Barry Spanier - Master Sailmaker
When Barry arrived on Maui in December 1978, he had $52.00 to his name and a dream. He and his friend and partner, Geoffrey Bourne, hung up their shingle at 111 Hana Highway, and Spanier & Bourne Sailmakers (MauiSails) was realized. The company was created to make sails for yachts, but evolved as the new sport called windsurfing found Maui to be one of the best places in the world to practice it. Their business grew, and before long they had fifteen employees and were working around the clock.
So impressed with their work, Neil Pryde International Sailmakers joined forces with MauiSails from 1982-1998 and Barry assumed the role of a Product Designer, developing patented plastic part systems, and making ten time PWA World Champion Bjorn Dunkerbeck custom made competition sails. He participated in sponsored efforts to establish new Sailing World Speed Records by Pascal Maka (1982), Fred Haywood (1983, 1984, 1985), Patti Whitcomb (1985), and Brigitte Gimenez (1989). MauiSails achieved the U.S. S.B.A. Small Business Person of the Year for Maui County 1993, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Blue Chip Enterprise Award for 1994. Barry had extensive global travel, participating in the building of the Neil Pryde branded products machine, creating a world-wide network of valued associates.
From 1998 to 2004, Barry became Head Sail Designer for Gaastra Sails International, contributing wide ranging editorial content to trade magazines, and began administering an active forum without censoring or content control, a radical step to communicate directly with their customers.
Now Barry’s amazing journey has come full circle. West Maui Sail & Canvas, Maui’s only full service, ground floor sail loft, is proud to announce that Barry Spanier has joined the crew and will once again be designing and repairing sails for Yachts of all sizes.
Captain Brian - Sailmaker Apprentice
At the young age of six Brian began surfing all along the Southern & Central California coastline. In high school he really began to expand his horizons and frequently traveled to places like remote Baja and California’s Channel Islands in order to get away from the crowds and surf some empty epic breaks. Brian thrived on the adventure that living close with the ocean provided and his surf wanderlust continued to gain momentum. Learning the art of self-sufficiency came naturally to him and after high school he traveled “down-under” to Australia and New Zealand. Brian spent two and a half years exploring and surfing point breaks from Melbourne to Brisbane and New Zealand’s North Island.
Always learning and nurturing his love of surfing and the ocean, Brian began shaping surfboards for himself and his friends. He focused mostly on single fins, classic longboards, and mid-lengths. He still shapes all of his own boards and fins today.
Ready for new challenges and adventures Brian decided that he was ready for the next step – the winter pilgrimage to Hawaii’s famed North Shore. However, he quickly became disenchanted with Oahu and its overcrowded lineups. Not wanting to give up on Hawaii just yet he spent the next winter on Maui and returned each winter for several years to surf Maui’s coastline. He finally made Maui his permanent home in 2007.
Brian’s initial career path in the island led him to become a journeyman, stone mason, and tile setter. As fate would have it early in his construction career a client asked Brian if he would be interested in helping to build a 38’ sailing catamaran… ofcourse, he said, “YES!”. Mike Turkington, a well-known surfer/shaper, boat builder and sailor, led the charge on the project. For 8 months Brian worked side by side with “Turk” learning all his techniques for building fiberglass boats. This project left Brian with not only a wealth of knowledge on boat building but also a renewed desire to have his own boat.
From then on, every boat project Brian was involved in became training and preparation for when he would own his own boat. He completed many different jobs including many minor cosmetic repairs & additions, and extensive rigging work, including re-rigging and restepping a friend's cutter.
In 2012, the dream became a reality. Having more enthusiasm and passion then he had money, Brian and his girlfriend struck up a deal on a modest 36' cruising ketch. It needed lots of love but it was a good, solid boat... it was also located in Morro Bay, CA. Brian left Maui in early April 2012. He and a few surf buddies sailed to Ventura via the Channel Islands before he had to begin the serious work prepping for the crossing. It took about 6 weeks, with the help of his girlfriend, 2 crew, and family & friends before they had completed the monumental task of preparing a small vessel for a large ocean crossing. The boat had never sailed off-shore, and Brian had to replace every bit of rigging, from new mast tangs to new chain plates, to withstand the stress of off-shore sailing and Hawaii's notorious channels. His girlfriend stayed the weather and route planning, and with the help of their crew provisioned and stowed all the food, gear, and spares so that those four adventurous souls would be able to thrive for 30+ days at sea.
Back home on Maui, Brian has become a vital member of the West Maui Sail & Canvas team and is learning the art of sailmaking from Barry Spanier.