Skip to content
February 14, 2024

Richardson Bay’s Iconic Wooden Yacht ‘Vadura’ Demolished

Local sailor and recent Good Jibes guest Arnstein Mustad wrote to us about the demise of a once-grand sailboat that had been towed from its mooring in Richardson Bay to Svendsen’s Bay Marine in Richmond. Arnstein sounded a little forlorn at the loss of this boat, and shared his thoughts below.

Does she look familar?
© 2024 Tim Sell

“I have been sailing out of Sausalito for a long time, some 300 times or more, I’m sure. I can’t remember not seeing a large wooden custom sloop with a really tall wooden mast sitting there near the channel and swinging around on her mooring outside Schoonmaker Marina. I would look for her as a point of reference much like I would a buoy.

“I saw activity on her in the early years, the owner busy at work trying to restore her. I admired his ambition. It was a helluva big job! Small sections started to look clean and refinished. I was always waiting to see if he got to the mast. He never did.

“Alas, like a broken dream she lay there, wallowing and without purpose. Years went by and slowly she became just another floating wreck in Richardson Bay. Those days are over. She’s about to be cut up … her dreams unrealized. Another ignominious end to an old, dignified sailing ship. I never even knew her name …”

Another woodie bites the dust. The mast on the ground is from a different boat.
© 2024 Arnstein Mustad

The vessel’s name was Vadura, a 91-ft Alfred Mylne-designed yacht, built of solid teak in 1926. According to the story in Latitude’s April 2011 issue, written by former owner Ernie Minney (owner of Minney’s Yacht Surplus in Costa Mesa), he purchased Vadura in March 1983 from a Frenchman in Papeete who never sailed her.

Ernie sailed her for three years, through the Marquesas, on to Hawaii and across the Pacific to Ensenada, before finally arriving in Newport Beach, CA. Here she lived on the family’s mooring, often serving as a charter boat or movie set, and also participating in races, including the Ensenada Race.

Ernie Minney helms Vadura during the tall ship parade at the commencement of the ‘84 Summer Olympics.
© 2024 Tim Sell

After parting company with the boat, Ernie would seek her out when he was in the Bay Area. “The last time I saw her was about six years ago and I wanted to cry,” he wrote in Latitude. “She was a gutted-out hulk at anchor off the Sausalito waterfront. In total shock, I saw that the decks were gone and so was the interior. What a shame because a brand-new interior had been installed in New Zealand. Had the foolish owners left her alone and only maintained her, she would have given them another 50 years of service.”

Apparently Vadura was never refitted to her former glory. She sat on a mooring in Richardson Bay for over 30 years, taunting those who appreciated her fine lines, and terrifying those who feared she would lose her footing in a storm and come down on the Sausalito docks.

John (Woody) Skoriak told us of a moment during the February 2023 storms when he worried that the boat would come loose and head straight for the Matthew Turner, docked at Sausalito’s Bay Model.

“Diver Dave came back from Sausalito Yacht Harbor, and noted the wind and waves, and Vadura straining at her mooring, which he knew was completely inadequate, since he had looked at it under water. So he called me and I went over to the end of the dock and saw it. Nothing I could do, nor anyone else, and we were sure Vadura did not have any more ground tackle on board (it was on a flimsy mooring). And we did not have a boat heavy enough to catch her and re-anchor. All I could do was alert the crew [of Matthew Turner] to keep a watch and hope she didn’t break.

“Luckily she didn’t. It’s likely that the owner (?) would not have had any insurance nor funds to fix any damage to Matthew Turner, which would have been significant, nor the Bay Model Pier, nor any salvage if she sank at the dock after crashing into it.

“So … good riddance …”

Vadura is now gone, destroyed by the indifferent machinery at Svendsen’s Bay Marine in Richmond. Scroll through the gallery below. All photos courtesy of Woody Skoriak.

Woody’s final words echo those of others whose interests lie on the Sausalito waterfront. She had been a liability for years, with harbormasters telling Woody they are happy she is gone.

Read more about Ernie Minney’s time with Vadura here.

Good Jibes #129: Stephen Wolf on Close Calls Sailing the World

This week’s host, John Arndt, is joined by returning guest Stephen Wolf to hear more tales from his 10-year, 40,000-mile circumnavigation on the 24-ft trimaran No Name back in the 1970s. His adventure started in Gashouse Cove and hit every part of the world — without his officially planning for a circumnavigation.

Margo & Stephen Wolf
Margo and Stephen Wolf in Israel, where they rebuilt No Name.
© 2024 No Name

Hear about the scariest places and encounters he experienced on the water, how he and his wife Margo stayed safe on a boat’s “beach toy,” stories of battling wind, waves, lightning, fireballs, and killer whales, how they kept their entire cargo to less than 1,000 lbs., and how they managed to navigate without the tools at our fingertips today.

This episode covers everything from whales to customs. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear:

  • Was Stephen ever threatened by locals on his journey?
  • How long were they at Rose Island?
  • What safety equipment did they have?
  • How do you sail around the world without a motor?
  • What did they do for food on the water?
  • How did Stephen and Margo stay on good terms?
  • What did they do when water came aboard?
  • How did No Name get its name?

Read more about the incredible adventure at

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and your other favorite podcast spots — follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re feeling the Good Jibes!

Get Onboard With the ‘Latitude 38 BOGO Special’

Spring is coming! Sure, we know it’s still a few weeks off, but we’re getting excited for the upcoming sailing season and decided to share our joy by holding a ‘Latitude 38 BOGO Special.’

“What’s a ‘Latitude 38 BOGO Special?'” We’re glad you asked. BOGO = Buy One Get One.

The “Latitude 38 BOGO Special” is our gift to you — well, to your friend, actually. When you sign up for a six-month subscription to Latitude 38 magazine, we will give one of your friends a free, six-month subscription.

Just imagine sharing the gift of sailing, and then sharing great discussions about the stories you both read.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Archives

The offer is available to new or returning subscribers only. This means if it is your first time subscribing to Latitude 38 magazine, or you are a previous subscriber whose subscription lapsed one or more years ago. The same applies to your friend.

The ‘Latitude 38 BOGO Special’ will run from today through April 20.

The six-month subscription rates are as follows:

$18 – Third-Class Postage (US only, delivery time 2-3 weeks — USPS will not forward Third-Class mail)

$27.50 – First-Class Postage (US only, delivery time 2-3 days — FPO/APO [military] and correctional-facility subscriptions MUST be First Class.)

Follow the link below to sign up and give yourself and a friend the best gift ever!

‘Latitude 38 BOGO Special’ *

Fill in the form for yourself, then write to [email protected] to provide the details of the second subscription (name, mailing address, phone number).

*This offer includes a free subscription to our 3 x weekly online stories in ‘Lectronic Latitude.

L38 February Issue cover

Getting in the Swing of Celestial Navigation

Our swing by the Cal Sailing Club just missed an opportunity to see a group of football widows/widowers getting in the swing of celestial navigation on the CSC docks.

Celestial navigation at CSC.
A celestial navigation class set their sights on improving skills at the CSC docks in Berkeley.
© 2024 Paul Kamen

Super Bowl Sunday was a perfect day for taking sun sights. Instructor Paul Kamen said, “We use the low-freeboard kayak dock, so the horizon to the south is close enough for a good noon sight. Everyone gets a professional-grade metal sextant to practice with.”

These are the same tools and techniques Joshua Slocum would have used in the first-ever solo circumnavigation of the world in 1895. Until the advent of electronic aids to navigation — RDF, Loran, and GPS — it was dead-reckoning combined with celestial navigation that helped mariners navigate the world.

How did these celestial classes come about? Paul filled us in. “Years ago, there was a lunar eclipse on my birthday, so I threw an Eclipse Party and included some celestial navigation practice that afternoon. I really enjoyed it, so from that year on, I’ve hosted a one-day, all-day celestial navigation class on September 27. We compress what’s usually a six-week course into one long day — and not everyone is still standing by the time we finish reducing our longitude sight in the late afternoon.”

Paul Kamen Celestial Navigation
Despite improving technology, Paul Kamen’s celestial navigation classes remain popular.
© 2024 Shelly Willard

“Since then, I’ve added the ‘Football Widows’ Celestial Workshop’ to the schedule, always on Super Bowl Sunday. Also the Turtle Bay Noon Sight Clinic, in the years when I have a Baja Ha-Ha berth. And one year I hosted a lunar meridian transit (like a noon sight, but using the moon) as part of the Thursday evening lecture series at Corinthian YC. Whenever there’s a lunar eclipse during prime time, I still gather a small group to practice the ancient Chinese method of determining longitude by measuring the time difference between the eclipse and a known star or planet transit.

“Class size on 9/27 and Super Bowl Sunday is limited to 15, so everyone can practice with a professional-grade metal sextant, although some of them date from the Second Punic War. (Yes, I own 15 metal sextants, plus a bunch of plastic models. Hey, I know musicians who have at least that many guitars ….)”

By swinging their sextants to land the sun on the “horizon,” these students ensured their noon sight from the Berkeley docks was as accurate as possible.

Find the Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift in Classy Classifieds

Did you know it’s possible to find that perfect Valentine’s Day gift in Latitude 38’s Classy Classifieds? There are all kinds of unique gifts you won’t find anywhere else. An example is this lovely red 1979 CT-34 for only $15,500/OBO.

A bright red CT 34 will make your loved one happy.
© 2024 CT-34

If you want a good look at a boat, take a sail through the 27 photos uploaded for the sweet-looking 1981 30-ft Islander Bahama sloop below. She’s available for just $15,000.

Islander Bahama 30
You can view the interior and all the features of this well-kept Islander Bahama 30 without getting our of your chair.
© 2024 Islander Bahama 30

If your relationship has a more adventurous flair, consider this 1989 21 Mini Transat, which has completed the Mini Transatlantic Race four times and recently competed in the Three Bridge Fiasco. You can stop by and see it in Berkeley.

It’s a spicy boat for a daring duo.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

If you want to move upscale, the robust 1985 47-ft Nauticat 43 is ready for more cruising. The listing says, “Just returned from six months cruising Desolation Sound and the waters of British Columbia, Grace is the much sought-after Sparkman & Stephens-designed Nauticat 43 ketch. This vessel has been extensively upgraded and outfitted for safe and comfortable full-time living or off-grid cruising anywhere in the world.”

Nauticat 43
The Nauticat 43 cruised the Pacific NW for six months in 2023.
© 2024

The Nauticat added many photos of her equipment and accommodations suitable for any Valentine.

Nauticat 43
Happy Valentine’s Day from aboard the Nauticat 43 and the Classy Classifieds.
© 2024 Nauticat 43

With spring on the way, it’s a great time to offer your boat for sale in our Classy Classifieds. If you want your ad to appear in the March issue, the deadline is tomorrow, February 15, at 5 p.m. But remember, the deadline for Valentine’s is just a heartbeat away, today!

Trust Rubicon Yachts With Your Next Boat Purchase

Rubicon spends more time with buyers and sellers than any other Bay Area yacht brokerage. This hard work translates into more boats being sold and more boats for sale. Our brokers are in the office day and night listing and selling boats because it’s what they love to do. Stop by one of our six locations to get started.

The World Famous L38
This month we bring you a historical photo that chills us to the core. Check it out! Then leave us your caption.
Sailing is a Breeze
If you start sailing in small boats you might grow up to be a rich yachtsman or you might just have a blast sailing small boats.
Sublime Sailing
Ros de Vries offers a post-Fiasco reflection on the feelings stirred up after navigating the complicated riddle that is the Three Bridge Fiasco.