Our sailing is their sailing

Published on February 22nd, 2021

With many stories in youth sport of parents pulling their kids along, this story by Sailing Inc. shows how it can work the other way too:


Recently, we had a chance to catch up with our good friends, The Taylor Boys, from North Cape Yacht Club in La Salle, MI. Father, Bill, and sons, Will and Ethan, have been sailing mainstays on Western Lake Erie for years, and recently purchased a new to them J/105, named “Whistler”.

Describe a little of your sailing background:

I’ve had no formal sail training and youth sailing was limited to the SportYak and Katyak of Boy Scout Camp and the family summer vacations to Northern Michigan. I’ve been a power boater since my early teens and introduced to keelboats around 2000 on a Pearson 30 by a lifelong friend where I moved from rail meat to the pit.

My two sons, and youth sailing, formally introduced my family to competitive sailing where they excelled in the Thistle. Today, our sailing is their sailing. I’m easily the worst sailor on our boat!

We overpaid for a ragged-out boat (Thistle) and Will and Ethan began a complete refit, chiseling-out stanchions, thwart, cap, 45s all replaced by them. Senior members of the Thistle fleet from Doug Labor to the Finefrocks motivated and encouraged their sailing and skill development. The Thistle played a huge roll in their early development and are still active in the Thistle fleet to this day.

Meanwhile their passion for the sport was grew exponentially and invitations to crew on various keel boats began flowing in. We made the family decision to purchase our first keel boat in 2014, J/24 #4240 “Juice Box Hero”. The J/24 was an excellent learning platform where these barely teenagers began to earn the trust of the western basin fleets.

Juice Box, sailed with an exclusively junior crew, in various ILYA Regattas and helped inspire the creation of the PCYC J/24 fleet. My passion for the sport took off helping youth sailors find opportunities to sail quality equipment and seriously compete at adult levels. The support and encouragement we received from fellow club members was invaluable.

My sailing background is directly tied to youth sailing, working on refits and restorations. The passion has been passed down from generation to generation. Those junior sailors have now grown up to be collegiate or former collegiate sailors. They live, eat and breath sailing. They run the “Whistler” program. – Full story

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