When the vibe of Mexico gets in our bones, many of us simply need to find a way to stay. Jess and Janet Coburn created a business that embraces their love of all things sailing; Todo Vela. “We don’t do much else, but it is fun to have the store and work with our passion of sailing.”
Originally from southeastern USA, they’ve lived in the Midwest and also the mountains of Colorado, always choosing places where they could sail. They bought their La Cruz home in 2009, moving here permanently in 2010 after visiting Puerto Vallarta on vacation. Janet told me, “Fortunately we booked at Rancho Banderas so we were situated on the north side of the bay! Sailing is our passion, and of course we looked around for the marinas and yacht clubs. Marina Riviera Nayarit was about 80% complete, and we fell in love! We’ll never forget going to Philo’s bar one night where we talked with a young Canadian who worked as crew on a private condo yacht called “The World”. She told us she had traveled all over the world, but chose La Cruz as the place for her permanent home… that was the moment that we were sold on our puebla!”
Jess became active as a Race Officer helping with Mexico’s regattas. Realizing that Mexico didn’t have a place for sailors to purchase the things that sailors need; replacement sails, specialty clothing, repair parts, etc., their mission in Mexico was defined. Todo Vela (Everything Sail) was born in June 2011.
They began by supplying items required by small racing boats like the Optimist Dinghy that is sailed by 8 to 15 year olds, and the Laser which is a small Olympic class racing boat. Opening in a very small location across from the taxi station in La Cruz, they met the “cruisers” of La Cruz, folks with sailboats in the 30-80 foot range who actually live on their boats, learning that Todo Vela needed to supply the bigger boats as well. In 2012, they moved to a shop in the Marina Riviera Nayarit fish market expanding their inventory to meet the big boat needs.
With a growing inventory and the addition of selling the actual small boats, by 2014, they had outgrown their space in the fish market. They found their current location on the Carretera in La Cruz near the traffic signal where they have the space to provide everything needed; space for the boats they’re selling and all the stock for both the sailors who race and the sailors who live on their boats.
Today, Todo Vela is known not so much by locals in La Cruz, but by the Mexico boating community. Janet says, “We serve folks all over the country as much as we do the folks in the Riviera Nayarit. We never dreamed Todo Vela would grow this big and keep us this busy! As our passion is sailing, we get great pleasure from helping other sailors. We love to take our store to regattas where we are in the center of the action. It is especially rewarding to meet the young children who are learning the skills of sailing. We sponsor many regattas around Mexico, and always help the national teams who represent Mexico at international regattas. We also get to live vicariously through the adventures of our cruising customers who have truly traveled the world. Many of them decided to stay in the PV area so our store helps us to make friends!”