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Local restores country's oldest Catalina 30

Boater applies spaceship set design to sailboat

A local boat enthusiast is putting Canada's oldest Catalina 30 sailboat back where it belongs on Saturday (March 7), after spending about 18 months restoring it on his Garibaldi Highlands driveway.

Although Boyd Godfrey had never restored a sailboat before, his skills at work paid off over several weekends at home. As a graphics co-ordinator for MGM Television Canada, Godfrey has been designing and constructing film sets for the science fiction series Stargate for the last 13 years.

"We build spaceships. There's nothing that we do at work that isn't applicable to this, from moulding plastics to shearing metals, woodwork, paint, fibreglass - everything we do is applicable to this," he said.

"It started out just to be a bit of a major cosmetic restoration and turned into a major refit. It just sort of snowballed. I'm one of those poor bastards who can't leave it well enough alone."

Godfrey's 1974 boat, named Tomorrow's Girl after a Steely Dan song, is the eighth of more than 6,500 Catalina 30 hulls ever made. The latest model was made right up until 2006, finishing as the longest continuous production keel boat in the world. It was inducted into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame in 2001.

Godfrey learned a lot as he went along and recorded his progress on a website so other Catalina 30 owners could apply his techniques. The website has a two-page guest list signed by grateful owners.

"There's quite a community built up around these boats because they're so bloody popular. They're like the Honda Civics of sailboats. It's funny about Squamish: these boats are about as common as teeth and this is the only marina I've ever been to that doesn't have at least two or three of the things in there."

And since there is no marine store in Squamish, Godfrey had to drive to North Vancouver every time he needed specific parts. Besides that, the most difficult refit was the plumbing. Laura Godfrey noticed working in all the tight corners was difficult for her husband, too.

"Everything is on your back, on your knees, stretched right out, upside down," she said.

The Godfreys, along with their two daughters Jessica and Olivia, took family sailing trips before the refit and plan on picking up where they left off with a trip to Bowen or Gambier islands after Tomorrow's Girl is deemed seaworthy.

Its first test comes on Saturday (March 7) when high tide hits around 1 p.m. Visit the website at