Love Story

Love Story

A women’s passion for go-anywhere classic trawlers brings together boaters from all over the globe.

By Elizabeth Ginns Britten — July 2004

 More of this Feature

• Part 1: Malahide 65
• Part 2: Malahide 65
• Part 3: Malahide 65
• Malahide Photo Gallery

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• Feature Index

It’s the stuff that romance novels and movies are made of, something you wouldn’t expect could happen in the real world but did. It’s the story of true romance between a female emergency-room physician and a classic 109-ton, 65-foot Malahide trawler. (Malahides are Norwegian-built, wooden-hull, North Sea-style commercial vessels that in the 1970’s were sailed to the Malahide Shipyard in Malahide, Ireland, to be converted into passagemakers; the yard folded in 1983.) It’s the story of a woman with no boating experience who inadvertently becomes the owner of a boat she doesn’t want, decides to turn it into a charter yacht, and in the process, uncovers and falls in love with its magical history, and creates a network for trawler owners worldwide.

It all began in Seattle on a Sunday afternoon in July 1994, when V. Joyce Gauthier, then a student at the University of Washington, was staying onboard a houseboat on Lake Union. Gauthier, a kayaking enthusiast, took a kayak for a spin around the waters off picturesque Gasworks Park and uncovered a beautiful moorage. What intrigued her most, though, was the one empty mooring with room for a decent-size boat, views of the surrounding park, and easy access in and out. She thought, It’d be neat to own a houseboat and keep it there.

Gauthier returned to the houseboat and found an ad in the classified section of the local newspaper for what she believed to be that exact mooring, which indicated there was room for a 65-footer. She called the number listed and spoke to a gentleman who joked, “It’s a little big for a kayak” (especially one that wasn’t even hers) and mentioned that three other couples were also interested in buying it. He continued, “You didn’t mention anything about a husband or partner. Are you making this decision alone?” Her answer was yes, which apparently impressed the owner. Three days later she put down a deposit, and two months and $55,000 after that, the mooring was hers. She had no boat and no boating experience, just a mooring and a love of the area and of being by the water.

Next page > Part 2: “I had absolutely no idea how to operate a charter business and didn’t want to go broke in the process.” > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

This article originally appeared in the June 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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