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Classic Cruisers Club: Julie Parmentier

A boater from an early age, her husband reintroduced her to life on the water when they bought a 1984 Island Gypsy to explore the PNW.
The Parmentier family aboard their Island Gypsy "Danny Boy" in the PNW

The Parmentier family aboard their Island Gypsy "Danny Boy" in the PNW

Julie Parmentier has been around boats all her life. Her father was a naval architect and built boats in the Puget Sound area. She spent most of her career as an interior designer and project manager in the marine space. Two decades ago, her husband reintroduced her to life on the water when they bought a 1984 Island Gypsy. They’ve spent the years since enjoying cruises around the Pacific Northwest.

Name Julie Parmentier
Age 54
Home port Pleasant Harbor, Washington
Current boat 1984 Island Gypsy Danny Boy
Years owned 22


I have been on boats my entire life. My father was a naval architect and built sailboats in the Puget Sound area. And for most of my career, I designed and project--managed interiors on cruise ships, ferries, anything that floated. My husband reintroduced me to boating after years of not being out on the water.


Right away, the Island Gypsy looked stable, had a great amount of open space, and you could walk around the whole boat without the thought of falling overboard. That was especially important as our son was only 4 months old at the time. We love the spaciousness, the stability, and it basically has all the creature comforts of home. The only thing we don’t have is a washer/dryer. The interior finishes are classic teak, so it feels Old World.

The 1984 Island Gypsy "Danny Boy" in the PNW

The 1984 Island Gypsy "Danny Boy" in the PNW


I am not sure there isn’t a system on board that hasn’t been touched. We’ve done electrical upgrades, including changing batteries, at least three times since we’ve owned her (NorthStar AGMs are the current). We’ve installed redundant navigation systems, replaced the generator and watermaker, and installed new canvas and an enclosed bimini up top. We’ve also added a new inflatable dinghy. There isn’t much else I would change. I know my husband would like all the wiring identified and tagged. That would be a herculean effort. He has done quite a bit, but there is more to do.


We are thinking of adding an anchor counter, but painting the chain will have to do for now. At some point, we would like new window coverings in the staterooms. That, too, is far down the list. If anything, for now, it would be all cosmetic.


The best thing about cruising is watching the smile on my husband’s face when we are out on the water. He becomes the person I married: calm, cool and collected.

Life aboard the Island Gypsy "Danny Boy"

Life aboard the Island Gypsy "Danny Boy"


We started slowly by cruising the San Juans, the Gulf Islands, the Broughtons, then farther north to Prince Rupert and Alaska. We belong to the Roche Harbor Yacht Club, a cruising club. Several of us travel north every summer, so we exchange itineraries and meet up when we can. Otherwise, we travel by ourselves. We prefer the solitude of northern British Columbia. There are many boats that travel to just south of Seymour Narrows but do not adventure farther north. Thus, it is easier to find quiet anchorages and not-so-crowded marinas. Plus, the fishing is better. We are self-sufficient up to at least two weeks; after that, I get antsy for other human interaction.


A Selene, Fleming or maybe a Kadey-Krogen. They all have similar characteristics of our Island Gypsy. Having something brand-new would be a dream. Lately, I find myself ready to explore new territory, perhaps even with an RV.



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