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Looking for the Lost Bear Boat ‘Nanook’ 

It’s been a bull market for Bear Boat news and black-and-white photos of sailboats in the pages of Latitude lately. After flipping through a recent issue, Geoff Capell sent us this letter:

“Your story in the May edition of Latitude 38 Sightings, Give a Bear a Chance, really shook me up. It opened the floodgates.

“My uncle — Wilfred ‘Cappy’ Capell — built #25 Nanook in his garage in the Richmond District, with the help of his brother, my father, Jeff Capell. On completion, they had to flatten the tires of the trailer and remove a beam to get her out of the garage.

“She was launched in 1944.”

Nanook lookin’ good on the Bay.
© 2022 Courtesy Geoff Capell

“That boat was the start of our sailing life. Everything revolved around her: our weekends, our vacations, and all our fun times. It instilled in us the love of the water, sailing, teamwork, and skills that not many others have.

“Cappy Capell went on to sail and race a Hurricane, Flurry, and was commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club. Jeff Capell moved on and built a Spaulding 33, Leilani, winning several season championships. He was also commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, as well as the San Francisco Yacht Club.”

Coming out of the garage in the Richmond District, Nanook is ready for the water.
© 2022 Geoff Capell

“When I looked in the Bear register, Nanook was listed as missing. I contacted the head of the Bear Boat Association, Russell Katz, as well as Chris Ogilvie, for help finding Nanook. I know she’s been a long time missing, but I thought I would try, at least, to give her a final known resting place.

“They were very helpful, but we came to dead ends.”

If you have any information on Nanook — or memories of her — please let us know. 

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