Visit Pensacola

Windward Passage: The Making of a Legend

Published on April 25th, 2014

Hank Stuart was on vacation with his parents in 1968 when they came upon this boat being built on the beaches of Freeport, Grand Bahamas. It was the legendary Alan Gurney-designed 73-footer Windward Passage, and as a 9 year old boy, Hank remembers it as the coolest thing ever, particularly as a boat of that size in those days was enormous… especially on land!  Below are the photos he snapped.

“These pictures bring back old memories,” remarked John Rumsey. “We were building the roof over the boat because the wind took down the tent we originally had over it. The hull was fur bulkheads and stringers with three layers of spruce diagonal planking covered with Dynell and epoxy resin. Now in Newport Beach, CA, she is still in beautiful shape today.

“I am estimating these photos were taken in March. It took us about a year to build the boat, with our first race as the Lauderdale to Palm Beach in December 1968. Owner Bob Johnson also had the Captains Chart House in Lucya where we worked at night. What an adventure… lots of fun living in an all cash society.”





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