The schooner is 36' on deck, 27' waterline, 9.5' beam and 6' 9" draft. She carries 6000 pounds of lead in the fin keel and 813 sq feet of sail. That, according to Bill Garden makes her "the fastest little schooner ever built". She was designed by Bill Garden and built by Byron Burns. Launched in 1982 and named BUT AND BEN reflecting the builder's Scottish heritage. In 1999 she was sold to Andrew Mastalerz and renamed "COPERNICUS 1" after the great Polish astronomer

Bill Garden

William Garden, CM (1918 – 2011) was a Canadian and American naval architect and marine engineer. For six decades, he designed a variety of watercraft. After World War II Garden became licensed as a naval architect. He moved to Sidney, B.C., in the late 1960s and bought a nearby private island he renamed Toad's Landing, where he did his design and build work from then on. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2007 in recognition for being "an accomplished naval architect and marine engineer".

R. Byron Burns

Copernicus was built as a backyard project by Byron Burns and named “But and Ben”. He was for many years a school teacher in the North Saanich school district. Byron was a very close friend of Bill Garden, and Copernicus was a unique design for Bill. Byron went on to build another of Bill Garden designed boats; schooner "The Ghillie".

Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus (19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance polymath, active as a mathematician, astronomer, and Catholic canon, who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than Earth at its center. Copernicus developed the heliocentric theory at his observatory in the town of Frombork, Poland , using inferior, primitive instruments even for the time, more than half a century before the invention of the telescope.

His works "On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres" was published in 1543, the year he died.