A High School teacher friend sent me an email saying that her colleague had a sailboat to give away. A photo was included. It is mid-October, 2010. I was 72 years old and had 8 sailboats in the yard; 7 of them project boats. My wife just looked at me and said "no way!" But when I said I at least wanted to look at the boat, she resigned herself to fate.

The owner said it was 20 feet long, but he didn't know what kind of boat he had. It had been sitting on its trailer for over 11 years and was very dirty. The hull was solid and there was a main sail, but no jib in the garage. The title gave a HIN of "LAY10 011MG 7418". That gave me the year, 1974, and a length of 18 feet, but I was otherwise clueless. Under "Model" were the letters "WIN" and nothing more. I agreed to take the boat and began a web search.

The Coast Guard website said that it was manufactured by Laguna Yachts of California. Armed with that information, I soon found that it was a Laguna Windrose 18. I still can't find out how many were built or how many are still in use, but there is a Laguna user forum and they seem to have a very good reputation. My boat was one of the earliest Lagunas. Coastal Recreation and Aquarius were subsidiaries of Laguna. Coastal Recreation built the respected Balboa line, which also included a Windrose 18 that looks just like mine. Some of the laguna models were later built by Classic Yachts of Canaute, Kansas. I always pictured Kansas as endless fields of grain, but discovered that the state has 24 primary reservoirs that range in size from 1,200 acres to a whopping 16,000 acres! Lofland SailCraft, which made the Picnic and other boats was also located in Kansas.

The Laguna Windrose looked a lot better after getting a much needed power wash! I really like the sleek lines and roomy cabin. The hull is solid and it has a 400 lb cast iron swing keel! The folding outboard holder, lights and stainless rigging are all there and in good condition.

The trailer needs to be wire brushed and painted, but has only surface rust.

With paint or fresh wall coverings, the interior will be quite inviting!

The Laguna Windrose has a complete set of interior cushions in excellent condition.

I made a new hatch cover.

I got a mainsail with the boat but the former owner never found the jib.

I bought this nice colorful set of sails for it.

The rudder blade was beat up, so I made a new one and refinished the rudder head and tiller.

My pretty Laguna Windrose is sold! Here are the "Good Bye" photos.

Check out this Laguna Windrose Rowboat!

Someone decided that the well-designed and sturdy Laguna Windrose 18 sailboat would make a seaworthy and inexpensive offshore rower. Modifications to the boat included lowering the cockpit cowling and installing oarlocks, replacing the companionway (entrance) with a sealing hatch, fiberglassing all deck hatches permanently shut and reinforcing the front ventilation hatch to prevent leakage.

Total cost of the modifications to make the boat seaworthy and ready for rowing was just over $1000. The boat was used to cross the Bering Sea, and the vessel performed very well.

Ballast is in the form of a 400 lb cast-iron swing-pivot keel. Interior space is enormous compared to a conventional offshore rowboat. Storage hatches accessed inside the vessel can carry enough supplies to last a year. The pictured rowboat contains three bicycles, five months freeze-dried provisions for three people, three sets of skiing gear, winter camping gear for Siberia and a whole lot more. In total it is carrying almost two tons of cargo. It is the same length as a mid-sized sea kayak and travels at about the same speed in calm conditions fully loaded. (I found details about the passage on this website: One of the adventurers shares my younger brother's name, Tim Harvey!)