About “Indigo”

First a few words about our sailboat “Indigo:”

"Indigo" under full sail

"Indigo" under full sail

“Indigo” is a steel hull, junk-rig schooner 42’ on deck, 52’ overall (including the bowsprit and the dinghy davits). The beam is about 11’, the depth is 4’8”. “Indigo” is a Colvin Gazelle and was designed by Tom Colvin. Sail area (jib, fully-battened junk foresail, and fully-battened mainsail) is about 850 square feet, with the topsail adding another 140. “Indigo’s displacement is about 15 tons. Colvin Gazelles are traditionally powered by a 10 hp Sabb, but the original owner of “Indigo” installed a 70 hp Yanmar. There have been a number of occasions when we have been glad to have the extra power.

“Indigo’s” original owner, Les B, built her in Anacortes, WA, 1988-1998. We were lucky enough to buy “Indigo” in 1999. She is a beautiful and very sea-kindly vessel, with a wonderful motion below decks in all but the worst seas. We have circumnavigated Vancouver Island, taken her north as far as Glacier Bay, Alaska, and made many trips with her in Puget Sound, the Gulf Islands, and Desolation Sound (the latter two in British Columbia), before taking her to Mexico and Hawaii.

"Indigo" in the Gulf Islands

"Indigo" in the Gulf Islands

These photographs wese taken by professional photographer Michael Berman, who photographed her when Paul and I were sailing in the Captain Reynaud International Schooner Race, in the Gulf Islands in 2008. All sails are flying, including the topsail, which is only used in very light winds. On an ocean passage, only the jib, foresail, and main would normally be used in 10-20 knot winds; depending on sea conditions and wind direction, above that the main or foresail would be partially reefed to balance the helm and keep the boat from getting overpowered. Battens are tied to the foresail and mainsail, and reefing is a matter of lowering the sail by one or more battens.

“Indigo” was a wonderful boat on this voyage and on all of our many previous trips.** Raising the mainsail, which weighs around 300 pounds, has sometimes been a chore, despite the 4-part block-and-tackle system for raising it. While on this voyage, Paul and I reluctantly decided to sell her after Paul returned in August. She was sold in September, 2009, to the first person who looked at her. She is now in Oregon, awaiting new adventures. We have recently purchased a smaller boat, a Dreadnought 32.

CRISR 2008

CRISR 2008

** except once when we went aground in Tofino, on the west coast of British Columbia. The Canadian Coast Guard came by (not too close) and staff helpfully said, “Well, you’ll just have to wait for high tide in 6 hours.” (Please, tell us something we don’t know.)  Then to complete our humiliation, not one, but several, whale watching boats zoomed in close so all aboard could see us clearly and laugh at us! And to think Paul and I were arguing about which way to go to avoid the shallows when we got stuck ….. The tide eventually rose enough to allow a good samaritan who came by in a small powerboat  pull us off the shoal.