Andy Schwenk began sailing as a teenager in 1978 with a neighbor from the local yacht club. He worked summers during high school crewing on charter boats and made the first of 37 Pacific crossings in 1982 after his junior year in high school. After graduating from Anacortes High School, he competed in the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit in Florida and the Bahamas before delivering boats between the Gulf Coast and California, and in the South Pacific.
At Western Washington University, Andy competed on the sailing team, twice reaching the Kennedy Cup and placing in the 1987 Collegiate National Championship. Upon graduating in 1989 with a degree in United States History, Andy joined the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment where he trained as a forward observer. After being honorably discharged in 1993, he earned his teaching certificate at Seattle’s Antioch University and taught middle school English and Social Studies for ten years.
Andy earned a 100 ton Master’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1993 and has since logged over 2,500 days on the water, both inshore and offshore in scores of different boats ranging from pilothouse cutters to high performance racing sloops. Andy has nearly 40 Pacific crossings under his belt, with his most recent being the 2014 Pac Cup where he double-handing a Santa Cruz 27 from San Francisco to Hawaii.
In 2005, his friend and mentor Girts Rekevics, then fighting cancer, approached him about buying Northwest Rigging. They worked together until Girts passed away in 2007 and Andy has run the business since that time. He and his wife Stephanie own and race the Wild Rumpus, a Santa Cruz 27, and have placed in the National Championships three times since 2009.
Andy is the proud father of two boys, Kai and Dylan, both raised as much on the water as off. He also serves on the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is President of the Anacortes Marine Trades Association.