Cody and Jared Doolan grew up beside the water in Bend, Oregon, where they learned how to run speedy powerboats and laze away the summer on slow-moving houseboats. Their dad, who was originally from Montreal and who learned to boat on lakes and rivers, taught his two sons to love the water.
The salt-water siblings got into sailing while at college, and they haven’t looked back.
“When we were younger we had lots of fun on Sea Snarks. These are two person sailboats made of Styrofoam with a hull that weighs no more than 40 pounds,” elder brother Cody explained.
Their current sailboat, an Aloha 28, is substantially larger and built of good quality fibreglass. The brothers, dressed in coveralls, were busy with their chores while their trusty sailboat was lifted and remained dry docked at the Creek Marina and Boatyard. Artist Sasha Koop stood on a step ladder carefully painting the name ‘Blue Heron’ on the freshly painted hull. The Aloha sailboats were last built in the 1980s following an economic downturn, but they remain a popular choice with sailors.
Cody said they bought the sailboat almost two years ago. “We’re new to boating around Vancouver. We’ve had fun sailing the Georgia Straight and exploring the Gulf Islands. The water around here is pretty calm and mellow compared to the Oregon coast. That water is a lot angrier.”
They now spend part of the year living in North Vancouver where they run their web-based businesses. Cody has a degree in chemical oceanography while Jared recently graduated with a degree in aeronautical and mechanical engineering.
Jared said they like the Mosquito Creek Marina. “We grew up in smaller towns. It has a community feel here and the people are friendly.”
When Cody was asked if he had any hair-raising boating stories, he remembered when he first learned how to sail. “I would wander down to the nearby yacht club and see which boats had rigging up and go over and ask if they needed help or any crew. More often than not, the boat owners needed extra help. That’s how I learned how to sail, crewing sailboats in races and regattas.”
Occasionally, the first thing the boat owner would ask Cody when he stepped onto the boat would be ‘do you want a beer?’ He laughs. “As much as I would have liked one I would say no. By the time we had been on the water for a while, the rest of the crew was hammered, hanging off the boat, yelling at the other boaters while I ran the boat single handed!”
Needless to say, he was often invited on the yacht club’s boats and quickly got a reputation as being the designated driver!