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Featured Boat

August 2022 – BLUE MOON

By Dennis Linden


Dick and Katherine Lennox on launching day

It was shear happenstance that I noticed a conversation thread in the on-line version of this JRA publication about

six years ago that lead to my discovery of the junk rig.

I had been boat shopping for several months, it was my birthday, so thinking this might be my lucky day, I visited

all my usual boat-search sites with the last being JRA’s “classified”. Someone had asked if anyone had info on a junk for sale in a small marina on Vancouver Island [BC] -- just across Haro Strait from my home in the San Juan Islands [USA]. The response was a link to an advertisement in a small-town newspaper about 90 miles north of Victoria, along with a comment that she had been sitting awhile.


From the picture in the advertisement, she was already my boat. That’s globalization – accessing a UK site from the U.S. to find a boat in British Columbia!

Dick Lennox spent 27 years building the Katherine de Montrose (now BLUE MOON) in a WWII airplane hanger near Lake Winnipeg, in central Canada. I don’t think he knew much about sailing; an international engineer by trade, he liked researching, inventing and building things. Convinced that the junk rig was the way to go for his dream voyage to the South Pacific, he used Hasler & McLeod’s PRACTICAL JUNK RIG as his blueprint. He even consulted with one of the authors and basically replicated the specs. in the book on a 46-ft junk-rig schooner, Bruce Roberts designed hull of fiberglass.


The choice of material, or rather its application, apparently turned out to be the very thing that kept him from ever feeling those tropical winds. More research had convinced Dick that the weakest link in a boat’s construction is the deck to hull joint, having read accounts of a deck splitting at that seam in heavy weather. So, he literally wrapped the hull and deck with ‘glass i.e. seamlessly. Not once or twice but twenty-two layers over the years of construction. Alas, when I meet Dick for the first time, he was carrying a portable oxygen tank.

He launched the Katherine de Montrose into Lake Winnipeg in 2002. I had the privilege of witnessing that event! The last ten years of construction was filmed by the Canadian Broadcasting Company for a TV series called “Magnificent Obsessions”. It is a rare to gift to watch a time lapse on one’s own boat being built, and then slipping into the water for the first time, some twenty years ago. 

From what I can piece together, he sailed Lake Winnipeg for a few years, then he and wife Katherine lived aboard in Victoria, BC. He was able to enjoy her for a time with family before getting too sick.

Understandably, though unfortunately, he let her languish for way too long, as it was hard to let go after 40 years. Dick watched from shore until we were out of sight.  

He passed away just a few months later.


The boat definitely reflects her practical, central-Canadian builder. The two masts are retooled Manitoba red cedar telephone pole blanks that I hope to refurbish or replace before letting a younger captain take her. The tanbark sails are original, made in Hong Kong and still going strong despite a patchwork of repairs. The battens are PVC pipe of all things but work perfectly -- more of Dick’s research/frugality!  The engine is a durable 1983 Chrysler-Nissan Diesel that was still brand new at launch; it will outlive the next three captains. While she would be frowned upon from a yacht club deck, she is the perfect boat for this aging, single-handed mariner to explore these beautiful islands and the nearby Gulf Islands.

Dennis Linden has been in the wholesale fresh produce industry at many levels for some 50 years. He is currently a feature writer for the website of a national brand of exotic fresh produce.

[“Melissa's/ World Variety Produce": https://www.melissas.com/”]. 

He sails the waters of the San Juan Islands Archipelago and the surrounding region of the Pacific Northwest.

A quirky but delightful video goes some way to explaining how this remarkable couple persisted for 27 years together to bring their dream to fruition.

Members may enjoy this on  https://youtu.be/BjL2TFKSAzE ]

Our Featured Boat (or "Boat of the Month") Archive is here, and the forum discussion for comments and candidate suggestions is here

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