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Eight Bells for Rick Wood

It is with heavy hearts that many Bay Area sailors are learning of the drowning death of local sailor and boatbuilder Rick Wood. His body was reportedly found near him home in Richmond on Sunday.

Recently, Rick had been working as interim boatyard manager for the Spaulding Boat Works in Sausalito, but he is probably best known for his partnership with Alfie Sanford in the Sanford-Wood Boatyard in Richmond, on the property which is now KKMI.

Rick also had many bluewater sea miles under his belt. We’re told that a few years ago he joined his former partner Alfie Sanford on a transatlantic crossing aboard Sanford’s boat Impala. A friend shared a write-up on Rick in a CCA newsletter from 1997 which describes some of his earlier adventures: "His long cruising record is highlighted by his three-year trip around South America (Cape Horn — east to west) and cruising the Patagonian Channels, French Polynesia and Hawaii on his 57-ft ketch Sea Lion. Other extensive cruises include the East Coast, Caribbean, Thailand, Marquesas, West Indies and the Pacific Northwest."

During that Cape Horn rounding on Sea Lion in 1977, the crew battled 60-knot winds and suffered two major broaches while "sliding down the face of giant breaking waves on beam ends with their mast ‘below the horizon’."

Recently, Rick is reported to have restored the classic 70-ft Philip Rhodes motorsailer Kanaloa in the Seattle area, before bringing her to Pt. San Pablo YC last year. Rick was well-liked, well-repected and will be sorely missed.

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One of the great things about anchoring off St. Barth is the great boats you get to see.