History of Tall Ship Thane

Did you know that Tall Ship Thane’s history started over 120 years ago?

Captain Joshua Slocum’s voyage around the world is among the most famous feats of single-handed voyaging of all time. The voyage took place 120 years ago, and Joshua Slocum did it alone! His ship, named SPRAY, was given as a gift by a friend in 1892. Prior to this, the vessel had been abandoned in a field several years earlier.

In 1895, after carefully rebuilding her, Slocum struck out on his voyage, completely alone aboard the SPRAY. He covered 46,000 miles in three years, which is considered legendary. Slocum documented the adventure in a publication titled “Sailing Alone Around The World.” His writing was released in 1900, and has been the inspiration for many SPRAY replicas, including Thane.

Our Tall Ship Thane was built in Victoria, BC by Len Pearson. Strangely enough, Len’s story also began in a field, where he discovered his SPRAY hull after it had been abandoned 10 years earlier. In 1972, Len traded his 1968 Chevy for the hull, and named the vessel Thane – the Viking term for “Captain.”

At the time, Victoria was experiencing a building boom. This boom provided Len with an excellent source of quality timber and scrap metals. Because of this, Thane was largely made of recycled material found in Victoria BC, and was meticulously built over the course of five years on Finger One at Fisherman’s Wharf. In the end, she measured out to 57 feet overall, with 39.5 feet on deck. Thane was built with a 110 hp Isuzu diesel, and self steers like the original SPRAY.

Len was a traveller, and quickly realized that he lived in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Not long after realizing this, he decided that he wanted to share it with his fellow travellers. Thane was then fitted to carry passengers, and over the next 30 years, Thane played host up and down BC’s Gulf Islands, Chatterbox Falls, Princess Louisa Inlet, Desolation Sound, and God’s Pocket. Thane quickly developed the reputation of being both a SPRAY and charter boat, and as such, appeared in numerous articles, films, and a documentary!

Rob too was a sailor and a traveller, and sail and travel he did. Jumping off from Port Hardy, BC in 2002 he sailed south, exploring the South Pacific as he went, and eventually transiting the Panama Canal. Upon returning to the Pacific side in 2012 and making a run for Hawaii, a series of unfortunate circumstances (or fortunate circumstances!) took place which culminated with his sailboat “Shibumi” on the hard for repairs in Guatemala. After completing all the repairs and with one week left to launch, Shibumi was struck by lightning and destroyed beyond repair. Her engine was the only real salvageable part.

Upon returning to Canada, Rob realized that he couldn’t be landlocked. After a year of working and living on land, Rob saw Tall Ship Thane and realized she was for sale and came with an existing charter business. Within a week an offer was made and the process to purchase was underway. Sea trials, haulout for survey, accountants looking over books, lawyers crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s, and finally the title changing hands. 3-Hour Sail (2013) Ltd. was formed and preparation for the first season under new ownership was underway.

Under her new loving owner, Tall Ship Thane began sailing May through September annually for group sails, corporate team building sails, and charter sails in Victoria BC.

The Tall Ship Thane sailing experiences has received rave reviews from those that have sailed, on TripAdvisor and Facebook. We’ve love to offer you an experience you won’t forget! If you’re coming to Victoria BC, you can book a sail or stop by to say “Ahoy!”.