Bios Andy and Liza Copeland

Andy and Liza Copeland
Andy and Liza Copeland cruising in the Mediterranean

Andy was born in Spain of British parents, educated in England then joined the Royal Navy where he became a Fleet Air Arm carrier pilot and flying instructor. He grew up sailing in Seaview, Isle of Wight and has been a successful racer in a variety of classes. After leaving the Navy he moved to Antigua in the Caribbean, where he managed a boat yard and chandlery business as well as skippering and delivering a wide range of yachts, both classic and modern, sail and power. He was also a founder of both Antigua Yacht Club and Antigua Race Week. After the Copelands moved to Vancouver, Canada, Andy owned a yacht brokerage business and was also a professional captain. Although officially retired Andy still advises cruisers on boats and equipment for coastal and offshore cruising.

Liza grew up in Twickenham, England and studied Medical Social Work at Trinity College, Dublin University in Ireland. She emigrated to Canada and completed an BA in Psychology at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario and a Teaching Certificate and Masters Degree in Special Education at the University of British Columbia. Her career has included Vocational Rehabilitation, Medical Social Work and Educational Psychology, mostly in hospital settings. Having raced on the Solent and River Thames since she was nine years old, Liza continued sailing in a variety of boats in University, National and World Championships, as well as in long distance races. She is now a fulltime writer and seminar speaker, in between cruising of course!
Liza and Andy met at the Sunfish World Championships in Venezuela then ran charter boats together in the Caribbean and delivered boats to and from the U.S.  After marrying aboard the classic yacht Ticonderoga they completed their first Atlantic crossing in the old Fife built Eileen before moving to Vancouver, BC. Here they raced avidly, cruised the Pacific northwest with their three sons, led charters to the Caribbean and traveled widely before setting off on a two-year cruise that became a six-year circumnavigation. Andy then returned to yacht broking and dreamed about tropical cruising. Liza became a full-time writer and gives seminars on both boating and travel. She and Andy also have lead groups on sailing vacations to exotic places around the world, as well as in  B.C.  With Bagheera’s further voyages around North and Central America, in the Mediterranean, West Africa. Brazil and Caribbean they have now sailed over 180,000 miles together – although have mostly race separately! They continue to enjoy cruising with friends and family on Bagheera who currently lies in Canada’s Pacific Northwest, and also join friends to cruise in new or favorite regions of the world. 

Bagheera is a Beneteau First 38′ (40′ long)

Bagheera, a Beneteau 38'
Bagheera under spinnaker, used often when sailing the oceans of the world

The Copelands bought her new in 1985. Since picking her up in France they have logged over 124,000 nautical miles and visited 114 countries, including a circumnavigation with their three young sons. Oversized rigging, a collision bulkhead forward and additional lockers were the only structural modifications made when new. Equipment was always upgraded when replacement was necessary. With a tall masthead rig and 7’2” draft she is a high performance, moderate displacement and easily steered craft in which we have rarely averaged less than 150 n. miles in 24 hours when offshore.

To comfortably cruise as a couple, Bagheera has been modified to be easy to handle and a secure home. In-boom mainsail furling as well as genoa furling allows one person to hoist, reef and stow sails from the safety of the cockpit. A large autopilot and a Hydrovane wind vane, a central electric winch to which all halyards and sheets can be led and an electric anchor windlass latterly reduce their work load; a dodger and full cockpit enclosure protect from the cold while extra hatches and fans over every berth give a good airflow in the tropics; a reliable refrigerator and freezer, 3-burner stove and oven, watermaker, ample storage lockers, extensive book shelves and sea berths in the main cabin give comfortable living below. Over the years more electronics, communications systems and individual safety gear has been added. Their ability to install and maintain nearly all the electrical, electronic and mechanical systems has made her very reliable, along with reducing the cruising budget.

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