Brisa, currently “Thinkabout”, is a Westsail 32, thirty-two foot, double-ended, heavy displacement, cutter-rigged sailboat. She was built as a kit by the Westsail corporation in Costa Mesa, California (a southern part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, near the coast, adjacent to Newport Beach) in 1979. She has hull number 748. She is currently lying in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

bow view

The kit went to an employee cabinet maker, Dugan Essick, who was then finishing the interiors of the production delivered Westsails. Dugan found some Koa wood that he used to masterfully complete the interior of his Westsail to his own, highest standard. He now runs a woodworking design studio and woodworking school in Grass Valley, California. This interior, in my biased view, is second to none.


Dugan and his wife launched her as “Epee” in 1982, then sailed her for many years in the Sea of Cortez, along the east coast of the Baja peninsula and west coast of the Mexican mainland. After many adventures living life off the hook, in paradise, they sold the boat and moved back to shore to build, from scratch, a Farr 44 of cold molded wood that still sails in New Zealand.

The next owner named the boat, “Smiling Dutchman”. The Flying Dutchman got to smiling, apparently. After that she was named, “Elena”, sailed by John Shaw. He installed a Universal M-50B engine, three blade 16 x 10.5” propeller, and a new toilet among many other improvements, around Y2K.

Later the boat sailed as “Miskatonic”, which is a reference to the university in the Cthulhu Mythos stories by H.P. Lovecraft. The port of call for Miskatonic was recorded as Arkham, MA, the fictional location of the university. There were some real Cthulhu fans with this boat for a while.

As Miskatonic she won a couple of club races in 2010– the veleros de baja spring regatta and the “rock to the dock.”

The most recent owner, who sold the boat to me, named it “Thinkabout.” He lived on the boat for a few years in La Paz, BCS. The composting toilet was his addition.

stern view

Changing the name of a boat requires some ceremony together with a fair amount of preparation. This ceremony will be completed in early February, when it will come out of the water in order to paint the hull. We’ll do the part imploring Poseidon to forget the old names as we take it out of the water. While it is out, we’ll change the lettering on the outside of the boat. We’ll introduce the new name when we put it back in the water.

In this way, we leave Poseidon’s kingdom under one name, begging his indulgence, then return under another, begging his graces. Crossing my fingers that will have it covered, because there are many adventures ahead.

Some external references