For its size, it sails very well. It is strong, and simple. With a single reef and full jib, she is well balanced, and very comfortable into the 20’s.”

Wayfinder, Cape Dory 28′

Interview with the Captain — Joshua Gordon

About the Boat 

Why did you choose to buy this particular boat and what else did you consider?
I was living in Brisbane Australia running passenger ferries there, and my friends in the US who had recently completed a circumnavigation on a pacific sea craft Mariah, kept inducing me to get a boat to cruise along with them. Since I was in Australia, I had them do the shopping. We agreed to start with the principles outlined in Vigor’s book “ 20 small boats to take you anywhere”. Basically, a full or nearly full keel with a protected rudder, heavy displacement for the size, older thicker fiberglass, and within my very low budget of $15,000 US! We were hoping for a Westsail 32, but none were in good enough condition. When they found this Cape Dory 28 practically in their back yard, they made an offer, and it was mine. Now, I do not recommend buying a boat sight unseen like this, but because a knew that my friends and I were really on the same page, I trusted them. The CD28 is a great boat. Would I want something bigger? Yes, I was hoping for a full galley….but I have made adjustments.

What boats have you previously owned?
I owned a 1929 Atlantic Class Sloop for about 10 years. Lots of caulking and varnish….but she was a beauty. She got rebuilt in Brooklin, Maine, after I had her.

What are the features you like most about your boat?
For its size, it sails very well. It is strong, and simple. With a single reef and full jib, she is well balanced, and very comfortable into the 20’s. After that, a double reef main, single in the jib, and I can still get to hull speed without putting the rail under. I have not had to see how she does with three in the main, yet.

Where all have you and your boat traveled/Do you have any plans?
Wayfinder has taken me up and down the Eastern Seaboard in comfort and style, Haha! This winter I plan to go to the Bahamas.

What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
I picked up a monitor wind steering vane. It is a fantastic addition but makes the cockpit a little busy. I would have preferred a Hydrovane, but this came my way at an offer I couldn’t refuse. I have also added a Lofrans manual windlass on the fore deck. If you buy it direct from Europe, you can save $300. It is great. I mounted it pretty far back, and I run the rode through a PVC tube into a locker that is just aft of the V berth. I use the V berth as storage, and sleep in the main cabin. I took the table out but made a little fold down that lives on the port side at the end of the bunk. This boat has the original sail plan, a 90 percent hank on jib on a small boom. It is a hazard to reef (there is one set of points), so I keep the boom on the deck and use it only for long downwind tacks. I have a 110 from another boat that I hank on above the (lowered) working jib for light days. Someday, I’d like to swap all this out for roller furling. I would like to add another one or two water tanks under the bunks in the main cabin. Currently, there is a 20-gal tank in the v berth area.

Do you belong to a yacht club or other boating organizations?
I do not belong to any yacht clubs, but I do have a BoatUS membership. I have not had to use the towing option, yet.

What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
I do all my own work….but also am working for other people as well, so finding the time, materials, and weather at the same time.

Who first introduced you to boating?
One of my earliest memories at all was of a time when my parents had borrowed a mercury 18’ day sailer, and we were beating up into Menemsha pond against a current. My folks were tense, as the boat is tender, and they had two kids on board. They were yelling at each other about sheeting in and etc., which scared me more than the sailing. That was my introduction. I was maybe 4 or 5 yrs old.

Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Cape Dory like yours?
Check out the chain plates. CDs are built with a steel plate under the deck fused to the hull by rebar that is welded to it, and wrapped in fiberglass. I suppose they never thought these boats would be sailing after 40 years! It is not impossible to grind them out and replace them…but it is a project. Check out my Instagram at “schoonerman22” for some photos/ videos of when I replaced the port one.

What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
OK. The same folks who shopped for the boat for me also just love the movie Moana. They insisted that I name the boat Wayfinder or Hokulea. We decided that radio calls would be easier using Wayfinder…but still, some bridge tenders down south have trouble with it. Maybe its my accent.

Any recent boating-related purchase you’ve been enjoying (e.g. product/tool/equipment etc)?
I just completed a delivery of a Lagoon 42 from St. Thomas to Savannah. The owner brought along a Garmin inReach Mini that he had tethered to his tablet. It is a great and small satellite communicator with several functions. Our friends could track us in real time on a chart, text us, send us weather information, and etc. There are SOS functions as well, like panic time you can set if you don’t check in…and it can work like an epirb. Since I usually sail alone, I am planning to get one before my next voyage.

Do you have any other notable resources you use (apps, devices, etc)?
I have a Raymarine plotter as a back up to an android tablet loaded with Navionics and Aquamaps. I like to compare the two charts when I am going somewhere tricky and unfamiliar. I also have paper charts, which are outdated, but give a much larger overview. I use a Samsung Galaxy Tab A. I tried to use an iPad, but I could not keep it charged running Navionics for a full day or night. Android devices come with GPS, while iPads have to have the cellular capacity to have the GPS chip (you don’t have to have the SIM card, but the iPad has to be a cellular one.) The Samsung stays at 100 percent. The trade off is that the Samsung is not as bright, and sometimes you have to keep it in the shade in order to see it. It’s a good idea to keep tablets out of the sun anyway…they get hot, and shut down just when you don’t want them too. I also recommend an Anker USB charger. They put out a true 2.4 amps, and have smart circuitry. I have a new one in a box, but the original has lasted more than two years. Other Apps are Windy and Predict wind, Waterway Guide, Active Captain…..the usual. I have an anchor watch on my phone, since the Tablet doesn’t have a compass built in. 

Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Wayfinder!