Gjoa, Background


Boats of a certain age have history, but not always a history as interesting as Gjoa’s. I’ve written previously about the two-year Northwest Passage just completed by Gjoa’s most recent owners, Ann and Glenn Bainbridge. It was on this passage and a waylay in Arctic Bay, Nunavut, that I first met them both.

The Bainbridges remained the winter in the Arctic. They put Gjoa on the hard in Cambridge Bay in the fall of 2014 and moved aboard a tug, Tandberg Polar, which they maintained until spring when the Norwegian crew returned, and then they, in Gjoa, continued on to Nome and eventually Homer.

Their blog here.

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For most boats that would be history enough. But not this boat.

Gjoa was built in Germany in 1989 for journalist, photographer, adventurer, Clark Stede, who, with Delius Klasing sailed then-named Asma around the Americas (west through the Northwest Passage, east about the Horn) between 1990 and 1993.  Their book, Rund Amerika, is aboard, and is simply full of boat construction details, outfitting details, route details, weather details … all in German. I can’t read a word.

Here’s all I’ve been able to find online regarding Stede and the voyage in Asma.

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Gjoa’s next owners were at least as adventurous, maybe more so. Tony and Coryn Gooch bought Asma in 1994, renamed her Taonui and took off. They had been cruising for a number of years in smaller, fiberglass boats, but were keen to explore the high latitudes, for whose demanding conditions a stronger vessel was needed. For 16 years they crisscrossed the globe every which way, sailing summers and putting Taonui on the hard in winter, such that a map of their travels looks like a game of cat’s cradle approaching its maturity.


Taonui sailing

One account of a passage to Antarctica.

Tony and Coryn’s Bio.


In 2002, Tony set out from Victoria, BC to solo the globe via the southern ocean because, “I wanted to get down there one last time while I was still fit and healthy enough to handle hard sailing and enjoy it all.” He was in his sixties. Tony made the loop in 177 days. Distance: 24,000 miles. Average speed: 137 miles a day.

Tony’s Route.

Tony’s Story.

Tony on Taonui

This brief history of Gjoa / Taonui / Asma may go some way to explaining my initial and continued attraction.



Builder: Dubbel & Jesse, Norderney Germany
Year Built: 1988/1989
Material: Aluminum
Keel: Full with cutaway forefoot
Length Overall: 12.44m (41 ft)
Length at Waterline: 10.31m (34 ft)
Beam: 3.46m (11 ft)
Draft: 2.22m (7 ft)
Ballast: 8,000 lbs, approximate
Displacement: 30,000 lbs, approximate
Aluminum Plate Thicknesses:
Keel: 10mm (3/8″+)
Below Waterline: 8mm (5/16″+)
Above Waterline: 6mm (~1/4″)
On Deck: 5mm (3/16″+)
Rig: twin headsail (outer genoa 135%, inner genoa 110%, both roller-furled) sloop with an additional removable stay for storm jib, running backstays
Mast: Selden with double spreaders, mast steps and twin pole attachments
Ground Tackle: 
Mako vertical windlass
1. 30kg S140 Spade anchor (primary)/120m G70 Certified 8mm hot dip galvanized chain with pear shaped end links
2. 33kg Bruce (secondary)/70m 16mm Liros Anchorplait/10m DIN766 chain,
3. Fortress FX-23 kedge
Engine: Bukh DV48, keel-cooled.
Tankage: 800 liters diesel (211 gallons) in two outboard tanks under the pilothouse; 700 liters (184 gallons) in two tanks in the keel.
Heat: gravity-fed Refleks diesel heater, matrix fan heater run from engine.
Insulation: original foam sheeting insulation, about 1″.
Steering: Tiller-steered using either a Monitor windvane, or autopilot (using either satellite compass or fluxgate compass input).
Whisper large-case, dual belt, 130 amp alternator on engine
Whisper house batteries, 4 x 145amphour Gel
separate start battery
Whisper Isolation transformer
Whisper 12v60amp battery charger
Whisper Sine wave inverter 12v/2000 watt
Whisper shore power
Battery monitor
Loncin portable generator
Furuno SC30 satellite compass (required an additional Furuno NMEA 2000->0183 converter and autopilot software upgrade to interface with the autopilot)
Standard Horizon Matrix GX2150 VHF with built-in AIS receiver (and handheld backups)
Standard Horizon CP590 GPS Chartplotter, 12″ display
Furuno radar
Echopilot Bronze forward looking sonar (and handheld depth backup)
Kenwood SSB/pactor modem
Iridium satellite phone
Simrad/Robertson HLD2000 electric/hydraulic autopilot that connects directly to the rudderstock.
em-trak B100 AIS transceiver
em-trak S100 AIS/VHF splitter
Inmarsat-c transceiver
Wind indicator
Safety: liferaft, two dinghies (Nestaway folding and Mercury inflatable, 2.5hp outboard), Jordan series drogue, ParaAnchor
Doesn’t Have
  • Wheel steering
  • Hot water
  • Pressure water
  • Shower
  • Refrigeration
  • Solar or wind generation
  • A painted hull
  • Powered winches or sails
  • Davits
  • Deadlights in the hull
  • Any instrumentation in the cockpit
  • Watermaker
  • Microwave
Does Have
  • A warm, dry doghouse to keep watch in
  • Three watertight bulkheads
  • Water tanks integral to hull create a double wall for puncture protection
  • An aperture-protected prop
  • Standpipes instead of through-hulls

4 Comments on “Gjoa, Background

  1. Hi Randall. James Rozzelle here. I was thinking about you yesterday. Ann, Josie and I pedaled over the bridge to Sausalito and lunched at Fish. I always pop into the Spaulding Boatworks to see what’s on the dock. Yesterday I saw a Falmouth Cutter Pilot. The original owner did a circumnavigation on it. After he died his widow sold it to the current owner who was refitting it. You probably know the design, a broad-beamed, squat-looking vessel. Beautiful. Ann has kept me apprised of your doings. I just saw pics of your new boat. Hope this finds you well. My adventures on two wheels seem tame next to yours under sail.

    • Hey James,

      Nice to hear from you. The bike ride sounds wonderful. It’s 8:30am here; pitch black and raining. Been up since five and am twiddling thumbs waiting for enough light to do…any work outside.

      I wonder if the Falmouth you saw was MINKE, a very beautiful boat indeed. If so, I’m sorry to hear of the owner’s passing. I knew him; used to work on boats at the San Rafael yacht harbor, where MINKE was for many years. Nice guy.

      Please give my best to Ann and Josie.

  2. Pingback: REFIT UPDATE #3: On Painting and Windvanes – The Figure 8 Voyage

  3. Hi Randall,
    Michael from Germany here. I do own an Aluminium 37ft boat, although not a Dubbel&Jesse one.
    Your boat is quite famous here and of course I can read the mentioned book.

    So if you have any German content and like to talk about it, just send me an E-Mail.
    That´s what I call a journey.

    all the best

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