A welcome break during pandemic

Published on October 20th, 2020

When Albert Einstein said, “You can’t control the wind, but you can adjust your sails,” it was good advice for sailors navigating the COVID-19 health regulations. Soon enough there were shorthanded races and family-only crew, and the focus was on local racing with simplified formats. Michelle Slade shares one such story in the Marin Independent Journal:


People buy boats all the time and ultimately, many owners leave them sitting in a slip in some marina somewhere dreaming of the day when they will find the time to go sailing.

Bill Kreysler, by his own admission, is no exception. Finding time to sail a boat he bought 25 years ago has been an enigma to him for years. But these past few months he’s finally gotten his beautifully restored Knarr – Murano – out on San Francisco Bay thanks to a group of Knarr enthusiasts who have been meeting on the water to sail their boats under COVID-safe conditions.

Kreysler’s boat was formerly owned by an acquaintance who was ready to get rid of her. She was in pretty bad shape, leaking with a couple of holes in the deck. Kreysler suspects she had even sunk a couple of times at the dock. Nonetheless, his interest was piqued as he’d always been fond of the classic Knarr, a 30’ Bermuda-rigged, long-keeled sailboat designed in 1943 and traditionally built in wood.

“I would often sail out of San Francisco Yacht Club for Star regattas and there were always Knarrs out sailing,” Kreysler, a Terra Linda (CA) resident, recalled. “I would think, ‘That’s about the prettiest little sloop I’ve seen!’. There is something about the lines which are just the right proportion.”

Years went by and Kreysler had only ever sailed one a couple of times before he offered to buy the leaky old Knarr from his buddy.

“We made a deal that if he could get it up the Petaluma River to my workshop, I would give him $500 for it,” Kreysler laughed. “He got a friend to tow him up the river and I think if my shop had been another 100 yards upriver, the boat wouldn’t have made it.”

Kreysler pulled the boat up alongside the wharf at his shop where he had a small crane to lift her out of the river, but she was completely water-logged. The process took about a week to get the boat up onto a cradle where she then literally fell apart. Full story.

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