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My History

In 1996, my friend and former neighbor, the evil Dr. R, forced me to read Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander, the first volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series of novels. I was hooked, netted, brought aboard and filleted. So, okay, could I, too, learn to sail? Then there’s the diving thing–since ‘92 I’d been spending time on boats, thinking, “this could be more fun if it went where I wanted it to go.” More evil still, my wife found a book on sailboat chartering as a vacation plan.

In 1997, I want to the Lake George Sailing school in YMCA Camp Chingachgook for a family learn to sail weekend. What a riot! Then, through a complex situation at work, I got to sail on Northern Light, a 12-m America’s Cup Yacht! The Tiedemann’s classic America’s Cup yachts Gleam and Easternerwhich were also out on Narragansett bay. See Sea Scope Yacht Charters for more information.

From 1998 to 2009, I sailed my first boat, a Chrysler Buccaneer. Took her many, many places, did a lot of sailing, learned a lot about sail handling.

Also, I’ve been helping kids learn to sail at Skye Farm Camp. In ‘97, ‘02 through ‘09, I’ve volunteered for a week to teach sunfish sailing. You can see my Sail Camp ‘03 Memories, and Sail Camp ‘05 pictures.

In 2009, we upgraded to a Whitby 42. we plan on making several repairs, doing some upgrades, and taking her as far afield as we can. Details are available in the Team Red Cruising Blog.

Sail Travel

Planning a trip to the Chesapeake? That’s where I live. Find some information on Chesapeake destinations in the Team Red Cruising Blog.

Planning a trip to San Diego? I’ve been sailing in the harbor in a 22’ Capri and a 34’ Catalina. See my Holiday Letters, 1999 and 2000. Here are my San Diego sailing links.

Planning a trip to San Francisco? I’ve been sailing in the harbor in a 30’ Ericson. See 2000. Here are my San Francisco sailing links.

Going to Delaware? There are some sail boat rental operations down there, too. In 2001, I spent a couple of days sailing sunfish at the Rehoboth Bay Sailing Association facility.

Going to Tampa? We spent a couple of days sailing on Tampa Bay with folks from the Annapolis Sailing School in 2002. See my Holiday Letter for 2002.

I’ve been to Annapolis to sail and look at boats. See my Holiday Letter for 2002. for our trip to Rock Hall, MD.

Going to Tortola? We spent a week diving and sailing in 2003 and again in 2007. I have a complete trip report.

How about Lake Champlain? I had a wonderful time sailing there, too, as you can see in my 2004 trip report. For our 2006 Champlain trip, I just took pictures.

Buying a Cruiser

Here’s the real objective: see the world. Here’s a way to afford that: live on a boat.

For details, see this:

Sometime in ‘05, they idea of living on board a sailboat began to take on a more concrete reality. The first few years of random sailing around was fun, but only vaguely purposeful. The Commodore was cool on the idea; up until ‘10 we will have magnificent college expenses.

In 2005, however, things changed a bit. With H-Dawg in Sweden and X-Man in Ithaca, the house is empty; what are we going to do next? Where is this life going? Are we just going to shuffle around this big old building, watching professional sports on television and nagging the grandkids to stop throwing things in the living room? Are we going to have a sewing room packed to the rafters with fat quarters of hand-died cotton? A computer room with slightly out-of-date macs, a bug-screen TV, and a chair with a permanent ass-shaped dent? Ick.

So, what’s next? After many chartering experiences, and several trips to the boat show in Annapolis, we’re settled on something now considered small-ish: 37 to 42 feet LOA. Further, there was a great article in either Sail or Cruising World on the steps required before you can cast off the docklines permanently.

The essential plan is this.

  1. [X] Find a marina. In 2007 we toured Baltimore marinas. In 2008 we toured Norfolk marinas. In 2009 we moved to Norfolk.

  2. [X] Find a boat. In 2009 we found a Whitby 42 almost in our back yard.

  3. [X] Repair, refit and upgrade, while sailing in local waters. This includes lots of install, commission, improve cycles; lots of weekend and weeklong trips around our home port to do progressive shakedowns.

  4. [X] Do multi-week coastal cruising.

  5. [X] Live on the boat at the marina, and prep the boat for bluewater.



  6. [X] Final planning. At some point, we need to retire/quit. Clean up our shoreside affairs and entanglements.

  7. Sail Away.



Commerce (A boat is a hole in the water...)

I use the following sites to buy boating stuff:


Some Sailing Web Sites. These links may or may not still work. Some of these links date from ‘02 and ‘03, when I first put this page together.

Communities and Groups

Magazines and Publications

Yacht Sales and Brokers

Boating Software

These are sailing software links. I transfer boat lust to software lust.


Once upon a time, I was focused on trailer-sailers: Pocket Cruisers and Racing Dinghys.

These are links on specific boat models.

  • Buccaneer 18 Trailerable swing-keel racing boat.
  • The Hunter 170 (and Hunter 240) trailer-sailers. (But what a goofy web site! Very amateurish)
  • Another line is the Seaward Fox.
  • The MacGregor 26, a popular shoal draft trailer sailer. However, water ballasted, and too heavy for me to trailer.
  • The MX20 from M-Yachts. A “Family Daysailer”. With almost a 4 foot draft, however, it’s not easy to launch or safe for pottering about in uncharted Adirondack lakes.
  • The Bauer 10, a comfy dinghy.

Previous Boats

The Buccaneer

The Maradeur

The Buccaneer

In the spring of 1998, I bought a (well) used Chrysler Buccaneer 18’ centerboard racing boat (#468, christened “KaDiMa” – “Kathy Diane Mary” the original owner’s wife and daughters).

In September 1998 and again in 2000, I had the pleasure of sailing against some of the Northeast’s finest Buccaneer crews, including the legendary Bill Bartels (#5200, “La Mariposa”). What a lesson in sailing! Thanks to Bill and Mike B. and John H. who came to the Otsego Lake Yacht Club for the Glimmerglass Regatta. Now I know how it’s supposed to look, and I have my sights set higher for future years.

In May of 2003, I sailed in Nyack as crew for Justin H., against Mike B., John H., Jon and Carol M., and Scott L. Justin and I had a respectable finish on Glinda. It’s nearly impossible to beat Mike and Max.

In September of 2003, I put KaDiMa up against the best in the Glimmerglass regatta. Xander had broken the rudder in July. So, I had a borrowed rudder (thanks Paul), a borrowed spinnaker (thanks John), a borrowed spinnaker pole after mine broke (thanks Mike) and a skipper I met on the Internet (thanks Bob). We placed 2nd on two of the five races, fourth overall.

We did a couple of races in ‘04, but I’m not really cut out to race. I’m not ruthless enough, and I don’t like to push the boat that hard.If stuff’s not breaking, you’re not racing. I’m just not that hard-edged.

Some Buccaneer links include:

  • The official Buccaneer 18 web site
  • Plus someone has archived the “Chrysler’s Crew’s Nest” publications, but old link has since broken.
  • And the Yahoo group where we exchange emails

I finally sold her in ‘2009.

The Maradeur

Our second boat was a 1960? vintage`Maradeur <>`_. We had it on blocks in the back yard from September of 2001 to August of 2003. Before that, it had been in storage for 15 years, then moved to Skye Farm Camp with the idea of using it to help teach sailing. It was free for the asking, since the work required was monumental!

As AR said, “free is never free.”

We passed it off to LH, who helped us move it to his garage for serious restorative work. No more languishing under a tarp.

So far, LH has repainted it with proper waterproof epoxy paint, and reassmbled the rigging. Maybe some time in ‘07 or ‘08, we’ll see how she sails.

date:June 20, 2014

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Sailing Resume for Steven F. Lott