“Sailing Una” – By Leney Breeden

September 7, 2016

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Through her words and beautiful photographs, Leney Breeden brings us along a camp-cruising adventure aboard UNA, a Sooty Tern, built and sailed by her father.

You can view more of her work at “A Girl Named Leney“.

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Meet Una.

Through her words and beautiful photographs, Leney Breeden brings us along a camp-cruising adventure aboard UNA, a Sooty Tern, built and sailed by her father.


She’s the product of my father, the sailor’s, hands. He built her in a garage in the suburbs of Richmond over a ten month period. And, if it means anything to you, she’s a Iain Oughtred Sooty Tern. A double-ended yawl, sporting a balanced lug main and bermuda mizzen. Her name means pure, holy, feminine and single (one). She’s Scottish/Gaelic/Norse in her origin.



In my father’s words she was “a labor of love, a commitment to a dream and a promise of adventure”. (You can see where I get a bit of that wanderlust soul from…) Seeing how proud he’s been of this boat and how happy it’s made him in the building and completion of it has been one of the highlights of my year.


We took her out for an overnight adventure last month and it was, simply put, one of the top ten best experiences of my life. (I can actually list these experiences for you too… if you don’t believe me.) I will treasure this time and the memories made during this brief but wonderful trip for forever and always.






My father is one of the people I adore and most look up to in this world and while this experience is one I hold very dear to my heart, I hesitated sharing it here because of it’s sacredness. However, I wanted the opportunity to showcase his wonderful talent and to give his beautiful creation the spotlight it deserves.





































As I’ve stated before, being on a boat makes you look outward and there’s a special kind of soul searching that happens when you’re surrounded by all that blue. There’s also a kind of serenity that comes with it that’s not easy to find these days. It’s something that neither words or pictures can really fully express. You just have to experience it for yourself.



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Stay tuned for the full length video.

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17 Responses So Far to ““Sailing Una” – By Leney Breeden”:

  1. Avatar Andrew Arthur says:

    She is a beautiful boat – great story, great adventure, special relationships

  2. Avatar Richard Holcombe says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Avatar Gerry Kelly says:

    Thank you for sharing, absolutely inspiring. Daughters rock!

  4. Avatar Allan Horton says:

    Thanks, Leney, for the post and photos. When I was 14 (in 1951) my dad bought me a Lightning-class sloop (19 ft LOA) in Coconut Grove, and we sailed it home to Sarasota, Fl. on Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, camping aboard or on the shore all the way. We thought so little of it that we kept no log and took no photos and I have regretted it ever since. It got me out of school for 45 days (don’t know how he managed that!) and taught me to sail, and I haven’t quit since – except now I’m an old man and almost never do any more. You have a dad just as special as his daughter; congrats to you both.

    Allan Horton
    Sarasota, Fl.

  5. Avatar Kevin MacDonald says:

    Leney, I’ve heard so much about you from your dad during our sailing adventures. He treasures you as a daughter and has every right to be so proud. Great pictures and story.

  6. Avatar Tony Simmonds says:

    Too beautiful, Leney. Brings tears to this father’s eyes.

  7. Avatar John Breiby says:

    Leney, thank you for sharing the beautiful photos of your trip, for giving your Dad such a nice tribute, and showing off the amazing boat he built. I’m sure your Dad is as proud of you as you are of him!!

  8. Avatar Peter Green says:

    love the photos – I’m half way through building a 12′ Riff, and the reasons given for building the boat echo my own, and I can’t wait to get it on the water with our kids!

  9. Avatar Torrey Sylvester says:

    I enjoyed these shots greatly. Your posts appeared on my instagram feed awhile ago and I have enjoyed them as well. You have a great eye and a real gift with words.

  10. Avatar Christophe Matson says:

    LOVE that gimbal-stove-upon-thwart! Brilliant!

  11. Avatar John Wujack says:

    Congrats to both of you. Thank you for sharing. On a practical note……could you please describe your cooking appliance? Kind regards, John

    • Avatar EeBee4 says:

      It’s a poor man’s “Jetboil”, an eBay burner attached to bent aluminum bar and nested rings for a gimbal. Works fine under weigh for boiling pouched food, noodles or egg. Heat is too concentrated for pot foods. They will burn on the bottom, if not constantly stirred. Fine for coffee using a french press.

  12. Avatar Paul Koch says:

    There is nothing more precious than a father-daughter bond. Leney and her dad are a model for all of us. Thank you for sharing your adventure and your love.

  13. Avatar Diane Pool says:

    The word ‘sanctity’ echoes deeply for me, memories of my own joyful times in a small boats surfacing to shake off the years with a surprisingly avid hunger; possibilities not thought of for life’s ever-changing seasons.

  14. Avatar Phillip Diller says:

    As Mr. Lux says, very generous. The photos are gorgeous and capture the sanctity of the journey. Blessings, and thank you for letting us join in.

  15. Avatar Peter Lux says:

    thank you…..very generous

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