Puffin is a Tradewind 35’ design built by H & T Marine (Yard number 353, designed by J. Rock) in Poole Dorset, UK. She was launched August 5, 1986. Puffin was ordered and delivered to the US by John F. Nally of upstate NY. After crossing the ocean, she was sailed on Lake Champlain until her owner’s death.
Istvan Kopar bought Puffin in July 2015, since this was the only design accepted for the Golden Globe Race that was available in his geographic vicinity and fit within his budget.
She had been stored in the yard at Willsboro Bay Marina, NY, for the last several years since her owner’s passing. The condition of the boat reflected her long abandonment—though birds, squirrels, and bees had become regular tenants.
The most visible sign of irregularity was the lack of any barrier coat (gel coat or otherwise) on her bottom. The next was the missing chainplates that should have been attached to the hull. Also, the exact condition of the plumbing system was impossible to ascertain without taking apart the floor and the adjacent furniture.
In spite of Istvan’s lifelong experience around boats, this would clearly be a blind commitment to make without opening up the questionable areas or having the chance to carry out the necessary sea trial. Considering these factors, in addition to the expensive challenges that lay ahead, he made a low offer on the boat. Johanna—who Istvan describes as the most gracious widow he has ever met—accepted his offer, with his promise to keep the boat’s name “Puffin” and to sail her back to her birthplace, England.
Istvan’s blog posts on his restoration of Puffin will be linked here. Please continue to follow us for more updates.