Jonathan Bordoli - Boatshed Chicago
Hi thanks for visiting my profile page.
I’m an expat Brit who moved to Chicago in 2011 and have established Boatshed Chicago based on my love of boating, love of Chicago and love of cruising on Lake Michigan.
My sailing interests began as a 6-year-old enjoying family camping and sailing holidays with a Mirror Dinghy that my father bought as a kit boat and built in the family living room – my mother must have been very understanding!
In the early years, my father and brother would lift the 11-foot pram dinghy on to the roof of a classic British Mini – as we all grew and could not fit everything in the car it was later trailed and acted as a place to tow the camping gear!
We sailed on the lakes, rivers and other inland waterways as well as coasts of England and Wales. I’m not sure how we fitted four people in an 11-foot dinghy but that probably explains why we later bought and sailed a GP 14 – another classic British dinghy. Over the early years at various sailing and camping events I tried out a few other small boats.
I started getting involved in big boat sailing through the sports and social clubs of some of the companies I worked for in my early career as well as through friendships with boat owners. The sailing ground then was the Solent on the South Coast of England where there would be occasional jaunts over to the Isle of Wight.
With my own family I did not own a boat for many years but we still enjoyed boating holidays including sailing and powering on the Norfolk Broads, Canal boating in England and France and generally getting into a boat wherever we could no matter how small including paddle boats.
I owned an American designed and built MacGregor 26 in England for many years when my children were in their teenage years and now I enjoy cruising on Lake Michigan on my latest boat a Catalina 30.
Some of the amazing places I have sailed include the Ionian Sea; Island hopping of the West Cast of Greece; Oban on the West Coast of Scotland that included sailing alongside Fingal’s Cave a volcanic outcrop that Mendelssohn the composer wrote a piece of music for (The Hebrides overture); off the West Coast of California from Marina Del Ray when we had dolphins circling the boat and Charleston South Carolina.
The first time I sailed out of sight of land was a Lake Michigan crossing, quite nervous but a perfect moonlit night and heading to South Haven for Fourth of July celebrations – a 14-hour sail. Since then I have made several crossings and been caught in horrible weather including lightning storms.
I dream of living on a sailboat one day and sailing, at least in part, around some of the World and am therefore an avid blog follower and magazine reader. A couple of my favorites being Distant Shores – a couples 27-year cruising adventure, Accidental Sailor Girl and creating a sustainable life living aboard and Cruising World Magazine full of tales of the cruising and live-aboard life.
One of my favorite hangouts to meet with fellow boaters is either down on the dock at Chicago's downtown DuSable Harbor or at the Columbia Yacht Club of Chicago where I am on membership committee.
If you are looking to sell or buy a boat to enjoy the Chicago water scene, then give me a call!