1976 Custom 35
- Stock #099405 -
A Classic that will shine on the water while cruising the world, Pristine!
The seller launched this Custom Cutter in the summer of 1985 fully rigged. Macken Sails of Vancouver B.C. had made the sails and specified the winch layout for running everything from the cockpit. Pacific Spar of Vancouver supplied the mast and rigging.
One of the seller's first trips as a family was a sail up Knights Inlet from Sointula, B.C. where they were living at the time. They were sailing wing on wing in a nice afternoon thermal 15 knot breeze when all of a sudden the jib sounded like a rifle shot as it flashed across the bow and backed behind the main. After this occurred the 2nd time they decided on a more lengthy tack. They installed a Jib pole when they got back to port.
In 1987 the seller brought the boat to Vancouver down the inside passage from Sointula by himself. He negotiated Seymour Narrows and passed Cape Mudge across from Campbell River about 10pm. The wind was blowing SE about 10 knots so he put up all the sails and beat into it. An hour or so later he needed to shorten sail as the wind had increased substantially and the seas had risen to six to ten feet. He had to crawl out on to the bowsprit which was slapping the water occasionally on the bigger seas in order to pull down the jib. The bowsprit is a foot wide solid piece of Honduras mahogany with a secure pulpit so it is completely safe, but he was soaked by the time he finished. When he got to Vancouver he installed a small pull down line on the jib which is led back to the cockpit along the rail. (He also learned on that trip a general rule, namely, that the wind is almost always coming from your destination.)
In 1993 the seller, his brother and his two teenage sons left Oak Harbor on March 20, for Homer, Alaska. They made Nanimo by about midnight and anchored. The next morning it was blowing a SE gale and they were the only boat in sight in the Gulf of Georgia besides the B.C. ferry. They decided to proceed and learn how to sail in such conditions before they hit the Gulf of Alaska. They sailed under double reefed main and staysail and made good time, making Campbell River by early evening. The boat handled the following seas easily. It took them 10 days to make Sitka, via Prince Rupert and then through Dixon Entrance and up the outside of southeast Alaska.
From Sitka they headed straight west across the Gulf of Alaska toward Homer. The passage took seven days with a SE storm in the middle. They sailed under double reefed main and staysail and steered through the following seas which were as high as the spreaders . The seller remembers looking back and seeing these huge 25 to 30 foot seas coming at them and just as the wave arrived they would go up and roll past and then sink down the back side. Most of the time they only got foam in the cockpit. Three or four times a wave broke just as it arrived and the cockpit filled with green water, but the boat has large drains and it emptied quickly. (They had put in the storm doors so that the cabin stayed dry. Also the cockpit floor is the right width so you can wedge your feet against the side walls in a comfortable wide stance behind the wheel.) They had a policy that anybody on deck had to have their safety harness connected to a lifeline running down the center of the boat. After the storm the wind settled down to a steady 10 to 15 knot breeze for a few days. They set the sails so the boat self-steered and for a while they could tell they were on the right course by looking out the hatch at the rising full moon centered in the doorway.
The boat stayed in Homer with several trips to Kodiak until November 1996 when the seller's brother, who had finished his fishing season, a friend, and a kid they met on the Homer dock planned to bring the boat back to Oak Harbor via Sitka. After waiting for a good 5 day weather forecast from the Aleutians, which they figured would give them enough time to get most of the way across the gulf, they left Homer. The plan was to sail straight south until they were at least 150 miles off the coast and then turn east for Sitka, thereby staying well away from Alaska's dangerous southern coast. Unbeknownst to them, Hurricane Tom, which originated in Japan, was heading north and they sailed straight into it. On the third day they were about 150 miles off when the storm hit and rose to full strength in a few hours. After shortening sail and then finally taking the main down altogether, they reefed the heavy staysail, set the wheel, and went below and let the boat look after itself, quartering into wind. Using a handheld Garmin GPS, the seller's brother could keep track of where they were by sticking his hand into the freezing wind in order to acquire a signal, since the unit could not do so inside the hull. (They've since added an outside antenna.) According to the Coast Guard the winds reached 85 mph during the passage of the storm. The waves were as high as the mast which is 40ft stepped on the cabin top. They rolled around for 3 days before the storm subsided and ended up about 50 miles off the coast. Even though he thought they should go on, they voted to take the boat back to Kodiak.
The next spring in late April 1997, They brought the boat across the gulf to Sitka, The last two days of the seven day crossing it was blowing SE directly from Sitka and they rolled around one night, waiting for the wind to die down, being too tired to sail all night tacking back and forth. After a brief stay in Sitka the seller single handed the boat down to Oak Harbor, sailing down the outside of southeast Alaska, and the west coast of Vancouver Island into the Straits of Juan de Fuca. He anchored each night in a convenient cove or harbor. The weather was mostly good the whole way with sparkling mornings and windy sunny afternoons. The boat is fun to single-hand because you can get it to self-steer on most tacks.
They have sailed around the San Juan Islands and the coast of British Columbia, all the way to Ketchikan, Alaska and back via Prince Rupert and the Inside Passage. This coast is, the seller thinks, some of the best sailing in the world because of the many harbors coves and inlets, some isolated, some not.
In May 2007 a crew of four left Oak Harbor for Oahu, Hawaii. They had outfitted the boat with all new rigging by Northwest Rigging of Anacortes. In addition, they bought new halyards and jib lines, a 120 watt solar panel and control system, a 2nd USB GPS Antenna, extra sails (mainsail, storm trysail, storm staysail, a loose footed jib called a drifter), repaired all the original sails, installed a satellite phone antenna, and fitted canvas restraints on the port and starboard mid-cabin berths.
They had downloaded all west coast nautical charts from NOAH.gov for free, so they hooked their laptop up to the GPS and satellite phone, and with the solar cell keeping the batteries charged, they had the position, speed, and heading of the boat displayed on the laptop chart, along with an e-mail hookup. They also took along charts and a sextant as a backup.
They sailed out through the Straits of Juan de Fuca and down the west coast heading mostly due south, 180 degrees true. They took the long way around the Pacific gyre, a large doldrums area off the coast of California, that lies directly in the path of a straight course to Hawaii. By the time they were at the latitude of the Mexican border they were about 800 miles off the coast. They turned west when they were about 300 miles further south and caught the trade winds. From there it was sailing wing on wing all the way to Hawaii, using the big jib and the loose footed drifter on the pole and a small trysail on the main. Although the boat self-steered beautifully, they had, as a matter of policy, a person on the wheel at all times, day or night. They used 4 hour shifts, which rotated them through different time slots. They trailed a tuna jig, since tuna are fast fish and will bite a lure going 6 knots. They caught 4 tuna on the trip, and 2 Dorado (Mahi-mahi). The fresh fish were a welcome addition and they cooked them on the barbecue mounted on the stern rail. With the route they took it took them 30 days to reach Oahu. They saw very few ships, planes or flotsam on the way. They saw jet contrails as they neared Hawaii, pointing the way and confirming their navigation aids. Since they had brought only boxed wine for dinner on the trip, which they stored in the forward bilge under the companionway floor to keep it cool, the first thing they did when we reached Ko-Olina Marina at Kapolei, Hawaii on Oahu was drink a cold beer. They left the boat tied up and flew home for a month.
The seller returned to Hawaii in early July with a married couple, friends from Oak Harbor, and the three of them brought the boat back from Oahu. They sailed almost straight north until about the latitude of the California-Oregon border in order to avoid the Pacific gyre and get far enough north to catch the Japanese Westerlies, and then headed toward the Straits of Juan de Fuca. They caught 4 tuna on the return trip and had a large group of over 300 porpoises swim along with them for two days. The weather was cold for July and they wore their flotation work suits at night. Except for a few days without wind they had good sailing and motored through Deception Pass 30 days after leaving Maui.
This listing has now been on the market a couple months. Please submit any and all offers today!
Reason for selling is sellers will 73 and 75 on their next birthday and it is time to let younger sailors enjoy her.
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