SV Calixta The Bayfield 36 By David Smedley The 36 is a cutter-rigged, full-keeled, trail-boarded cruiser with a clipper bow and a beautiful, wine-glassed stern.
here is no such thing as the “perfect” boat. Everyone from old salts to boat brokers, to friends and dock-walkers told me that. My criteria in a vessel of the sea was not perfection, but I had a whole list of “must haves.” In my search for a cruising sailboat, I must have driven boat brokers half-insane with my demands, and struck a dagger of fear into some others. I wanted a heavy, full-keeled vessel that could handle everything Mother Nature could throw at it, not some flimsy Clorox bottle that my salvage guy friends told me they are always finding washed up as broken hulks on the nearest beach. I also wanted old timey good looks—of course, a clipper bow—two staterooms and a walk-in shower. If you are going to live aboard, why have a shower that sprays your head compartment soaking wet so you have to dry it off afterward? I was based in Texas but flew into Florida and all over the Gulf Coast in my search. I drooled over Yacht World photos and pictured myself sailing the seas on those painted fantasy boats. In real life, way too many of them were myths. After three years of searching— with local brokers thinking I was just a tire-kicker—I found a Bayfield 36. The lure of excitement of the pirate ships of old still runs strong. Long bowsprits, wineglass sterns and the clipper bow create a spirit of adventure and romance on the high seas. What salty sailor hasn’t imagined themselves as
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captain of the Black Pearl being a pirate of the Caribbean? The Bayfield 36 captures all that and more. In 1970, Ted Gozzard and a few investor partners started Bayfield Yachts in Bayfield, Ontario, Canada. Their first vessel was the Bayfield 25. The company’s fame for classic clipper-bow looks began spreading throughout Canada and slowly immigrated into the northern United States. The company used other Canadian innovations, such as balsa-
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