Legendary bluewater cruiser, small boat sailor and master boatbuilder Larry Pardey has died in New Zealand, aged 81.
Along with his wife, Lin, Larry sailed over 200,000 miles, circumnavigating the world both eastabout and westabout aboard their engineless wooden sub-30ft yachts.
Their adventures aboard Seraffyn and Taleisin and their mantra ‘Go Small, Go Simple, Go Now’ inspired generations of cruisers, and their contribution towards nurturing ocean cruising in small boats won many accolades, including the
Ocean Cruising Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Cruising Club of America’s Far Horizons Award.
Originally from Canada, Larry was a professional skipper working in California when he met Lin. The couple married in 1968, when Larry had already started building the 24ft cutter Seraffyn, which was designed by Lyle Hess and based on the long-keeled Bristol Channel cutters. The couple embarked on a circumnavigation of the world, and lived aboard Seraffyn for 11 years. During this time, Lin started writing about their adventures, which became the start of their extremely successful publishing career.
In total, the couple wrote 12 books, including the ever-popular ‘The Self Sufficient Sailor’, and appeared in several instructional sailing films.
The couple settled in Kawau Island in New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf where Larry set up a small boat repair business.
Their last voyage was from California to New Zealand, when Larry’s health was starting to be affected by Parkinson’s disease. Lin cared for Larry for five years before he needed 24-hour professional care following a major stroke.