Reviews of Finding PAX keep rolling in

There's nothing better than to open email and find a message from people whose heart has been touched, memory stirred, or dream inspired by reading Finding PAX. When my editor, Jan Pogue, asked me bluntly what my goal was: Vanity book (Is this for YOU?); Official documentation (Is this every little detail about the boat?); or, Do you want to write a book that people will read? I chose the latter and quickly added, "and remember - not just her, but other boats and people in their lives. I want her story to touch their hearts." 

Given the responses I get almost daily, it seems we met our goal. Editors are magic that way. For the first edition of my first book, mine sure was! I wouldn't trade the hybrid self-publishing option I chose and the editor/project manager I found to do it with.

Soon, I'll be embarking on a 2nd edition, with a different editor. Finding PAX will soon (touch wood) be under contract with a major publisher in London! I'll let you know who and dates to buy a copy, when I can later this summer.

For now, here's the latest review... received today from MacKenzie Drift Boat builder, adventurer, author... champion of wild rivers ... Greg Hatten. I've known Greg for a decade. Met him when he brought his first MacKenzie Drift Boat to the Wooden Boat Festival. Now, he's doing talks all over the country! Has written articles, books, and is the inspiring man behind the National Park Service's 100th anniversary "outrageous wooden boating adventure" series.

What joy it gives me to share our love of wooden boats with each other - and the world! Thank you, Greg!

"Kaci Cronkhite writes with pride and passion about the wooden boat she acquired and the quest to learn her history. That quest seemed quixotic at times but her persistence and obsession ultimately rewarded her with the clues to know the life story of the well-travelled and "buxom" boat named PAX. Finding PAX is a wonderful combination of mystery, intrigue, heartbreak, craftsmanship, and emotion all mixed together in a wooden boat story that had me rooting for the author, for the boat, and all the previous owners. Over the years, everyone who came in contact with PAX came under her spell and you will too if you read this wonderful, artfully crafted book." - Greg Hatten, 2017

Indie Bookstores & Libraries: Where to buy FINDING PAX

Public libraries, niche-market magazines, and independent bookstores in every town where I live, work, or travel keep the love of written stories alive. I'm thrilled to partner with them all. 

Copies of Finding PAX are available at the following book retailers. If you don't see a store close to you, then try their website, or ask. I'd love to expand the availability. 

Writers' Workshoppe & Imprint Books in Port Townsend

Wooden Boat Chandlery & Edensaw Woods in Port Townsend 

WoodenBoat Store in Brooklin, Maine (Finding PAX is in the Goodreads section)

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Store in St. Michaels, Maryland

Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Small Craft Magazine in Port Townsend, Washington

Jefferson County Museum Store in Port Townsend, Washington


Jefferson County Library

Port Townsend Library

Watonga Library

Marblehead Library

Sault St. Marie Library

International Yacht Restoration School Library

Great Lakes Boatbuilding School Library




Starting this week, FINDING PAX is available in the following bookstores...

New locations are being added weekly, so if you don't want to order online - contact Kaci to find your closest bookstore. 

FINDING PAX has arrived! Official Launch at Wooden Boat Festival.

No sooner had the pallet of books arrived at Edensaw Woods and been loaded into my very full truck, than the first person offered to buy one. After handing a book to long-time friend, local supporter of all things wood and community - Kiwi Ferris, owner of Edensaw Woods -  I turned around to see Alex Spear (owner of the beautiful Vito Dumas) ride up beside us and voila! I was inscribing the first book! 

From that moment, it's been a flurry of orders (and signing each one!) in person, via social media, on my website, in local bookstores (yesterday, the first books went to Writers' Workshoppe/Imprint Books), and next week at the first of several public events leading up to the OFFICIAL Big Splash Book Launch at the 40th Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival

How to find boat history (and prepare for the surprises)

Tracking down the former owners of a boat you own, especially if the boat is more than 50 years old (mine is now 80!) accomplishes two key stewardship goals - the preservation of historic documentation and the prudent recording of repairs for maintenance. 

A third, more FUN goal, (in my case, what turned into an international quest, and book) is the profound discovery of human connections and the illumination of history that occurs while doing the research. Think "Roots" and for boats. While the people you meet may not be family by blood, they (or their children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren) become family, in that bigger world community way, through a shared love for the boat or through the challenges faced while owning it.

Research starts with the documentation received at purchase - the legal documents of registration - and anything the prior owner passed along like Logbooks, maintenance records, etc. If the boat has a pedigree from one of the national or internationally recognized designers or building yards, it's likely there will be plaques, photographs, and even books about the boat or her sisterships. 

In my case, there was nothing but the minimum information required for registration and the name of the owner I bought her from. The rest was a mystery. What I did next, then next, then next was the 7-year quest to British Columbia, California, and Denmark (four times!) that became the book, FINDING PAX. 

While most people buy boats for voyaging and some for the challenge of the build, my boat took me places I never imagined, into history I never knew.

Rotten news: unexpected joys of a wooden boat haulout

Rotten news: unexpected joys of a wooden boat haulout

Shipwrights Diana Talley and John Zimmer agreed to do the work. Pax was hauled, tapped, chalked up, and four planks (or partial planks) were chosen for removal. If you know wooden boats (or house projects) there might be a slight increase in your heart rate at the mention of removal. Behind every plank in boat (and board in a house) you're likely to find something else that might need to be fixed. 

So it went on Pax. With the planks off, we could see

Here's to the craftspeople

Not a day goes by that I'm not grateful to someone for something when I'm with my wooden boat. Thanks to their hands, their tools, their ingenuity... I can go sailing. I can rest assured.

In this photo alone, that includes:

Unknown people somewhere who made the cloth, the grommets, the shackle, the cotter pin, the thread, the bolt rope, the leather strip, the parachute cord and marlin twine. You get the picture.  We depend on each other more than we realize some days... too many days.