Bill Garvie and the building of Sarah
Bill Garvie first saw a line drawing of Thomas Clapham’s “Minocqua”
in a 1938 “Yachting” magazine article written by Clapham’s son.
This drawing lived with him through his long career. Lifted from the drawings and dimensions in the old magazine article, Bill built “Sarah” with his own hands.
He was 80 years old when he started to build her in 1999.
Bill was considered a master of a dwindling art. He was a rare person who got to live the life he wanted. A sailor from the first, he got to raise his family, designing and building boats in wood and steel over the course of a long working career.
Garvie’s life bore the fruits of talent coupled with a strong work ethic. Eighteen boats, as well as engineering projects, including the building of the San Rafael Harbor where Sarah was launched.
It was 2005, when “Sarah”, (named after Bill’s granddaughter) was launched by crane at the San Rafael Yacht Harbor, about a block from where she was built. Bill was 86 years old.
A large crowd of friends and family was on hand to admire the master work.
Sarah for her part, on her first encounter with the water, sat perfectly on her lines and was beautiful, as she still is and fitting tribute to her builder.
Bill (William Charles) Garvie 1919 ~ 2009