The Boat

What’s up with your boat name?

star_stuff_slip“The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we’ve learned most of what we know. Recently, we’ve waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” ~Carl Sagan, Cosmos, 1980

These words were spoken by astronomer, Carl Sagan just five years after I was born.  Every time I read them, they bring tears to my eyes.  The idea that we have been charged with having a life experience worthy of being described as “a way for the cosmos to know itself”, feels like an invitation to go on a grand quest. There are, of course, as many of these quests as there are humans on the planet. Some of us living star stuff take up the grand adventure of parenting.  Some choose to write novels, paint, or invent.  But, so many of us never take up the quest.

So many of us do what we “should”.  We work, we make money, we spend and consume. We have kids, buy 10 cars and retire.  Then…die. Seems a waste of a perfectly good lifespan, if you ask me.

Something within us yearned to go beyond someone else’s “should” list. We decided that life “should” be more than going to a cubicle every day to earn money to buy things. If we got on board with the idea that we are indeed, living star stuff, what kind of experience is the cosmos having if we keep going to our cubicles every day? Doesn’t seem much to write home about.

So, we made a change.  A drastic, life-altering, burn the house down kind of change.  We sold everything we owned (except the dog) and bought a boat.  Our boat’s name, Star Stuff, is of course, an homage to the late Carl Sagan, but also a call to action every time we step aboard.  Every time I see the name of our boat I am reminded of our goal: to set off to have that grand adventure. The one we picked was seeing the world by way of ocean-going vessel.

We sincerely hope that we inspire you to go off on your wild hair. To backpack across Europe.  To take your camera every place you want to go and get a selfie. To quit that job and open that bakery.  Whatever it is that seems like a brilliant use of your time.  That thing that plucks the strings of your curiosity.  That thing that whispers to you from the cosmos and says, “hey, Star Stuff” let’s go!


What kinda boat is that anyway?

w42_drawings_4_20131108_1996571108SV Star Stuff is a 1984 Whitby 42 cutter ketch rig with bow sprit.  She’s hull #314.  According to Doug Stephenson, a member of Whitby Boatworks marketing team, “Hulls #1 to #200 and #301 to #333 were constructed in Canada and known as Whitby 42s.”

To confound amateur historians, the moniker attached to hull #234 (or thereabouts) through #307 of the boats built in Fort Myers was Brewer 12.8. “Some were built with a modified fin keel and skeg-hung rudder. Others, with an extended transom, were called the Brewer 44,” Doug notes.

LOA                       42 ft 0 in

LWL                       32 ft 8 in

Beam                      13 ft 0 inw42_drawings_7_20131108_1333332766

Draft                       5 ft

Keel                         Full

Displacement        23,500 lbs

Sail Area                1256 sq ft, Cutter Ketch with Staysail

Power                     67 HP Diesel, Volvo Penta MD30A

Fuel                        120 gals

Water                     200 gals (modified from 300)

Ballast                    8000 lbs

Bridge Clearance 52 ft 0 in


What’s the Boat’s History?

Until 2016, Star Stuff was listed on the Canadian registry as “Lion’s Paw”.

1984 – 1998        Original owners were both educators that sailed from the Great Lakes to the Florida coast and over to the Bahamas and back for 14 years. 

1998 – 2004        The 2nd 0wners headed south to the Caribbean and then across the pond to the Mediterranean in ‘99 until, as he put it; “His ticker gave him trouble”. The mister shipped Lion’s Paw (by container) back to the U.S.A. 2004. Lion’s Paw was redressed and used as a “show” boat for Whitby 42 sales until she was trucked back to Canada.

2005           Another couple bought Lion’s Paw and requested a survey. Due to unforeseen changes in the owner’s plans, Lion’s Paw stayed on the hard and was put back on the market. The third owners looked at Lion’s Paw while on the hard in a marina on Lake Champlain, Canada and the mast was still wrapped from its transport.

2007 – 2016       3rd Owners Mr. and Mrs. Colquhoun trucked Lion’s Paw from Lake Champlain to Whitby Boat & Woodworking for the installation of the Maxwell Bow Thruster (instantly adding $10,000 to the purchase price $133,191.27) and then onto Midland, Ontario, Canada. They sailed her for 2 summers on the fresh waters of Georgian Bay, adding upgraded systems and canvas. On August 16th, 2009 they headed south to begin their cruise of the Caribbean. On April 24th, 2015 they returned to The USA and put Lion’s Paw on the hard at Green Cove Springs, up the St. Johns River. In 2015, they left quickly due to family matters and thought best to put her on the market…but they weren’t really ready to sell Lion’s Paw. In 2016 they continued to improve and replace some older systems and enjoyed another season in the Bahamas. Sadly, circumstances dictate that they sell Lion’s Paw.

2016 – Present     The 4th couple to own Lion’s Paw changed her name to Star Stuff and moved aboard in October of 2016.  That couple is Greg & Julie Tijerina.  They plan to use the first two years aboard to learn the systems of the boat, create good habits of maintenance and learn how to sail a heavy displacement boat with respect and care.  While learning to liveaboard full time, the new owners will be saving money in the ever-hungry cruising kitty to set sail to Cuba, Central America, the Caribbean and eventually the Mediterranean.