Shanachie Masthead

Shanachie in New Zealand

Ahoy, Mateys!

Welcome aboard our sailing vessel Shanachie’s website. Here you'll find the story of the U.S. Documented wooden sailboat that we originally built and launched in Santa Cruz, California, and some of the adventures we’ve had together along the way.

Dive in wherever you wish. You can follow the links in the sidebar at left, or, go to the Site Map to get your bearings.

We hope you enjoy the cruise…

Photo: Shanachie anchored offUrupukapuka Island, Bay of Islands, New Zealand


About Shanachie’s Name

The name “Shanachie” (we pronounce it “shah'-nah-kee”) comes from the traditional “wandering storyteller,” well-known in Irish culture. In days past when life was slower and simpler (though probably not easier), the shanachie wandered the countryside, bringing stories, poems, legends, gossip, information, and even updated geneologies—he carried it all in his head—which usually could be exchanged for a meal, a night’s accommodation, and a wee dram (or perhaps a bit more!). He was often a village’s first source of news from the outside world, long before any modern communication devices existed.

Like many other descendants of long-ago European immigrants, we McKeowns (and a McNiel) feel a special connection with that bit of Irish in us. So, with a wink and a nod of tribute to that fascinating Irish traveler, we’ve named our wandering sailboat Shanachie. (Some say perhaps we’ve also acquired the shanachie's gift of blarney—it’s surely an essential art in the world of wanderers, and we’ve learned to speak it from the best of ’em!)