same age as I was when I bought Arcturus. She was a Bristol 24, and they sailed her on the northern Chesapeake out of the Sassafras.

Sojourner, a Wauquiez Hood 38 built in 1986, the subject of this chapter, is my parent’s seventh boat of the same name, but the first that truly went bluewater.

A Tragic Start

My Mom died from brain cancer in 2012. Mia, Dad and I first heard the news that she was sick back in 2009, the day we returned from delivering a Mason 44 to the Bahamas. While we’d been offshore, and unbeknownst to us, Mom had been to the eye doctor complaining of blurry vision. He immediately sent her to the hospital where they diagnosed her with a brain tumor, later declared a glioblastoma, the worst kind. She lived another 2-and-a-half years, far longer than anyone had expected, but the diagnosis was basically a death sentence.

Though Mom and Dad had cruised together before—in their early thirties when they spent a year in the Bahamas—the latest Sojourner was meant to be their retirement home. Mom was 62 when she died. If it’s not obvious by reading the above, if you are thinking of going cruising, go.

Andy Schell is the co-founder of 59º North Sailing, which takes paying crew on offshore sailing passages around the Atlantic, Arctic, Caribbean and beyond. They are currently refitting the Farr 65 FALKEN as their new flagship, while they operate their Swan 59 ICEBEAR and Swan 48 ISBJORN in the meantime. Andy founded and hosts the ON THE WIND sailing podcast and recently launched the online seamanship platform The QUARTERDECK. Andy has sailed over 100,000 miles offshore, including 5 Atlantic crossings and an expedition to 80º North in Svalbard in 2018. Check them out at

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