Gwenn in Jarvis Bay

"Gwenn A Du"

Gwenn on her mooring in Berrys Bay

Technical description of "Gwenn A Du"

VESSEL TYPE Bermuda ketch
HULL CONSTRUCTION timber (New Caledonian kauri), tripple diagonal
DESIGN Herreshoff (probably)
BUILT 1968 (?), New Caledonia
BEAM 3.5 m
DRAFT 1.6 m
DISPLACEMENT 8000 kg (?)
MASTS timber (oregon pine), box construction
main 12 m
mizzen 9 m
SAIL AREA approx. 50 sq. m
AUX. MOTOR 18 HP Yanmar diesel

Gwenn's history

First the name. My research shows that her name is most probably the slightly misspelled name of the Breton flag: "Gwenn ha Du". How the misspelling occured remains a mistery. However, since it brings bad luck to change the ship's name, I will not re-christen her (although I would usually refer to her as "Gwenn").

She was built in Port Villa in the late 60's by certain monsieur Glu, who sailed the boat only as far as Fiji. In Suva her coachhouse was badly damaged by a heavy object falling from a cargo ship and her owner/builder decided he had enough of sailing. "Gwenn" was sold to an Amarican sailor of Polish origin, Janusz Laube, who just happened to stop at Fiji on his voyage from California to Australia. To buy "Gwenn", Janusz had to sell a boat he himself built in Califirnia and sailed across Pacific. He repaired the damaged coachhouse and sailed to Australia in 1971.

It is said that boats aquire character, soul, spirit from their owners. It is indeed true for "Gwenn", and in order to convey this to you, I must start the story in the Autumn of 1944, in the flaming ruins of Warsaw during the tragic and heroic days of the Warsaw Uprising. The 18 years old Janusz was a soldier in the uprising. When he was wounded in the faithings, he was cared for by a young nurse Irena Perkowicz ... to be continued ...

Page under construction.

Page under construction.
 Last modified: 2010-05-19 16:31, Ben Rodanski, Sydney, Australia