Querencia is a 1960 Sparkman & Stephens design #1054 Yawl and sistership to legendary Finisterre, the three-time winner of the Bermuda to Newport race and one of the century’s top ocean racers. Querencia is moored in Heritage Harbour at the Vancouver Maritime Museum for the winter of 2020
Querencia was originally christened as Nancy L at the Wing-on-Shing shipyard in Hong Kong, the hull is 1-1/8” Burmese teak over yakel frames and locust deadwood. The 1/2 ton centre board, fastenings, floors and mast steps are bronze. Spars are cedar and sitka spruce and rigging and hardware is Merriman chrome plated bronze.
The original Finisterre was launched in 1954 and was the most famous of the Sparkman & Stephens centre board yawls leading to the building of a modified production series of very similar dimensions known as the type A yawl. The origins of this type of relatively broad beamed, shallow draught centre board yawl stems from the pre-war period when the type was made popular by Philip Roe, early Carina. Finisterre was built by the master craftsman Seth Persson of Saybrooke, Connecticut, double planked of Cedar & mahogany while the mast was wood and heavy bronze floors stiffened the hull to allow considerable tension to the forestay. She was no light displacement vessel for her size with an 8 man racing crew and full provisions, Finisterre weighed in at almost double what a modern vessel of similar size would displace. The lines plan gives a clear idea how her extreme beam is carried well forward and well aft of the amidships section yet the heavily V’ed and flared bow manages to look graceful and make for a dry boat in a seaway while the tucked up U-shape counter provides stability aft when the boat is hard pressed broad reaching. The stub ballast keel carries the length well forward.
The main deck and beam framing plan shows how strongly built these small vessels were while the deck plan reveals contemporary yacht design with hatches with all deck gear neatly stowed, well thought out winches, cleating arrangements and wheel steering, unusual at this date on such a small yacht.
For offshore use, it is often suggested that a full keel boat provides better stability for safety in extreme conditions. Certainly the broad beam of the centre board of the type A yawls provides enormous initial stability and under most normal conditions an adequate range of safety though in extreme conditions down wind there can be a danger of rolling the rudder out of the water and a consequent loss of control. On account of their heavy displacement, type A yawls generally do not compete down wind or in light airs with more modern vessels but they are still able to give a respectable account of themselves to windward.
Today the restored Finisterre sails the Adriatic.
Via Patrick Matthiesen for the 1999 Imperia Classic
- Finisterre Sistership
- S&S Design 1054
- Built 1960
- Wing on Shing Shipyard
- Teak Hull
- Yakel frames
- Hull #66
- Christened Nancy L
- Sailed in South and North Pacific
- Found in Sausalito 2002 and purchased by Tom Hudson
- Refit 2002-2004, Bainbridge Island by Ed Lamberson
- Rechristened Querencia Port Townsend 2004
- 9 Swiftsure Regattas 2004-2015
- 2 Best in Show VCBS 2006, 2007
- Purchased by Duane Elverum, 2019
- Imported into Canada, 2020
- Moored at Heritage Harbour, Vancouver Maritime Museum
After a life in the south pacific and Hawaiian islands, the yawl was found at a dock in Sausalito in 2002, where its fittings, hardware and rigging had been stripped, the bilge and engine flooded and the interior had been set on fire.
The boat underwent an 18 month restoration by previous owner Tom Hudson working with shipwright Ed Lamberson on Bainbridge Island, and was christened Querencia and launched in Port Townsend, Washington in 2004.
Since her refit, Querencia has competed in multiple Swiftsure regattas and wooden boat festivals, twice awarded Best Overall Sailboat at the Victoria Classic Boat Festival.
Querencia is moored under cover for winter 2020 at Heritage Harbour, an outdoor exhibit of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, awaiting the spring.
Get in touch
My name is Duane Elverum. I’m the 5th owner of Querencia and an offshore sailor with multiple pacific ocean passages including the Vic-Maui, a Sydney Hobart return and a north pacific leg with the Ocean Gybe Plastics Research Expedition.
I’m also Executive Director and Co-founder of CityStudio Vancouver, a Canadian organization that helps cities and universities collaborate on the daily business of city building.
My main interest is to serve the curious in design, education & cities. In addition to sailing, I’m also a cyclist, a mountain runner and a despairing optimist who tries to live life as an experiment in attitude.
Tremendous thanks goes to Tom and Myra Hudson of Bainbridge Island for their commitment and hard work to bring Querencia back to form between 2002 and 2004, and for continuing to maintain the boat in top condition for the past 18 years. Thanks also for supplying the great trove of historical materials. They’ve become good friends and I wish them well on their next adventure.
My promise to Tom and Myra, and my purpose in building this site, is to continue to steward Querencia into the future as beautifully crafted piece of history; as a pivotal marine design; and as an ocean racer.