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Orion: David Popken’s Sabre 38

orion2 Orion: David Popkens Sabre 38Interview by Charles Milby

What factors influenced your decision to purchase a Sabre Yacht?

When researching boats prior to our purchase, I had several criteria that would ultimately put the Sabre 38 Centerboard Sloop at the top of the list.  Primarily, I felt that a boat in the 38-foot range would give me and my wife Kris a comfortable, affordable, solid platform for mid to long distance cruising.

As boats get longer, they get exponentially more expensive to maintain, not to mention more cumbersome and physically demanding for a husband and wife to handle together.  One of our other considerations, was the ability to go shallow, since many parts of Florida, the Keys, the Bahamas and the Caribbean have skinny water.

And, we wanted a solidly built boat, one that could handle a bluewater passage without reservations with regard to safety, seaworthiness and robust components.  The Sabre 38 centerboarder met all of those criteria.  Sabre Yachts is still in business in Casco, Maine and that also heavily influenced our decision. They have our boat, hull #99 in their database and have stepped up numerous times to assist in the refit, with vendor phone numbers, design details not found in the Owner’s Manual and fixes for recurring problems.

orionint Orion: David Popkens Sabre 38

Once you made the purchase, what were your expectations regarding time and money needed to refit the boat?

Orion is a 1987 build, and was a lovingly maintained one owner boat prior to our purchase.  But, the reality is she was 25 years old, which is relatively ancient for a plastic boat.  The electronics were all outdated, the standing rigging was original, the running rigging and sails were serviceable, but in need of replacing, there were the usual bits of other hardware that had seen better days, as well as numerous water entry points that needed to be addressed.

To turn the boat into a true long distance cruiser, various equipment additions and upgrades would also be necessary.  There was also one “Achilles Heel” with Sabres, something lovingly called “Sabre Rot”, where the mast base collected water and allowed it to migrate into the surrounding cabin sole and underlayment, rotting out the sole in the process.  The limber hole in the mast base was inadequate for the task and the root cause of the problem.

Fortunately, the factory was aware of the problem and had produced a “fix.”  Our boat had a relatively minor case, but it still needed to be addressed.  I wish I could honestly say that I anticipated every one of the repairs and upgrades, but that would be a total fabrication!  I will say that once complete, the purchase price and the cost of the refit will be about a quarter of the cost of a new boat of similar dimensions and quality.  There is no question that finding a sound used boat is the most cost conscious route to take.

What was the single largest upgrade cost-wise?

Without question, it was the standing rigging.  Sabres came from the factory with rod rigging, a great option for both strength and performance, but also more expensive to replace than wire.  You may be familiar with a term called “scope creep”, where an ongoing project creates opportunities to make improvements to corollary systems.  In the case of the standing rigging, we had to pull the mast, so while it was horizontal in the yard, it was a no-brainer to go ahead with a complete re-wire, including LED lighting for anchor, tri-color, steaming and spreader lights, new VHF antenna and coaxial cable, new halyard sheaves and halyards.  The mast and boom were re-painted with Awl Grip.  The chainplates were cleaned, inspected and re-bedded, prior to the mast being re-stepped.  This of course, was not the only area where scope creep has come into play.  When deciding to redo the entire plumbing system, it made sense to replace the galley sink, pressure water pump and water filter, while also adding a cockpit shower where an old LORAN unit had been cut into the cockpit bulkhead.  And once the “Sabre Rot” was repaired, I went ahead and stripped the entire cabin sole of varnish, then sanded and refinished it.  I am fortunate that my career path involves home repairs and woodworking, I’m a general contractor, so I have the confidence to do many things myself.

You sailed the boat from New Jersey back to Texas.  What are your thoughts regarding Orion’s sailing qualities?

It’s hard not to get overly effusive about this boat’s performance on the water.  Despite being a centerboard boat, she sails very well with the board up and when needed, even better with the board down.  She’s very stable, not tender, points well and is easy to balance on nearly every point of sail.  On our crossing from Clearwater to Pensacola, FL, we were close reaching and there was a period of nearly 3 hours where she maintained course without so much as a touch of the helm.  It was like she was on a rail.  And surprisingly fast for a cruiser.  I could go on and on, sea kindly, comfortable cockpit, generous side decks, ample foredeck and gorgeous classic lines to boot.  I feel blessed to own and to sail this boat.

orionint2

You’ve worked hard getting the boat ready to cruise.  Do you have any definitive plans going forward?

Yes, my wife Kris is retiring in October.  I will have most of my work obligations wrapped up shortly thereafter.  Our loose plan is to sail back to SW Florida and find a semi-permanent slip, most likely in the Ft. Myers area, which gives us the opportunity to sail south to the Keys, Cuba and the Caribbean, or head east through Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic and either the Bahamas or up the Eastern Seaboard, depending upon the season.  Before we leave the western Gulf though, we plan a stopover in New Orleans to enjoy that great city for a while.  From there, we want to explore the barrier islands in Mississippi Sound and then spend some time in the Apalachicola area before turning towards Ft. Myers.

What advice would you give to someone looking to buy a sailboat for cruising?

To borrow and modify a phrase from Lance Armstrong, it’s not about the boat.  Too many people get hung up on trying to find and prepare the perfect boat for their perceived needs and lose sight of the prize.  The list of boats that have successfully crossed oceans is long and runs the gamut in size and price from humble skiffs to 100 ft maxis.  If cruising is truly your dream, don’t wait until you can afford the perfect boat.  Mark Twain puts it so well:  “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

popkenDavid Popken was born in Grants Pass, OR in 1948.  After high school and the US Army, where he served in the Vietnam War, he graduated from Washington State University and pursued a short career in cinematography and film. Changing careers, he moved to Houston in 1980 to work in real estate.  He started his own residential building/remodeling company in 1983 and is still in business, but is planning to retire soon to go out and experience the cruising lifestyle.  David and his wife Kris bought their first sailboat, a 1978 Hunter 30 in 2002.  They have been avid sailors ever since, daysailing, racing and cruising whenever possible.  David has recently turned his attention towards writing about sailing and sailboat maintenance.  His stories have been published in Sail Magazine, Telltales and GCM.

Hanse 415 Review

hanse415 reaching9603v2 Hanse 415 Review

German built Hanse 415 features sleek, streamlined styling

By Jon N. Jones

hanse415 salon looking fwd 108v2 Hanse 415 ReviewLast summer I had a chance to sail a new Hanse 415 on Galveston Bay.  I’d heard of Hanse, a German production sailboat company very popular in Europe, but had not sailed one, so, of course, I jumped at the chance.

My first impression was of a sleek, modern-looking sailing machine with uncluttered deck and European styling.  It looked much bigger than her 39’4” would suggest due to the ample freeboard, plumb bow and flat transom.

According to Hanse, most owners opt for the fully battened mainsail instead of the increasingly popular in-mast furling.  This boat was no exception and it was clear most of the horsepower comes from the main.  The mast is noticeably forward of center and the boom comes all the way back to the transom, allowing for a large (565 sf) and powerful mainsail.  The jib is a single-sheet, self-tacker, unique to Hanse.  The jib sheet connects to a traveler-like arrangement forward of the mast replacing the need for a jib-boom on other self-tacking rigs I’ve encountered.

My first impression of uncluttered decks was confirmed.  Other than a tank fill cap, I found not a single fitting on the deck itself.  The cockpit was similarly uncluttered with all lines being led aft underneath molded runners on deck and then into molded cockpit lockers.  The entire boat is noticeably lacking in trip hazards and toe-stubbers.

hanse415_salon looking aft_145v2The transom itself drops down “tailgate” fashion, which is becoming the norm for swim platforms.  Twin helms are also becoming the norm, but unlike most production boats, Hanse’s rack and pinion steering allows each wheel to be independent.  If one steering mechanism fails, the other can compensate.  There is no emergency tiller on board – the other helm is the emergency tiller.

Down below, the Hanse 415 does not disappoint.  Straight lines and 90 degree angles on the interior cabinetry gives the perception of more space and makes the boat feel more home-y, and less boat-y.  Interior woods come in a variety of types and shades.  The model I saw was outfitted in American cherry.  Interior doors were substantial including hardware more like what you find in a home than on the typical boat.

As nice as it was below, I came out to sail the boat.  On our test sail, we had steady 10-12 knot winds from the SSE and calm seas.  We motored easily past the Kemah boardwalk with the boat’s Volvo-saildrive and two-blade folding propeller.  Steering was easy, two fingers being more than enough to steer the boat under engine.

This Hanse 415 was equipped with an electric main halyard winch, so raising sail consisted of turning into the wind, unzipping the lazy bag and pushing the button.  Falling off a bit, we unfurled the jib and the boat quickly achieved 5.5 knots close hauled.  Falling off the wind, we picked up to just under 7.5 knots with only a slight adjustment of the jib sheet.

Tacking the boat was ridiculously easy.  From the helm, I announced “tacking,” and turned the boat through the wind with just one hand.  The self-tacking jib slid across the deck and settled in on the new tack.  Nothing touched, no sheets to let fly, no need to trim the sheet.  And just like that, we were back up to speed.

The Hanse 415 is a cruising boat, no doubt.  It is roomy and well appointed.  She was quite impressive under sail with a powerful sail plan and performance-minded rudder and keel.  Not only will this boat be very comfortable at the anchorage, she can get there quickly, too.    

Boating With Cats

sleepykat 300x199 Boating With CatsAnd no, we don’t mean catamarans

As rare as it may seem, more and more boat owners are bringing their feline friends onboard.  Having dogs on a boat is quite common. But unlike their canine counterparts, cats do not have a natural ability to adapt to a water environment.

Generally, domestic cats have not been bred to be on the water so they do not typically swim and or enjoy being near water. Yet, avid boaters – who also happen to be avid cat lovers – may still wish to overcome these laws of nature, and take their cat along with them.

Preparing Cats for Boat Time

It is best to slowly introduce your cat or cats to the water environment, and your boat. Some cats have an innate fear of water and will tremble at the mere sight of it. In more difficult cases, such as with older cats, adapting could prove more challenging than with younger ones.

Once on the boat, it is best to help cats become familiar with the vessel while docked. Loud boat engines on powerboats may be startling or hurt your cat’s sensitive ears. The speed and wind produced by powerboats might also be hard for cats to handle. These may be reasons why cats are most often seen on sailboats.

Keeping Cats Safe on Boats

Cats are known to be very well-balanced and good on their feet. Many boaters that observe cats on boats are surprised to see how nimble they are walking around the edges of boat decks and marina docks. Despite their ability to gracefully walk boat decks, BoatSafe.com suggests you have your cat fitted with a special pet life jacket for water safety. A slip into the water could be disastrous for cats that do not know how to swim.

When packing provisions for weekend or long distance cruising, be sure to include plenty of fresh water and food for kitty.

Keeping your cat cool in hot weather and protecting delicate paws on hot boat decks is important to ensure their health and well-being. And don’t forget the kitty litter!

With the right preparation and careful attention to special accommodations, your fluffy ball of fur will purr with pleasure at not being left behind when you spend time onboard.

David Hunt

davidhunt 253x300 David HuntPresident of the Gulf Coast Yacht Brokers Association

David Hunt is a native of Seabrook, with a love of the water and passion for boats. That love was born early on at his father’s dealership, Gulf States Yachts, and nearly 30 years later, David is proud to continue the legacy at Texas Power Yachts.

He began his career as a yacht broker in 2007 with Lauderdale Yacht Sales, after a successful stint in real estate. He then joined Lone Star Yacht Sales as sales director, under the famed international yacht broker James Hedges and excelled in the international yacht market as the Gulf Coast dealer for Azimut Yachts and Bertram Yachts.

Also representing Benetti Yachts and Atlantis Yachts as an official international agent, David had the opportunity to perfect the art of luxury yacht sales. With his intimate knowledge of the global luxury yacht market, his clients praise him for his honesty, attention to detail and his desire to always act in their best interest.

Now in his role at Texas Power Yachts, he tries to match the right boat to the desired yachting experience. His knowledge and experience with brokerage and new boats makes him an excellent partner in finding the perfect boat.

Passionate, patient and driven, he is an Eagle Scout, president of The Gulf Coast Yacht Brokers Association and an active third-generation member of Lakewood Yacht Club. When he isn’t at the office, he is on the water in his Boston Whaler with his beautiful fiancé, Lindsey, or enjoying spending time with his family and friends at Lakewood.

How long has the Gulf Coast Yacht Brokers Association been in the area?

Since the early 1980s.

As the president of that organization, what are your duties and responsibilities?

As president, I am responsible for presiding over all or the meetings of the GCYBA, as well as planning all of the meetings and special events. There are also specific committees, and duties placed by the board of directors. I also spend time promoting our organization in the Bay Area, as well as the state of Texas.

If you could own any boat what would it be?

Bertram 64 Convertible. My father had several Bertram and Hatteras yachts when I was growing up.
To many people buying a new boat can be a daunting process; could you walk us through the steps of purchasing a boat?
It can be a daunting process and the first step is to find a broker you can trust. The broker members of the GCYBA are all held to an ethical standard, as well as many being Certified Professional Yacht Brokers.

Brokers have resources available to them that most buyers do not have. We have access to multiple listing services, as well as boat information and knowledge that can save time in narrowing the search to meet the buyer’s needs. We can also assist the buyer by helping them define what vessel they want as well as defining vessels that will fit their needs.

Once the boat is selected, the broker will assist them with presenting an offer to the seller and negotiating a price, and terms.
A broker can assist the buyer in finding a qualified marine surveyor to survey the vessel and give an expert opinion of the condition and value of the vessel.

Once the survey is competed, the broker will assist the buyer in the closing phase of the process, helping with titles, documentation and closing documents. This will help make sure that everything flows smoothly, resulting in a happy experience for all parties.

What’s your favorite movie?

Pulp Fiction

What changes do you see for the boating industry in the next 3 to 5 years?

In our Texas market the industry would be greatly changed with the adoption of a sales tax cap on boats. Florida passed a bill in 2010 that limits the sales/use tax on boat sales to $18,000. By capping the sales tax on boat priced more than $300,000, Florida saw a dramatic increase in sales, as well as direct revenues to marine businesses such as marinas, shipyards, etc.

Currently sales tax in Texas is 6.25 percent on boats under 65 feet and 8.25 percent on vessels over 65 feet. A sales tax cap in Texas would increase the number of boats in the area, as well as much larger boats entering the state. The local economy of our area would see dramatic increases in marine related jobs, as well as the other businesses that profit from the marine industry, such as restraints, marina’s and yacht clubs.

We are also seeing some great new designs in both sail and power yachts, and many new advances in performance, clean engines, and hybrid technology.

How many yacht brokers are in the area? 

Around 60

What do you like to do for fun when you’re not working?

I spend a lot of time on the water in my Boston Whaler with my fiancé and friends. I also enjoy spending time at Lakewood Yacht Club with my family and friends.

Creola

creolapic Creola

tonysmythe Creola

Tony Smythe next to the models of Creola and Salerosa that hang up in the Texas Corinthian Yacht Club.

The Grand Dame of the Gulf Coast

Long time yacht broker Tony Smythe loves being around boats. He was kind enough to share his thoughts on why he rescued this classic wooden boat. She is a beauty and if you want to get a closer look be sure to check her out at this year’s Keels and Wheels Classic Car and Boat Show May 3 and 4 at Lakewood Yacht Club.

GCM: When did you first see Creola?

When living in New Orleans I had a Grand Banks 32 that I took to Lafitte, south of the city on Bayou Barataria where she was our hunting camp during duck season. Although Creola lay wilting in a covered shed in the same marina where I first saw her, it was love at first sight. Even then I saw lots of potential.

GCM: Tell us about the boat’s history.

She is the creation of Emil “Bill” Dufrene, a true bayou Cajun who was the originator of the Lafitte Skiff. He hand crafted a boat that revolutionized commercial fishing in Louisiana. Prior to his Lafitte skiffs, fisherman spent days shrimping on their 5-7 knot “Luggers”, plying the bayous far from home. Then came Dufrene who in the late 40’s put more speed into his boats that brought their fishing grounds within a day’s run.

GCM: What is it you really like about the Lafitte skiffs?

In Louisiana, Dufrene’s skiffs are legendary. I became aware of him from several friends at Southern who owned his boats. They were all built of hand-picked, aged cypress and were butt-planked using no caulking. Dufrene was ahead of his time. Most production boats, like Chris Craft and Mathews in that era were narrow-beamed and round-chined. Dufrene built his with hard chines and beamy, providing more room and stability. She also has wide side decks unlike the production boats.

 GCM: How and why did you end up with her?

In December of 1992, during a return trip to Southern, a friend told me the 37 foot I knew in Lafitte was for sale. I don’t really know why I bought her as I was happy with Salerosa, our Grand Banks 42. Paint was peeling off but structurally she was as sound as the day she rolled off the “ways” on the bayou. She was a damsel in distress and I was just too smitten with her.

GCM: Tell us about the restoration of Creola.

I repowered her in New Orleans with new diesels and we ran her back on her own bottoms to HYC. The restoration took nine months with a deadline of taking her to the Madisonville Wooden Boat Festival. Bernt Womack was the main man to tackle the project with my old friend Tim Strong as his able assistant and Len Kirkham as shipwright. I knew immediately the interior layout would not work, so we gutted her inside and I laid her out to my own design with input from Bernt and Tim.

GCM: How have you used Creola?

Creola has given me the opportunity to run the waterways, bayous and bays with more speed than the Grand Banks 42, so I’ve covered more cruising and fishing grounds in shorter time. I’ve cruised her extensively in Texas and Louisiana, especially gathering research for THE TEXAS/LOUISIANA COASTAL CRUISING GUIDE. We have even trucked her to Hinckley’s yard in Maine. In 2001 we cruised from Maine to Long Island Sound and then trucked her back home. She has played the perfect committee boat for local regattas as well as many national championships hosted by TCYC and HYC.

With the Lafitte trademark being the overhanging fantail, the curious northern yachtsmen asked me what exactly she was. My reply was simple, she’s a Coon-ass lobster boat. That must have made Dufrene smile.

Catalina Yachts 445

catalina Catalina Yachts 445

This Isn’t Your Parent’s Catalina

cat445image Catalina Yachts 445With over 96 hulls built in less than four years, the Catalina Yachts 445 has proven to be one of the best blue water cruisers to come out in the last decade. Many of the reasons why were born out of the last financial crisis.

In 2008 after the largest economic crisis in most people’s lifetimes, the norm for most builders was to stop building or go out of business. At the time Catalina Yachts, which has been in business now under the same ownership for over 45 years, was building over ten models of boats from 28 to 47 foot. Always known as a robust and rugged boat capable of offshore passaging but built at a modest cost, Catalina had a choice to go the way of most builders and stop production and wait this crisis out or they could scale back and shrink down the models to a more useful size range – all the while improving the product for the end consumer.

Catalina chose the latter solution and the Five Series was born. The current Catalina models, 315, 355, 385, 445 have all the attributes of the Five Series.

One of the biggest features of the Catalina 445 is the Flex Cabin. Think of it as a walk-in cockpit locker or the third guest stateroom for the grand kids. The door to the flex cabin is to port in the galley area. This area features upper and lower berths that can be folded up. There is also a filter cabinet that allows you to check the main engine’s fuel and water filters. Also, there is a cabinet that can be left as storage or customized. A washer dryer, icemaker or third refrigeration system can be added. The possibilities are endless. Plus when you need a place to put gear, like cockpit cushions, you can also access the flex cabin from the starboard cockpit locker. Unlike a lot of boats being built today, the Catalina 445 is loaded with storage. There are large oversized hanging lockers in each cabin as well as drawers.

There are 12 large drawers in the 445, plus over 30 places for storage including custom storage for pots, pans and dishes. In addition to the flex cabin, which has an unlimited amount of uses, there are two large stern lazarettes.

On deck the 445 is all business. From the traveler to the winches to the standing rigging, the hardware is massive. The primary winches on most boats are the size of the halyard winches on the 445. Even the bow rollers are set up for two real anchors and the chain locker is divided. Even though there is a collision safe forward “strike zone,” there is room to carry 300’ of chain and not offset the balance of the boat.

Listed below are the main design features that distinguish the new 5 Series models:

  • Collision-safe forward Strike Zone bulkheads and impact absorbing chamber.
  • Deep Defense rudder systems with stainless rudder posts.
  • T-Beam Mast Step system structure providing all the benefits of a deck-stepped mast and the strength of a keel-stepped mast.
  • Secure Socket mast support/chainplate system.
  • Knitted fabrics used for a stronger laminate and stiffer structure.
  • Dramatically styled teak interiors and laminates finished with a satin varnish for durability and beauty.
  • Five-part structural construction, insuring a stronger boat and more rigid structure.
  • Offshore internally Banged hull to deck joint capped with a slotted toe rail.
  • Navigation AC/DC panel with additional circuits  for added options, plus a built in amp draw meter  to monitor electrical usage.
  • Wide, clear weather decks designed with inboard shrouds for moving forward with ease, and a diamond non-skid pattern for safety and durability. In addition, the low profile cabin design provides for a sleek appearance, great  visibility forward.
  • Comfortable, ergonomically correct cockpits with seats long enough to stretch out on.
  • Lead keels for durability, and impact shock absorption for safety of the crew and structure.
  • Oversized travelers, winches and lines for ease of sail handling in all conditions.

More more information on the Catalina 445,  contact Little Yacht Sales at 281-334-6500.

 

Sailing Key West

keyswater Sailing Key West

Sailing Key West from North Palm Beach

By Charles Milby

floridamap Sailing Key WestWinter sailing in Florida can be fun. The water is turquoise and the weather is usually warm.  Over the Thanksgiving Holidays, Suzanne and I were invited to help our friends Dave and Kris Popken move their sailboat from North Palm Beach to Key West. We had a great time. Most of the coast of Florida is developed, but when you travel by boat you get to see the best parts and avoid the snow birds. Key Largo and Marathon were two of the most delightful stops on our trip. I didn’t make it to Sloppy Joe’s Bar, which is where Hemingway hung out, but I did go to the Schooner Wharf Bar and the Island Dog Bar. Suzanne liked Grunts, a very nice dinner spot off Duval Street. You will have to explore and find your own little place in Key West; it’s filled with friendly watering holes where everyone is welcome.

Dave Popken aboard Orion, a Sabre 38

Dave Popken aboard Orion, a Sabre 38

As we were walking down the pier at our marina one day we saw a manatee. He was so big. I thought it was a rock on the bottom until he moved. I’m not sure what he was looking for as he posed for pictures, to the delight of our party, but he was fun to watch. Having been to Key West I would definitely go back, so check it out. If you like to fish and sail then make some plans soon. I’m sorry to say Southwest Airlines will no longer be flying into Key West. You can still get there is by car or by boat. I preferred the boat.

The manatee at the marina was not shy.

The manatee at the marina was not shy.

 

Chickens were brought into Key West by Cuban immigrants in the 1800s for the purpose of cockfighting. This was outlawed in the 1970s and now these birds roam the streets freely.

Chickens were brought into Key West by Cuban immigrants in the 1800s for the purpose of cockfighting. This was outlawed in the 1970s and now these birds roam the streets freely.

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469

sailjen Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469

Little sister to the Sun Odyssey 509, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469 is a solid performer that is both attractive and comfortable at a very competitive price.

sailinterior Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 469As another Philippe Briand design, the Sun Odyssey 469 is a “big” boat for its size, with a wealth of interior volume and deck space enclosed within its 14ft 9in beam. The hull is all fiberglass, hand-laid in a two-part mold, and the injection-molded deck is attached with a combination of adhesives, bolts and screws on an inward-turning flange. The “Prisma Process” Jeanneau uses to create its molded decks allows the com- pany to carefully regulate the amount of resin in the mix in the interest of minimizing weight. It also creates a finished surface on the deckhead that doesn’t have to be hidden from view.

The keel is an iron fin with a bulb, the double- spreader mast is aluminum, and there is a glassed-in structural grid inside the hull to absorb the loads generated when the boat is under sail. Overall, the build quality and trim is attractive and well executed. Jeanneau continues to up its game with every passing year!

On  deck  just  a  smart  practical  layout that works well, looks good, and serves as further testament to the fact that Jeanneau knows how boats are used out on the water.

The boat has wide unobstructed sidedecks, which run well aft outboard of the cockpit coaming, making it easy to scurry toward the stern cleat in tricky docking situations. Beefy toerails provide extra security, and no gymnastics are needed to get around the in- board shroud bases when making your way forward. Twin helm stations provide comfortable seating well outboard for playing the shifts to windward, and there are well-placed foot cleats for use sitting inboard or steering downwind.

While the cockpit is not as massive, the benches are plenty big enough to accom- modate a crowd, and the sturdy centerline table provides a good place to brace your feet. There’s also a wealth of space aboard the Sun Odyssey’s 469 drop-down swim platform, which is huge. The 469 is a good- looking boat, with its nearly plumb bow, aggressively sculpted cabintrunk, cleverly integrated hull windows, composite helms and hard chine aft.

TCY Left page (Page 1)The look is fresh and modern, and the saloon cabins are flooded with light, thanks to the large saloon ports, multiple overhead hatches and the previously mentioned hull windows. There are nice touches, including track  lighting  along  the  cabin  sole  and a nav table that slides down to create an uninterrupted settee and sea berth along the starboard side of the saloon. The Sun Odyssey is available in a variety of layouts to accommodate any sailor ’s wish list.

There are not a lot of things to complain about under sail. Upwind the Sun Odyssey

469 powers into the swells on a close reach as if it were the most natural thing in the world.  The  boat  easily  tacks  through the chop, and maintains a light, sensitive helm sailing at a 40-degree apparent wind angle. Downwind the boat is equally easy to handle. Overall motion is easy and comfortable.

Under power the nice big rudder and the boat’s 54hp Yanmar saildrive also make the Sun Odyssey 469 easy to maneuver under power. Motoring in the 7 to 9 knot range at 2,000 to 2,500 rpm’s is a reasonable expectation depending on the winds and currents of the day. Jeanneau’s 360 docking system is an option, but hardly a necessity aboard the Sun Odyssey 469.

Whether you are entertaining at the dock or  racing  in  next  year ’s  Harvest  Moon Regatta the Sun Odyssey 469 is a racer cruiser which won’t disappoint. Plenty of room and style for those with refined tastes and a powerful, fast sailboat which holds its line in any weather and eagerly powers its way to the finish line to capture the cup.

For more information on the Sun Odyssey 469, please contact Texas Coast Yachts in Clear Lake Shores by phone at 281-957-9046, via email at sales@texascoastyachts.com or visit their website  Texas Coast Yachts

 

* Reference source : Sail Magazine article by Adam Cort (Posted: Sep 20, 2013) and Jeanneau America

Moon Palace

jefferson65outside Moon Palace

One of a kind 65′ Jefferson Monticello Yacht

This 65’ Jefferson Monticello yacht was designed by Hershine Yachts for the Mossberg firearms family. It is now owned by Moonboat LLC, a partnership of Doris Richeson and James Malone and sign-named Moon Palace.

Gulf Coast Mariner: How did you get started in this restoration project?

Doris Richeson: James Malone and I also own a 50’ Chris Craft yacht (the IRS says that if the vessel is more than 29,’ it’s a yacht) also named Moon Palace, but when we saw the 65’ Jefferson Monticello — the only one ever made — and its potential, we were smitten. Adding to our ferver was the fact that we were advised that the owner was quite anxious to make a deal to sell the vessel.

We learned that the owner was Bill Janklow, former governor of South Dakota, who had a brain cancer which was soon to claim his life. He wanted to sell the vessel and looked for a hasty sale, one in which the sale would be “as is where is.”

However, when we had our pre-purchase inspection, we were advised that the big twin diesel engines were essentially trashed, thus we amended our offer to Janklow to allow for the replacement of the engines. The sale was closed on December 7, 2011.

Little did we know what a money monster the yacht would become. First we ordered the new Caterpillar C-18 1150 hp turbo diesel engines, and then realized the dual transmissions would not tolerate the strength of the new engines, hence the transmissions were upgraded to ZF transmissions large enough for even big C32 Caterpillar engines. When the 4-blade brass propellers did not challenge the new engines adequately, we had ZF design and build new 35” 5-blade props. Moon Palace can now achieve a respectable 24 knots. Wanting the extra safety of a bow thruster, we added this to take us into unaccommodating spaces.

wheelhouse Moon Palace

GCM: When and where did you buy the boat?

DR: We first saw the yacht moored at another marina in Seabrook. It was then named Rock ‘n Roll. This vessel had three previous owners, beginning with the Mossberg firearms family, who had apparently selected the original Tre Kronor decor, featuring bright yellows and blues and eponymous with its original name.

 

jeffersontableGCM: What are some of the recent changes you are making (have made) to the boat?

DR: The vessel has four bedrooms and four “heads,” aka bathrooms, both fly bridge and interior helm stations, main deck salon, formal dining room and buffet, full kitchen, aft deck hospitality station and 10 air conditioning units. as well as a hallway with full-view engine compartments, and Malone’s proudest achievement, four wet bars.

Malone thinks the giant engines are works of art; I think they are works of necessity, but James won the argument: We have big hallway windows so all can see the roaring monsters.”

Being rather Texas proud, James and I converted step by step from Tre Kronor’s bright colors to our favorite antique African and primitive decor, all the while, repairing, varnishing, replacing, and generally restoring the craft to our personal preferences, even as the major mechanical works were in progress, all done by local contractors.

Michael Raach, a very talented wood artist, has labored for over a year building unique cabinetry and features such as the aft-deck drop-down TV cabinet and the aft-deck ceiling done in 2” wide book-matched teakwood strips.

 

GCM: Does the boat have any special feature you can tell us about?

DR: Moon Palace is moored at Galveston Yacht Basin A47, the only covered slip at the Basin which is large enough to house the 65’ Jefferson. A47 is the slip built for the original Galveston Yacht Basin owners, Robert Everett “Bob” and Vivian Smith, and has space for vehicle parking as well as a hospitality area and room enough for a “genuine” Rolls Royce golf cart the partners love to drive on our Galveston sightseeing tours.

I am working with Capt. Rob Robertson, who was captain on the 65’ Jefferson for a substantial period of time, and hope to get some information as to what I have been told is his very interesting story.

 

GCM: Do you plan to go cruising any time soon?

DR: As we’ve repaired, renovated and redecorated, we have made Gulf of Mexico cruises, hosting family and friends, living on board when James and I are in Galveston.

With the renovation and repairs completed and having passed Sea Trials in the open seas, Moon Palace’s opportunity for longer cruises has finally arrived.

jeffersonbed

GCM: What is the best thing you enjoy about Moon Palace?

DR: Even if Moon Palace is resting up for her next cruise, the best thing we enjoy is seeing  a very favorite view of the world from our own private slip A47 at newly-revived Galveston Yacht Basin.

 

About the owners:

Most of James Malone’s family is deceased, but friends from North Texas and Galveston are sometimes aboard. Malone lives in Fort Worth and is owner of After-Dark Lightscaping.

Doris Richeson is a multi-unit restaurant owner and has a very close-knit family of three grandchildren — all of whom are in her business — and their spouses and children. All have enjoyed being aboard Moon Palace, as have Doris’s friends from her hometown of Graham, Texas; Doris’s full-time residence is on Possum Kingdom Lake, 18 miles south of Graham.

The Lady – Tommy Dickey’s 1970 Grand Banks 32’

by Charles Milby

lady The Lady   Tommy Dickey’s 1970 Grand Banks 32’

The Lady

Tommy Dickey was born into a boating family. His parents had a house on Galveston Bay and he spent his summers sailing and boating at the Texas Corinthian Yacht Club.

Tommy has cruised and raced sailboats all over the world. In 1971 Tommy, along with Bob Mosbacher and Thad Hutcheson, won the Soling World Championship on Long Island sound in Oyster Bay New York. I’ve known him all of my life, he crewed for my parents Mary Nell and Charlie early in his sailing career and he still turned out okay.  There is no place he would rather be than on his boat in the middle of Galveston Bay.

The Lady is a 1970 Grand Banks 32, hull # 198. She was built in Singapore by American Marine, LTD. Tommy bought her in January of 1985 from his good friend George Francisco. She is of all wood construction.

The following is part of an interview I did with Tommy earlier this year.

GCM: Why buy a wooden boat and not fiberglass?

TD: For me it was economics. When I bought her in 1985 I couldn’t afford a new boat and the older ones were made of wood. I wasn’t afraid of wood. I built my first boat, a Sailfish kit, at age 16 and had worked on other “woodies.” I was, however, naïve about how much upkeep is required, especially in our warm and damp climate.

GCM: I know you like working with wood, when did this hobby start for you?

TD: My dad gave me a wood lathe when I was 15. I loved looking at the grain of the wood. I always figured out how to put wood stuff together.

GCM: How long will an old woody like you last?

TD: Needless to say she will be around a whole lot longer than me. A judicious use of the tough finish products available now will actually make an old boat more resistant to the ravages of water, sun, and movement than when they were new. The Lady has had every inch of her exterior except the teak decks covered with epoxy and all the horizontal surfaces have been glassed and epoxied. All of those surfaces have been painted with Awlgrip and that is an amazingly tough finish.

GCM: How did you come up with the name?

TD: She was Singapore Lady when I bought her. It was logical to shorten the name so I could remember it. I also have Babe, Mother, Babycakes, Chica, and my son and I built Hussy.

GCM: What’s the likely future of her?

TD: She’s 43 years old now and is in better shape than ever. I keep thinking I should sell her as I have too many boats now but we shall see.