Our Boat History
It was a cold February day in 1997 , and the snow was falling on our country home located some four miles outside of Peterborough Ontario. Julie and I had not been happy with our jobs for a while and we were both a little depressed. A long cold winter had not helped us out of the bummer we were on.
This called for desperate measures..... so out with our copy of "GAM" (Canadian sailing magazine). Under boats for sale was listed a Custom 44'. We didn't know what that was, and didn't care, we needed out of the house and a Sunday outing. Two and a half hours of driving north in -30C we arrived in Penetang, a small town on Georgian Bay. We met with Bob Elliot , the original owner of the boat.
We really didn't know what she was, but she was obviously a very tough, fast boat, one that was a serious "Blue Water Cruiser". The boat was being offered at a reasonable price, but she was also a serious project. This was what we needed, a focus on something other than jobs and the usual B..S.. that life throws at you. Well, I convinced Julie that we could complete the "Project" in one year at minimal cost expenditure. She also got me to commit to quitting our jobs and hitting the high seas if we bought the "Project".
Two months later the deal was completed and we moved the boat into our front yard. The one year project expanded to a total renovation and took two years and eight months. We worked an average of 30 to 35 hrs per week each on the boat - after work and weekends, amassing some 10,000 hours of labor and $45,000 US in capital investment.
October 10, 1999. Free Radical left Whitby Marina on Lake Ontario with a light frost on the dock. We only had one hour experience in the water with our new boat but we were getting the hell out of Dodge before we got froze in for another winter......