The Making Waves Foundation Wright of Passage Youth Program came about due to the donation of a dilapidated wooden yacht called Mercator. Mercator was donated by Fred Van Steel and it isn't an exageration to say that the 1974 built, 53 foot Herreshoff Ketch, was in need of some special attention! The donation of this vessel inspired the Making Waves Foundation founder, David Pescud, to establish a Youth Program like no other, and he called it 'Wright of Passage'. After a year of toiling to restore the vessel to her former glory the disengaged or disadvantaged youth in the program proudly sailed the newly badged 'Wright of Passage Mercator' from Sydney to Hobart to take part in the Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart.
The original owner and builder Doug Barron was a Salmon Fisherman and Fishing Boat builder in British Columbia Canada. Doug embarked on two pacific voyages the first was to New Zealand and the second to Hawaii and on both occasions he returned to British Columbia.
We received an email from a former crew member of Mercator, Jerry McIntosh, who sailed with Doug Barron out of British Columbia in 1977 & 1978. Jerry provided these images of Mercator during that sail, and also brought the news of Doug Barron's recent passing. Jerry said that 'I am confident Doug was happy that the vessel will be a source of support and security for all who sail aboard her'.
The second owner of Mercator was Jim Beckman who then sailed her to Hong Kong and spent several years sailing in tropical waters and to Australia.
The 3rd owner being Fred Van Steel who later donated her to the Making Waves Foundation.
|Style of boat:||Sailing boat,||Characteristics:||Bowsprit, boom-past-stern, davits|
|Moored:||Sydney||Construction:||Oak frames, western red cedar hull, beech on ply deck|
|Boat type:||Ketch||L.O.A.:||46 ft|
|Place built:||Sidney Vancouver British Columbia||L.O.D.:||53 ft|
|Designer:||Herreshoff||Beam:||12 ft 1 inch|
|Builder:||Douglas Barron||Draught:||8 ft|
|Launch year:||1974||Freeboard||3 ft|