It was supposed to be a big Father’s Day weekend for the McDonald’s family.
Duncan McDonald, along with his wife Julie and their two young daughters, spent over a year building a sailboat from scratch. The ship, christened “Salor DoThat” by her daughters, was scheduled for Father’s Day weekend off the coast of Sunny Beach.
But their plans were thwarted when the boat was stolen.
McDonald says he discovered Salor DoThat was missing early Friday morning, less than a day after they completed the job.
AT facebook postthe family says the boat was stolen from a trailer near Fraser Street and King Edward Avenue, near their home in East Vancouver.
“We released it last night,” McDonald said. “I have several neighbors who helped me lift the boat and put it on a trailer (boat) that was waiting for it. And this morning I was taking out the trash before I hit the road and it wasn’t there.”
The boat is a 14-foot flat-bottomed skiff with a white base from bow to stern and a blue sail on the mast. Duncan says it’s made from plywood from Home Depot, as well as wood harvested from the neighborhood. The license plate on the boat trailer is WHW 89A.
Julie McDonald says they received close-knit community support after posting on Facebook.
“It was a lot of tears,” she said. “But the amount of social media [attention] was cordial.
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“They think the boat is probably not worth a lot of money, but they understand that emotional connection, the memories and the importance of Father’s Day.”
“It was really nice to see how many people were moved by this material,” he said. “It would be great to see that the end of the story would be to put it in the water and see how it goes.”
The couple said they have since filed a complaint with the police. The CBC contacted the Vancouver police on Saturday morning and has yet to receive a response.
Journey ‘seems very unfinished’
Duncan McDonald, a woodworking teacher, started building a sailboat in the spring of 2021.
“I wanted to do something stupid and complex and interesting,” he said. “Something I didn’t build at all. I mean, who builds a sailboat?”
The decision was made on a whim, he said, adding that he took sailing lessons to justify building the ship and bought a 1970s book to learn how to build it.
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In the end, he said, his wife and two young daughters came to the rescue: his six-year-old daughter learned how to use power tools, and the little one painted on a boat.
McDonald also recalls his daughters playing with Salor DoThat. “Cousins come in and just jump in the boat. They pretend the grass is water.”
Julie McDonald says her husband worked hard to reach his goal of sailing on Father’s Day.
According to her, the project also attracted the attention of the residents of the area.
“Now I’m pregnant and there came a time when I couldn’t work on the boat,” she said. “Every time Duncan had to move it or turn it over, he had to call a couple of neighbors for help.”
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She says the community’s support since the boat went missing has given them a reason to stay positive.
“The journey or story feels very incomplete,” Duncan said.
“I hope someone sees this and says, ‘Hey, that’s a sailboat,’ and we can get it back.”