Trekka On The Move

by John West 2015

Trekka Move

Trekka emerging from the old Museum. It is our hope to have Trekka and Dorothy in the water within the next two years as ambassadors for the museum. The plan had been for this year, but was delayed by our forced move.(Photo courtesy of John West )

Another famous and significant vessel in the collection of the Maritime museum of British Columbia is the little sailing vessel Trekka. There was never room in the old Bastion Square quarters of the Museum to properly display this vessel and she was more or less in visible storage.

Before emigrating to Canada as a young man, John Guzzwell’s childhood in England included a voyage to South Africa on the family’s 52–foot ketch. His father taught him the principles of celestial navigation and woodworking while the family was held in a German prison camp during the Second World War. He built the Trekka (designed by Jack Laurent Giles) in Victoria BC and sailed it solo around the world. He is now residing on Bainbridge Island WA USA. In 1959 he was awarded the Bluewater Medal of the Cruising Club of America for his single handed circumnavigation in home–built yawl 20–foot 10–inches overall via the Cape of Good Hope and the Panama Canal. From Victoria, B.C., to Victoria, September 10, 1955 to September 10, 1959. he has built a variety of sailing craft, including the 133 foot Zeus, the 65–foot Farr–designed Lively, the 158-foot topsail schooner Tole Mour, and his own 46–foot pilothouse cutter, Treasure, also built to a Giles design. He designed and built a sister ship to the Treasure in Hawaii called the Sunrise. He and his family cruised the Pacific several times on this boat and in 1994 he entered her in the Pan Pacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Osaka Japan, then returned via the Aleutians and mainland Alaska.

John and his wife Dorothy were up to Victoria last month and over at our place for dinner. John said "I just realized that it will be sixty years since I left Victoria in Trekka the day after tomorrow." We persuaded them to stay for the anniversary and Gregor Cragie interviewed him on CBC, it’s a good interview

In 1954–1961 the Trekka circumnavigated the globe. In 1964 she circumnavigated the globe. In 1959 John Guzzwell was awarded the coveted Blue Water Medal of the Cruising Club of America for "the year’s most meritorious example of seamanship, the recipient selected from among the amateurs of all nations". In 1975 she was licenced in Hawaii. In 1990 she was designated as a British Columbia Vintage Vessel and she is part of the permanent collection of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia.

Trekka Move

Trekka in a view not seen in recent years (Photo courtesy of John West )

Trekka was moved out of the old building in October 2015 and transported to a new display location at Ogden Point in Victoria BC where she will be seen by thousands of visitors to the City arriving at the cruise ship terminal.


Treasure in 2015 (Photo courtesy of John West )

Editor’s Note: John West is a Past President of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia and a lifelong enthusiast of floating heritage. Besides the Maritime Museum he has worked tirelessly for the Victoria Classic Boat Festival. The details of John Guzzwell and the Trekka are derived from the entries in The Nauticapedia database.

To quote from this article please cite:

West, John (2015) Trekka On The Move. 2015.

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