Schooner MAGIC, A Family Goes Cruising

August 17, 2017

When the schooner MAGIC sailed into Brooklin this summer, we all got to witness her arrival with the three young sisters aboard, who shared their stories cruising with their family along the East Coast, and we’re proud to feature their story as our 400th video.

Navigate Further...


LOD – 39’-6”
Sparred length – 51- 0”
LWL – 32’-6”
Beam – 12’-6”
Draft – 6’-0”
Displacement – 23,400 lbs
Ballast – 7,800 lbs
SA – 1,005 sq. ft.


Design Parameters:
My design goal was to blend a fast, proven, sea-kindly hull with an easily-managed three-sail schooner rig in a cruising boat of about 40’ in length for a couple to sail. MAGIC benefited from some design guidance by Lyle Hess as well as the construction expertise and suggestions of master builder, Bent Jespersen. She was built as a cold-molded yacht over a period of 14 months and her sails were made by Carol Hasse and crew in Port Townsend, Washington.

Construction Notes:
Hull is laminated of 4 layers of Western Red Cedar and Meranti, her backbone is mahogany, frames and floors are white oak, deck framing is of Douglas fir. The deck overlay is Alaskan Yellow Cedar and the spars are Sitka spruce. The deck and well-crowned cabin top are vacuum-bagged, insulated structures and her interior blends semi-gloss white paint and varnished cherry with accents of birds-eye maple. Reliable bronze deck hardware and fittings were selected (or cast) as appropriate to facilitate safe, shorthanded sailing by a couple.

Initial Cruising History:
My wife, Vicky, and I sailed MAGIC for some 25,000 miles over the years, voyaging as far north as Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands) and coastwise southwards on voyages to Mexico’s Baja and mainland coasts. We also made the passage from the West Coast out to Hawaii and back to the Pacific Northwest.


Click on this link here to see a few pages of MAGIC’s drawings (in PDF format) and below are photographs of her construction back in ’92-’93 at Bent Jespersen’s shop in Sidney, British Columbia, all of which were shared with us by designer Craig Johnsen.

Get Free Videos Start Free Trial Members Sign In

35 Responses So Far to “Schooner MAGIC, A Family Goes Cruising”:

  1. Avatar Mark Kurtis says:

    You’re doing the parenting thing right. Your kids will forever be better off for these times, whether they now realize it or not, but someday they will know how lucky they are.

  2. David Tew David Tew says:

    This my favorite video of all on OCH. In 2016 we took the ferry to Friday Harbor during a trip to see our daughter and her family near Anacortes. From the ferry deck I saw MAGIC was at the docks. She was for sale! If she’d been on the east coast and our children were still young I definitely would have bought her to do just exactly what this family has done..It’s great to see them (who I imagine bought her from there) enjoying life aboard here in Maine waters. I wonder if MAGIC is still on the east coast. Hmmm.

  3. Avatar Mike Morgan says:

    It was wonderful to see her again! Around ten years ago our Canadian friends, fellow beached Mexico cruisers, were visiting us in Anacortes for the Boat Show. While walking the docks and passing a lovely schooner I suddenly noticed that the dink was a Shellback, recognizing that right away as I’d just completed my second or third of those. As we looked it over Bob suddenly said ‘Hey wait, isn’t this MAGIC?” and we were super pumped to see the familiar name on the transom.
    We’d last seen her in Mexico sometime in the late 90’s, spent a lot of time looking at her either from the dock in Mazatlan or from our dinks at some place further down the coast or up in the Sea. We walked back and forth, chattering excitedly while our respective mates waited as patiently as possible, then we were approached by a friendly guy, identifying himself as a broker, asking if we’d like to go aboard for a look-around? We assured him we were NOT in the market but he said it’s fine, you like the boat … so …. of course we did!
    I think Bob and I looked into every place we could, and loved it; the attention to detail and the craftsmanship of this boat is just totally awe-inspiring, the amount of thought that’s gone into every bit of it, both on deck and below …. we could tell that people who knew what they were doing had first decided on what they wanted, and had followed through with a builder and crew who could execute that vision.
    I’m so happy that she now has that family taking care of her, too …. it’s so very clear to me that that mom & dad are a part of the MAGIC tradition and are also doing things right.

  4. Avatar William Mittendorf says:

    This is a charming video of a charming family enjoying a lovely boat. I want to just climb on board for a few days as the favorite uncle…. could not help but wonder about the unusual rig. It’s a marconi main with a loose footed gaff forsail.

  5. Avatar Dave Ruberti says:

    Wonderfully refreshing to see the boat through the eyes of three young girls. Seeing that the gear included stuffed animals and dolls was a delight.

  6. Avatar Russ Neal says:

    I want to be one of your children,,,, Unfortunately ,,,, I’m already 70.

    • Avatar Chris Museler says:

      Russ! You don’t want me as your dad! But go sailing, or rowing, we’re trying to get Magic ready as soon aspkossible. With this current world issue, we’ve never been more focused to practice our art and try and figure out ways to help people right now too. We are lucky to have our sailing!

  7. Avatar Spiro Krallis says:

    I just bought a 35’ wooden sailboat, 1967, that needs lots of work. It spent 2 days at the bottom of the Saint Lawrence. This forum inspired me to make the jump into this project.
    I expect to be on your site even more often and will be a long time member.

  8. Avatar Morten Milthers says:

    If you should wish to cruise in and around Denmark, Sweden and Germany, we could swap boats! I would like to cruise where ever yours may be, would love to cruise around the north east… I have a gaff cutter about the same size as your lovely schooner, easy to handle and totally restored, she is 91 years old. If this catches your imagination, send me an email on

  9. Avatar STEPHEN LIPPINCOTT says:

    Hey Kara and Chris- what a great surprise to see you guys!! So happy for you and the girls to experience cruising and so happy to see you doing well :)

  10. Avatar Ellen Massey Leonard says:

    So much fun to see a video about a fellow Jespersen-built boat! And what a wonderful video of family life aboard – so great to see the enthusiasm and spirit of the girls and the emphasis on simple living and being attuned to the natural world – something too easily forgotten!

  11. Avatar Mike Zani says:

    Those girls are salty already!

  12. Avatar Ronald Coddington says:

    A picture of the way family life ought to be. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Ron & Shelly

  13. Avatar Charles Thompson says:

    Completely charming. :)

  14. Avatar Chad Brown says:

    Now that’s my kind of OCH video! Beautiful vessel at rest, and while under way. Very proud of the Museler family, the girls are growing up to be strong, self confident women. Like the sound track by The Motels, music makes for a great video.

  15. Avatar Mike Baillie says:

    It’s wonderful to see young children learning in an environment with so many natural character and confidence building activity laden adventures, which children seem to thrive on. A lovely family film, with so much enthusiasm from the kids and parents alike. A pleaure to watch. Thanks for the privilege. A great little schooner for the kids to learn the ropes on!

  16. Avatar Conbert Benneck says:

    Wonderful video. When we lived in Europe and the company had us move several times, as far as our children were concerned, our 29 foot sloop was the only permanent “home” that they had. It was a constant in their lives, and we spent many a weekend or vacation cruise happily sitting together in the cabin, learning to do macramé; how to navigate; splice a line; discuss school work and problems; play guitars and sing in four part harmony; and for “Show and Tell” in school, come in with the handle of an amphora they found schnorkeling in Yugoslavia. They also learned to be very confident sailors, and I gave them a final exam when we were heading back from Block Island to Noank, CT. I sent a note to them from the cabin; telling them the Captain was sick and they had to get back to Noank ASAP – GO. They passed their Captain’s Final Exam with flying colors, and delivered me safely to Noank.

  17. Avatar Sam Parrish says:

    Magic indeed. Beautiful boat. Great tour from the best tour guides.

  18. Avatar Michael Appleby says:

    They covered everything, but the tender. Is that a shellback?

    They’re living my dream … never found a way to it, that is to actually live on the boat. What a way for the girls (and parents) to grow up!

    • Avatar Craig Johnsen says:

      I was waiting for Chris to answer, but his plate happens to be full. Yes, that is a Shellback and it turned out to be such a fine dinghy, that others have now joined the Pacific Northwest schooner fleet as well.

  19. Avatar Chris a Adams rada says:

    This is a wonderful video.
    These kids and parents are having invaluable experiences together.
    It shows that what is being lost can be regained by simply doing the simple.

  20. Avatar Dean Wilson says:

    That’s the epitome of fun on a boat. Those girls know exactly what’s going on… full credit to Mum and Dad… Great story Thanks.

    • Avatar Bill Baumner says:

      I know that I am not supposed to envy, but I can’t help envying the wonderful family closeness and wonderful life of that family of five and what I would consider the most beautiful, perfect family sailboat that is a work of art. My wife and I have been sailors but have not had any grandchildren and no daughters. So, we envy this precious family and are thankful for all of you sharing this adventure with us. Keep up the good work. Next to a good sailboat on good ME waters, the only thing better are wonderful family relationships that can only be built with enjoyable time together.

  21. Avatar Radford Hazen says:

    Great to let the girls show off their lovely schooner.

  22. Avatar Stephen L. Clark says:

    What a breath of fresh air! The middle girl reminds me so much of my oldest granddaughter
    . My youngest (2) took her first sail with us a month ago. I aspire to this. Thanks for the respite. Steve

  23. Avatar Tom Roderick says:

    This lovely family enjoying each other’s presence magically erased the image yesterday of a young family of six seated at the large round table next to ours where each child and adult was fully engrossed in the electronic devise each held in their hands, totally oblivious to each other and the friendly murmur of voices overheard throughout that Amish Restaurant enjoying each other’s company and sharing a delicious meal with one another.

  24. Avatar Charles Jackson says:

    Sweet …lines…,boat … lives

  25. Avatar Konrad Truempler says:

    As a father of three sons I certainly enjoyed watching and listening to the girls as they showed and explained! A lovely video and what a boat…

  26. Avatar Brendan Darcy says:

    Lovely to see a young family enjoy cruising ;D

  27. Avatar Philip Myer says:

    Lovely schooner, lovely family- good video OCH gang.

  28. David Tew David Tew says:

    What great kids.

    • David Tew David Tew says:

      The children’s descriptions of their ‘places’ aboard the boat brought back so many memories. My dad finished out a 25′ Amphibicon in our driveway for our family of seven. We cruised to Maine from Cape Cod several summers and Nantucket Sound for many years. My ‘spot’ was at the foot of an aft quarter berth where I had all my ‘stuff’ on a shelf. My younger brother had the other, our two sisters amidships, my older brother the lazarette and my parents forward. Us kids took rotating turns sleeping in cockpit and doing anchor watch. It was great. Those girls on Magic will remember it forever.

  29. Avatar Chris Museler says:

    It’s just wonderful to have the thoughtful attention of the original stewards of this “new” classic. I study attributes of enduring sailing craft and though I haven’t pieced this whole story together, yet, MAGIC must be a master class in such analysis. Thank you Craig and Vicky! And thank you OCH!

  30. Avatar Craig Johnsen says:

    Lovely work, folks! We really enjoyed seeing the younger Muselers showing off MAGIC. This is certainly a treasure to add to our memories of living aboard her. Your video makes it possible to view the next generation(s) taking MAGIC to sea again. Very heart-warming for Vicky and I.
    Our thanks to you all,
    The Johnsens

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Get Immediate Access, Plus
10 More of Our Best Videos

Your email is safe with us.
We'll NEVER share it, and we DON'T spam.

or …


Start Free Trial

Get Instant Access as a Member to the Entire Site

  • Access all 1000 videos/articles
  • No risk! Cancel anytime
  • Get a nice discount if you join