The Boat

Wondering what a Nor’West 33 cruising sailboat looks like?


When I first saw the listing for a Nor’West 33 for sale, in Mexico, I thought “A 33′ boat almost in our price range? That’s interesting. But what the heck is a Nor’West 33?”

Putting my google-sleuthing-skills to use, I set about tracking down every reference to Nor’Wests that I could find. If you’re interested, here’s a page I compiled of any links & references that are at all useful! Nor’West 33.

If you would rather let the pictures do the talking, turn up the volume, embrace the cheese factor, ignore the slightly fuzzy quality, and enjoy a very** quick walkthrough of Brio:

**The crazy part is I actually slowed this video down by 50%… note to self: don’t zip around with a camera, it makes everyone seasick later**

A Few More Pictures


First Sail


Enjoying the new hammock on deck


Interior shot looking forward — Port settee becomes a double berth


Jon with a glimpse of the nav table & quarterberth

What does Brio mean anyways?

[bree-oh] -noun 1. quality of being spirited; alive; vigorous

As someone commented, “that suits you much better than something like Serenity“.

I’m not exactly known for my patience, so when Jon & I found this word, Brio, that seemed to sum up all the passion and excitement we have for sailing and cruising and life, in ONLY FOUR LETTERS, it seemed perfect.

Why does the letter-count matter, you ask?

I grew up on ‘Synchronicity’. 13 letters. Just try to spell that phonetically a few times…Sierra, Yankee, November, etc… Now try spelling it phonetically over a HAM radio to an official in Egypt and see how much fun it is! Hence the requirement that our boat have a short, easy to spell, and easy to pronounce name that somehow represented our philosophy at the same time!

*For a long time I wanted to name my boat “Lil Sync”, but someone suggested that might be tempting fates a little too much 😉

**Other random factoids? “Brio” is also the name of a Honda car model, primarily sold in India, and of a cute kids toy train set 🙂


The Boat — 12 Comments

  1. aloha, just want to say do it and dont stop. ive wanted to do the same for the last 10 years. im 28 now and finally have the 30k for the boat. i also have a girl (she has me) whom i feel can accept a cruisers life.she makes jelwelery and im a contractor in hawaii and plan on getting the boat in san francisco and starting there. i dont know how it will work out either but im going for it in 3 months. even putting my house into short sale to do it. look me up if you guys are ever in either of those places, i have friends in both.

  2. Aloha Travis! That’s awesome — you’ve definitely seen the Nor’West that’s for sale in Cali then? I keep checking to see if anyone’s bought her yet — she has some very nice features that I have boat-envy over!! (Refrigeration, boomvang, pressure water). What other boats are you looking at? Does your girlfriend have a site for her jewellry?
    Thanks for saying ‘hi’!

    • John I would LOVE to have the original papers — that would be amazing! What’s the easiest way to get them from you? – Leah

  3. I just finished listening to your pod-cast on Sailing Loot and had a quick question… I was looking for that boat yard in Mexico where you mentioned there were 100’s of boats dry docked… I haven’t been able to find it online… Any suggestions?


    • Hi RJ,
      Absolutely, I have lots of suggestions!
      This is the actual marina: It’s tied to “Marina Seca” — the dry storage component of the Marina San Carlos family.
      The trick is that there are multiple brokerages selling boats from the same yard… but if you search Yacht World for “San Carlos” you’ll see some of the boats I’m talking about.
      Good luck and happy boat hunting!

  4. Hi Leah, no idea where to share this, but I’m the new owner of Falcon (#12). Noticed that you maintain an owner’s list, among many other informative and cool things! Falcon and I are in San Diego. Thanks for all the good info!

    Aloha, Foster Righter

    • Hey Foster,
      Nice to meet you and great to hear you’re Falcon’s new owner! What kind of shape is the boat in? Any projects or sailing plans? We’d love to see some pictures if you have any to share! Our email is — Leah and Jon 🙂

      • Hey guys, she’s in great shape mechanically; everything is solid and functional. Just about everything is original though, so cosmetically she needs a little help. So my goals are to first make her liveable (in a spartan kinda way), second, focus on watertight integrity, and third, outfit for cruising. I’m excited! Finding inspiration from people like you and some other kick-ass DIY youtubers like Mads from Saillife and Andy (more of a pro who shares) at Boatworks today. This weekend is “get to know your engine”. Should be frustrating as hell!

  5. Oh how I envy your lifestyle. We have been pretty adventurous in our life together, but now we’re in our later life and sailing is no longer an option. We now have a motor home and looking to spend time in Mexico. San Carlos looks like a good option. Can you give us a website for info on possible RV parks there. Happy Sailing (I love your name Brio)

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