Welcome aboard the website of our sailing vessel, Shanachie. Here you'll find the story of the U.S. Documented wooden sailboat that we* originally built and launched in Santa Cruz, California—along with some of the adventures we’ve had together on magical journeys throughout the Pacific.
Dive in wherever you wish. We hope you enjoy the cruise…
*Bakayaro Boatworks, the company formed by Joe McKeown to build Shanachie
About Shanachie’s Name
Shanachie (we say “SHAH'-nah-kee”) comes from a name given to the well-known wandering storyteller found in traditional 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—all memorized—which could usually be exchanged for a meal, a night’s accommodation, and a wee dram or two. The shanachie 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 we’ve also acquired the shanachie's gift of blarney—it’s surely an essential art in the world of wanderers, and we’ve no doubt learned to speak it from the best of ’em!).