Meet Wes and Dylan
posted by Mark Fields
Jun 07, 2021

Meet Dylan and Wes Barbour

Sitting on their breezy back porch overlooking the Bay River, the boys were electrified. Eyes sparkling and sitting on their chairs ready to spring at any minute with bottled up excitement to talk about boats, all boats, anything boats, from the tiniest pad-eye to the largest barge, Wes and Dylan Barbour come by this boat love honestly.
Their parents, Justin and Jen, had been lovers of boats well before these two young fellas entered this world. Their mom, Jen, had grown up sailing Hobie Cats with her dad. Justin, their dad, had picked up the book Kon-Tiki his freshman year in college and was hooked on the idea of sailing. The two met in college, started sailing together, married and right out of college promptly scraped their money together, bought a Bristol 27.7 and moved aboard. When I asked Jen how many boats they’ve owned to dated she laughed. Needless to say Wes and Dylan were born to be sailors.
Back in the fall of 2004, Jen and Justin met Jim and Stephanie, owners of Bow to Stern Boating, while working together with Jim at Camp Seagull. The four became good friends and stayed in touch through the years. When Wes was 6 and Dylan was 8, their parent’s signed them up for Bow to Stern’s summer sailing camp. When asked why they sent the boys to camp when both Jen and Justin could teach them most anything about sailing, they responded saying they wanted their two to experience the joy of sailing with other kids and thought it was healthy for them to learn sailing from instructors who weren’t their parents.
The decision to send Wes and Dylan to camp was a grand one. They have been attending every summer since and still remember their first Opti Dinghys. Wes sailed Stingray and he was so small his head could barely be seen over the edge. He said capsizing was the thing he was most afraid of and then once he did it that first day it quickly became his most favorite thing! Dylan sailed Doc and immediately loved camp’s practice of heading out on the water the first day. He can still remember how excited he was when he realized pulling on the main sheet would control his sail and allow him to move across the creek.
These boys are an exceptional addition to camp. They love the counselors, jump in to help wherever needed and are fearless on the water. Dylan loves the fact that camp teaches the “soft skills” of helping others as well as all of the technical sailing skills. Wes loves the nature oriented lessons, being honed in to the environment, reading the wind and the water. Both aspire to be a part of our new Keelboat and Leadership Program when in high school and then work at camp afterward.
In the meantime these two have recently chipped in together to buy a 1981 Compac 23 which will be either named “Salt” or “Tiny Chubs III”. They bought her stripped down and are now working and saving to get her ready to sail these NC waters and beyond, perhaps to the Bahamas sooner than later. But don’t you worry, they know they will grow up one day and have already started dreaming about future boats and lives. Dylan would like to build his own build his own 27’ wooden Ketch rig with a full keel and a design combining the great things about a Pearson and an Ericson. He will then sail this beauty both alone and with Wes, around the world including Cape Horn. Wes on the other hand, is going to cruise the Cape of Magellan on his Catalina 42 with his family and possibly a lizard accompanied by a blue and white parakeet. But this summer they will be right here in Oriental on Smith Creek sailing one of our lasers or FJs .
We certainly hope if you have young sailors or potential sailors in your life, they might be a part of our summer sailing camp and maybe they will end up in the same week as Wes and Dylan! All in all, it’s going to be a great summer and we can’t wait to see all of our little sailing dinghies back on the creek!

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