Durk Steigenga:

Durk has an engineering background and provided consulting services to heavy industry across Canada. His first sailboat was a Cabot 36 which he and Linda cruised through the Great Lakes, around New England and on a trip to Bermuda.People 2007.MacIntosh.SusanHood
When he got interested in sailing, it wasn’t long before he applied his technical skills to boat rebuilding and improvement projects. His first foray into serious racing was a complete rebuild of a custom Kirby quarter-ton with 2 partners. The team went on to win the Lake Ontario Quarter-ton Championship the following year.
Durk commissioned Peter Karadi of Custom Yacht Builder in Whitby, Ontario to build MacIntosh as a replacement for the Cabot. Durk did much of the final assembly himself, including building and pouring the external lead keel. MacnItosh was conceived as a performance off-shore cruiser with accommodation and amenities suitable for extended passages, and maybe a little racing.
It wasn’t long before MacIntosh did more and more racing. Her first major race was the 1986 Newport-Bermuda race. As MacIntosh was being raced, Durk started planning performance improvements. Eventually she would have a new rudder, a new keel and she is now on her third mast.
Durk’s next major racing project was the modification of the Two-tonner, TRAX which went on to win the Lake Ontario season’s Championship 3 years in a row and also the Lake Yacht Racing Association annual regatta, once he started building sails.
The next step on this journey was to build sails, which he did in the winter of ’93 –’94 with two partners. Those sails were so successful, it wasn’t long before he was building sails for his friends and fellow yacht club members. This eventually led to the formation of Performance Sails.
The most recent adventure was to build a carbon fibre spinnaker pole with the help of Keith Robinson. Keith is a composite specialist who has worked on many high profile racing boats and is himself a catamaran sailor. Durk has built a number of sails for Keith’s boat.
Durk moved to Nova Scotia in 2011 and lives on Mahone Bay overlooking Tancook Island. He worked under contract with the Michele Stevens Sailloft. While there he learned traditional sailmaking techniques and worked on many projects he would never see in Toronto such as the sails for the schooner Columbia. Durk has become a student of traditional sailing vessels and sails and is a member of the Nova Scotia Schooner Association and the Chester Yacht Club.
He continues to campaign MacIntosh and competed in the 2017 Marblehead-Halifax race winning her class.