Northern Traveller


Northern Traveller is a 26 foot fractionally rigged sloop .  She was originally commissioned for Jim LeCain of Kenora, Ontario and beautifully cold-molded by Jim McClelland of McClelland Yachts in Kenora, over the winter of 1985. We are her third owners and have sailed her since 1998. We have berthed her at Northern Harbour in Kenora, and at Gimli, Manitoba. Her current cruising grounds are the bays and islands at the junction of the north and south basin of Lake Winnipeg, sailing out of the Gull Harbour Yacht Club, on Hecla Island.

Traveller was designed by Peter Dunsford of Gary Mull’s naval architecture firm in San Francisco. Here is one of five pages of her original blueprints – this one is the Construction Plan


Following is a series of photos that Jim McClelland took at various stages of her construction.  In this one, the cold molding stage of hull construction has been completed.  This consisted of laying up four layers of wood, all bonded together using WEST system epoxy.  The inner layer consisted of longitudinal 3/8 “strips of western red cedar, laid up over removable molds.  The next two layers were diagonal strips of 1/8″ cedar, laid at 45 degrees in opposite directions for the successive layers.  The outer layer was a third laminate of 1/8” Honduras mahogany, laid fore-aft.  Each layer was epoxy bonded to the one underneath, then faired by longboard sanding to a smooth surface before the next later was added.   Both the interior and exterior surfaces were glassed with 6-oz fibreglass cloth, saturated with clear setting WEST epoxy, which wets and dries to a transparent finish, to produce a hull that is both waterproof and shows off the beauty of the wood.  Finally all surfaces to be left bright were finished in multiple coats of high-gloss marine urethane varnish.


In this photo the keelson, floor timbers, aft bulkhead, galley cupboards and bases for the settee berths  are in place.


Here the deck frames and cockpit carlins are in place.


Temporary frames for the coachroof are now in.  These will be used to cold mold the cabin trunk from three layers of Bruyzneel Gaboon marine plywood.  The smaller stringers in the photo will be removed once the lamination is complete.


In this photo the deck and coachroof lamination is complete, the hatch frame is in place, and all deck surfaces have been glassed.


And here she is her decks painted and all of her rigging in place.  That’s Nick at the helm


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