Larry Pardey Sets Sail on Final Voyage

Legendary bluewater cruiser Larry Pardey sailed away to his final resting place last Sunday after living the past 11 years on the island of Kawau in New Zealand.

Larry Pardey
Larry and Lin Pardey were known to cruisers everywhere as they pioneered and shared the story of the simple cruising life aboard Seraffyn and Taleisin.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / LaDonna

Larry started his sailing career as a teenager in North Vancouver, British Columbia, but really made his mark on the sailing world after moving to Southern California in the mid-’60s, where he met his wife and lifetime cruising partner, Lin Pardey. Together they built Seraffyn, the 24-ft wood Lyle Hess-designed sloop, which was the start of a 200,000-mile engineless cruising career. A career that in turn became the foundation of a dozen cruising books, as well as the inspiration for thousands of cruisers who followed in their wake.

Often referred to as “America’s first couple of cruising,” the Pardeys lived the simple life they preached. When it was time to build a bigger boat they moved up from the 24-ft Seraffyn by building the 30-ft Lyle Hess-designed Taleisin in Bull Canyon, CA. Their message of exploration, adventure and simplicity has resonated with sailors for 50 years and may be even more powerful today.

Larry, who was 81, had been suffering from Parkinson’s and Parkinsonian dementia before suffering a stroke that had him living in a nursing home in New Zealand for the past year.

Lin said on her Facebook page, “I will think of Larry every day of my life and feel extremely privileged to have been part of his life.”

We feel a part of the thousands of sailors who were privileged to learn from the the thousands of miles of experience the Pardeys shared through their books, seminars and videos.

You can help keep Larry’s memory alive by contributing to the Larry Pardey Memorial Observatory at Camp Bentzon on Kawau Island.


  1. Avatar
    Bob Schilling 2 weeks ago

    The Pardeys’ adventures, told through their many books, were inspirations to me and many sailors. Thanks for letting me know he’s off on his last adventure, no doubt still advocating for boats with fewer holes in them. Fair winds and following seas, Larry.

  2. Avatar
    Martin Bloom 2 weeks ago

    To Lin…it was my and our pleasure to greet you and Larry on your visit to the Adventurers Club of Los Angeles ( some years back. As a lifelong sailor I have had the pleasure of enjoying the sea as you have.

    My best regards,

    Martin Bloom
    Past President

  3. Avatar
    Glenn Owens 2 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing your lives.

  4. Avatar
    Peter Mirrasoul 2 weeks ago

    Fair winds to a cruising pioneer and icon.

  5. Avatar
    Robert Ward 2 weeks ago

    I remember Lin and Larry fondly from when they visited my Tackle Shop in San Diego, this must have been mid-80’s, and I rigged them up for blue-water, slow-speed trolling. We had a lovely visit and a short sail on their boat.

    They’re both wonderful, and Larry will be missed.

  6. Avatar
    Memo Gidley 2 weeks ago

    An inspiration!

  7. Avatar
    JEREMY M PALMER 2 weeks ago

    A sad day for us all… eight bells and a wonderful legacy.

    Strength to you Lin, thinking of the perfect mate.

    alas and anon



  8. Avatar
    Nicolas Vanhove 2 weeks ago

    And so did Patrick Childress and Brion Toss.
    RIP and fair winds

  9. Avatar
    Rick 2 weeks ago

    Tremendous loss. Larry and Lin are heroes to me. God Bless Larry, you are in my prayers.

  10. Avatar
    Emiliano 2 weeks ago

    Thank you for being an inspiration to me and my family. Fair winds Captain.

  11. Avatar
    Sherri Wilkinson 2 weeks ago

    Such an inspiration for me since I started sailing and cruising. Spring Fever and Sherri. Bless you and continue your voyage with the winds!

  12. Avatar
    Dennis Bailey 2 weeks ago

    Thanks to both of them for inspiring me.

  13. Avatar
    kp slinger 1 week ago

    aloha and fair winds to an uncompromising legend

  14. Avatar
    James Johnson 1 week ago

    Gwen & I met Larry & Lynn several times during our circumnavigation in PRINCESS DEL MAR, during the 80’s & 90’s . I am not sure we ever told them how instrumental they were in our realization that we not need a fortune to cruise. Lynn, Gwen & I offer you our sincere condolences, and wish you well. You have made our lives just a little bit better. Thank you.


    Jim & Gwen Johnson

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