Black Eyes: British Columbia Staysail Schooner

by Captain Tony Toxopeus 2016


Black Eyes under charter under sail without her ‘fisherman’ sail off Vancouver 1986. (Photo from the Captain Tony Toxopeus collection. )

She was a 100' Staysail Schooner (3,000 sq ft of sail) built in 1975 at Port Hammond BC. She had berths for 26, two heads and a sauna. She was painted like a Blackwall frigate with false gunports painted on the the side of her hull. In 1976–1978 she was owned by Alex Hamilton. In 1978–2011 she was owned by U.F.O. Holdings Ltd., Vancouver BC. Her register was closed in 2011.


Black Eyes (Photo from the Captain Tony Toxopeus collection. )

The Black Eyes was built by her original owners (Shirley Granger and her Husband) who ran up a debt recording an LP album and the story I was told was that the vessel was turned over in payment for the recording of the album pictured below. Her new owner was recording star and singer Stan Cayer who owned S.G.M. Records Ltd., who’s fame included being the first promoter for Terry and Susan Jacks. Stan sailed the Blackeyes down the coast through the Panama canal up the Amazon and return. On the return trip Stan sailed her single handed from Panama to Vancouver! Stan Cayer recently passed away.

She sailed out of Gastown for many years where she carried charter dive groups to the Gulf Islands. She had a ‘moon pool’ which allowed divers to enter the water from inside the vessel, a 10 CFM JMAR air compressor and was powered by a beautiful Gardiner LW6 diesel engine. She has been laying at anchor for several years now in Mannion Bay on Bowen Island.


Black Eyes is ashore here getting her bottom done. She has a Spruce box mizzen mast replacement and marine survey by Active Marine Services. (Photo from the Captain Tony Toxopeus collection. )


Shirley Granger Album Cover (Photo from the Captain Tony Toxopeus collection. )

As a side note: There was a 78 rpm vinyl LP album named after the Black Eyes with sung by song stylist Shirley Granger (the Regal Queen of Blues) in the late 1970s. The album was classified in the soul/funk genre. The artist, Shirley Lewis Granger, passed away peacefully on May 5th 2013. (Shirley Lewis Days are held annually the Town of Newburyport Massachusetts and run by the Shirley Lewis Living the Blues Foundation.)

To quote from this article please cite:

Toxopeus, Captain Tony (2016) Black Eyes. 2016.

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