James de Beaujeu Domville was a well known Canadian theater/film director, producer, and administrator. At one point in his career he was head of the National Film Board of Canada. He purchased this Whitby 42 ketch right out of the factory in 1982. He named the boat Beau Jeu, a name that would stick for nearly 30 years.
In 1984 Jim and his wife, Pat Michelle, began their cruising life on board Beau Jeu. Their first cruise was down the East coast of the USA, on down through the Bahamas, to the Caribbean. Beau Jeu’s first home base was located in the British Virgin Islands. During the next couple of years they gained experience as cruisers in the Caribbean. In 1986, they decided they were ready for the Whitby’s first ocean crossing. They set out for Europe, via Bermuda and on to the Azores. From the Azores, it was on to the Mediterranean.They spent several years cruising in the Mediterranean, in particular on the coast of Turkey.
Back in the 80’s there wasn’t any threat of piracy off the coast of Africa as there is today. They were able to sail down through the Red Sea and on down to Kenya.
Next came an Indian Ocean crossing, West to East, ending up in Thailand, where they tied up at Phuket Boat Lagoon Marina.
Jim and his wife stayed in Phuket for many years becoming respected members of the extensive expat community there.The boat road out the deadly tsunami in 2004 docked at the protected Boat Lagoon Marina on the East coast of Phuket Island. With floating docks, the boat basically rode up with the rising water and back down again afterward. Boats moored on the east coast of the island didn’t fair as well.
Jim and Pat Michelle had many good years of sailing around the beautiful cruising grounds of Thailand. But, as the years passed, Jim’s health deteriorated and eventually the boat just sat at the dock, unused most of the time.
Jim bought the Whitby 42 Ketch in 1982
The second phase of this Whitby’s history began with an Australian named Leon Bowles. Leon was a marine industry professional with a small repair shop located in Boat Lagoon Marina. While working on various boats at this marina, Leon would pass by the Beau Jeu on a daily basis. Leon saw the great potential for this boat.
Several times he approached Jim regarding a possible purchase of the Whitby, but Jim and his wife were emotionally attached to the boat after so many years of cruising. Jim just couldn’t part with the boat.
Finally, in early 2011, Leon decided to write a letter to Jim and his wife, pleading his case and asking Jim, once again, to sell him the boat. He explained to Jim that he wanted to have a boat for his kids to learn to sail. Leon was married with a young family. He had a Thai wife and three small children. He felt the boat was perfect, and he pleaded with Jim to sell the boat so that a younger generation could carry on the great sailing tradition aboard this Whitby 42. Jim was touched by Leon’s letter and reluctantly agreed to sell the boat.
Leon completed the purchase in early 2011. In May of that year he hauled the boat out of the water and began a refit which would take him four months to complete.
Leon renamed the boat Bombora in honor of his love of surfing. At the conclusion of the refit, Leon and his family set off on a six month cruise throughout Southeast Asia.
After the cruise, safely back in Thailand, it was his wife who decided that she was not meant for boat life. Leon put the boat up for sale.
Read about the complete refit here.
Leon completely refit the Whitby 42 Ketch in 2011
I have been sailing for more than 50 years and have owned 6 different boats in my lifetime. I've also accomplished one complete circumnavigation of the globe. I've been living in Thailand for over 10 years. When I first saw this Whitby 42 in 2013, I immediately fell in love with it. Here was a boat that was ready to go, in excellent condition. I was impressed with Leon’s workmanship on the refit. I knew that with this boat, I could immediately begin cruising Southeast Asia. I purchased the Whitby 42 from Leon on July 4, 2013 and renamed her Jai Dee, which means “Kind Heart” in Thai.
At the time I purchased the boat, I was teaching English at Rachamangala University in Trang province in Southern Thailand. I had a house right on the water and was able to anchor the Whitby 42 right out in front of my house.
I initially used the boat to teach my students how to sail. I would take a different group of students out on the boat every weekend. The Thai students were thrilled to be on such a magnificent vessel. It was truly a rewarding experience for me
In 2015 I retired from teaching and began cruising SE Asia on a full-time basis. I sailed the boat up and down through the Thai islands between Phuket and Langkawi north and south and back-and-forth.I got to know all the little bays and anchorages off the coast of Thailand in the Andaman sea.
One of my most memorable cruises in Southeast Asia was as a participant in the Sail Malaysia rally in 2015. I sailed down from Phuket to Langkawi, where the rally begins. The rally continues south along the coast of Malaysia, visiting the many ports and islands, all the way down to the Singapore straits, where it stops at Puteri Marina. Then it proceeds north all the way up the western coast of Malaysia to Pulau Redang. From Redang, it's off to the Anambas Islands of Indonesia. From there it's on to Borneo. If you're interested in some great cruising, you should consider joining the Sail Malaysia Rally. This Whitby 42 is the perfect boat for a comfortable cruise.
I'm currently the owner of two boats. One of them is Jai Dee, this Whitby 42. located in Langkawi at Rebak Marina. My other boat is a Bavaria 50 which is currently docked in the USA in the Florida Keys. That is one boat too many for me. I've recently become a grandfather and my grandchildren all live in the USA. So, I'm selling my Whitby 42 and moving back to the USA. Here's an opportunity for you to own this proven world cruiser.
Mike bought the Whitby 42 Ketch in 2013