Chrysler 26
Last updated: January 7, 2018
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A 1979 Chrysler 26 Sailboat
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A boat named Sadie Pennzephyr

Avocet was brought into Canada in late 1979 by a local Robcraft dealer (the same dealer that built the trailer). Don Keith was the first owner and cruised Lake Winnipeg for three or four years before moving the boat to Lake of the Woods, Ontario. Don cruised the Lake of the Woods until one summer he pulled into an anchorage and noted a For Sale sign on a shore lot. Don bought the land and built a cottage. Don didn't sail much after that so the boat was put up for sale in January 1989. The original name of the boat was "Pennzephyr" which means "quiet wind". The first owner added "Sadie" to the front of Pennzephyr. Apparently Sadie was his mother or mother-in-law's name.

A boat named Pennzephyr

Al McMillan of Winnipeg, Manitoba was the second owner. Al and his wife Diane bought the boat in 1989 from a picture. Al made the comment: "Damn! I think I'd buy it all over again from this pic!". The first time they laid eyes on her was in the dead of winter with three feet of snow on it at Northern Harbour. Al and Diane renamed the sailboat Skean-dhu which is a Scottish term for the knife that fits in a Scotsman's sock while he's wearing his kilt.

In May 2000 we made contact with Al via the Chrysler Sailing Association Web Site to see what he knew about another Chrysler 26 that was for sale. Al is a real estate agent and was finding that he didn't have time to get out to the lake, so he and his wife decided to sell their boat. In June we traveled to Winnipeg to look at Skean-dhu, but due to very heavy rain and windy weekend we were only able to squeeze in a short sail. Port view of hull

After repainting the boat in 2005 we renamed the boat "Avocet". According to legend, Neptune (or Poseidon, if you're talking the ancient Greeks) keeps a ledger of all ships sailing his vast waters, and knows each of them personally. Our renaming ceremony was based on hours of work and love put into the restoration. Hopefully Neptune is honored and approves of Avocet's new name and beauty. The American Avocet is a shorebird that is found across North America - primarily in the western Great Plains. With its elegant profile and striking pinky-beige coloration, the American Avocet is unique among North American birds. In response to predators, the American Avocet sometimes issues a series of call notes that gradually changes pitch, simulating the Doppler effect and thus making its approach seem faster than it actually is. Avocet is also seemingly faster than one would expect. So the association is prairies, water, plus wind and wing power. Reasonably fitting - we think. Al informed us that a coast guard boat once plied the waters of Lake Winnipeg was also named Avocet - doubly fitting. The graphic design for the new name was created by our son the architect.