Stanley Dashew: 1916-2013 – Posted by Sarah


Two weeks ago, at the tender age of 96, my grandfather sailed off into the sunset and on to his next great adventure. One can only assume the sails were trimmed perfectly.

Daddy’s Daddy–as my sister and I, along with most of our friends and family, called him–was a consummate adventurer. He learned to sail as a young man in New York, and in the late 1940s took his family cruising in a 76-foot schooner called Constellation. Down through the St. Lawrence waterway, the Caribbean, Panama Canal, and north to California over the course of two years was a rare undertaking in those days. Press and curious locals followed the family’s travels, and the journey cemented my father’s calling at the age of 7.

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 (Above: My grandfather teaching my dad about navigation on board the Constellation)

My grandfather’s love of boats guided our family in countless ways: my parents met aboard his catamaran Hu Ka Makani; they gathered the courage to take us all cruising at a young age thanks to his example; one of my dad’s first designs (and the namesake for the following line of yachts) was the original Deerfoot, built for Daddy’s Daddy in New Zealand in 1978.

Once the 72-foot Deerfoot II came along in 1985, and my grandfather brought her across the Atlantic and back into Marina Del Rey, he had his perfect yacht. Right up until his 96th last September, he sailed her into her slip at California Yacht Club on every birthday–to make sure he still had the skill. Those of you who live and sail in Southern California no doubt will have memories of seeing Deerfoot II reaching proudly along on many a weekend over the last 25 years.


So we here at SetSail wanted to take a little time to honor “Captain Stan”, and thank him for his ocean gifts. But as his granddaughter, I can tell you this: that what really inspired me and made me adore him was not the boats, nor the calloused hands that were always trimming sheets to eke out a little more speed. Rather it was his eager embrace of the unknown, not just a willingness but a longing to seek out what lay over the horizon, that sent me flying into his arms at every reunion. That is the gift I remember, the gift I miss, and the gift I hope to inherit.

Fair winds and following seas, Daddy’s Daddy.

Posted by Sarah.Dashew  (May 15, 2013)

14 Responses to “Stanley Dashew: 1916-2013 – Posted by Sarah”

  1. Warren Cottis Says:

    Inspirational Sarah… and what an amazing legacy he has left that flows out from this very site


  2. Carlos V Sucre Says:

    My deepest condolences to the whole family. I think your grandfather will be watching you guys proud from up there. Carlos

  3. Scott Evangelista Says:

    Sarah, Steve and Lida

    So very sorry for your loss. It’s sounds like Stan had a wonderful spirt and sense of adventure and was able to pass that along so that he live forever in your hearts and in the hearts of others he touched.

    Thank you for sharing

    Warm regards and sincere condolences


  4. Alf Simpson Says:

    Dear Dashew Family,
    Please accept our sincere condolences on your loss.

    Yours respectfully,

    Alf & Gerry Simpson

  5. Matt L Says:

    “It’s skill that lets a helmsman steer his course, guiding his swift ship straight on wine-dark seas”.-Homer, Iliad Book 23, verse 380

  6. Victor Raymond Says:

    We are sorry for your loss but happy of his new horizon. Most of us are facing the same issues with our parents and all hoping the transition goes peacefully.

    What wonderful memories Daddy’s daddy has left you! Priceless and precious.

  7. Valerie Creighton Says:

    So sorry to hear the news! From what you’ve told us, he certainly lived his life fully right up to the last, something to aspire to. And what a wonderful post this was! A fitting tribute to a man who lent so much color and meaning to the many lives he touched.

  8. Dan Metzler Says:

    Daddy’s Daddy. What a gift… thank you for sharing.

  9. Michael Seng Says:

    To the Dashew family, I am sorry for your loss and will keep you in my thoughts. To Captain Stan, though we may not have known the original, your legacy of spirit lives on through your children and grandchildren – and we are enriched and grateful for it, well done, sir.

  10. Nic Monte Says:

    Dear Sarah, Steve and Linda,

    I am so sorry for your loss. Sarah, thank you for sharing. Your Daddy’s Daddy has left an amazing legacy that will live on.

  11. Shannon Says:

    Sorry for your loss. It sounds like he was a man that chased his dreams & made them happen. Can any of us ask for more than a long life of chasing our dreams. May he rest in peace now.

  12. Birhane Dashew Says:

    To the Dashew family. Deeply sorry for your lose. His ingenious inventions kept me following your family news curiously for the last 30 years. It is always wonderful to hear and read peace loving persons life.
    We all miss Stanley Dashew. The good news is his legassy will continue.
    Thank you Sarah for sharing your grand fathers story.

  13. Michael Richards Says:

    I am a new member at the California Yacht Club. I heard about Stanley Dashew, and at my age, 64, just learning how to sail, well, I thought I’m sorta old for this kind of adventure. I know Stanley had been sailing for a very long time but he’s inspired me to stick with it, take the journey! Let’s go! Let’s go!
    I never knew Stanley but his love for sea and family is something I know. Thanks Sarah for a glimpse into your grandfathers love.

  14. Ward Says:

    Deerfoot II looks good in the aerial view in Google Maps: