We’re beginning our retirement adventure aboard our 60′ Sundeer sailboat, SV Zephyr. Follow our progress! This link will show you where in the world we are at any one time. https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/SVZephyr
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So, hi there! We are currently sitting in the Sassafras river in the Chesapeake Bay waiting out the remnants of yet another hurricane. This time it’s Ida. We were in Narragansett Bay for Henri. It has been a fun-filled summer. I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you a bit about Nancy and I and our water-bound home.
We both decided to retire fairly young, I served many years as an infantry officer in the Army and then a stint as a paramedic for Anne Arundel County Fire Department in Maryland. I also worked as a boat builder and joiner for others before setting up my own shop in Des Moines, Iowa. Nancy, who is a financial genius, worked as an IT project manager for NASA and Wells Fargo. We both grew up in Iowa and met when I was leaving the Army and she was getting her MBA. My sister has a coffee shop where Nancy was working, and I introduced myself over the dish rack. I went to work on a schooner and when I came back we were married aboard it. We decided to leave Iowa and bought a Tayana 37 in Tortola and sold everything but our dogs and books and spent several years aboard, mostly in Annapolis as we still needed to work.
Now, after 22 years of deciding if we’re compatible we are full-time aboard ZEPHYR, having rented our house in Des Moines through a property manager. Let me tell you about this boat. She is a Sundeer 60, designed by Steve Dashew, a brilliant, if opinionated, guy who has been designing and sailing off-shore yachts for a long time. His philosophy is to have a boat that is fast, comfortable and easily worked by a middle-aged couple. I wanted this boat when we bought the Tayana, but it was then ten times the price of the Tayana. It still is, but I will refer you to the “financial genius” portion of Nancy’s bio.
ZEPHYR was built in 1995 by TPI in Rhode Island. You probably see their products if you travel the highways and byways of America. Not boats mind you, only those giant wind generators that have sprouted in fields everywhere. She was laid up using the SCRIMP method, which was novel at that time but is ubiquitous today. It is basically a vacuum-bagged infusion method which reduces resin weight and increases strength while also eliminating the release of VOCs into the atmosphere. The hull and deck are balsa-cored fiberglass with Kevlar reinforcement at the stem and other critical areas. She is 60′ long overall and 59’10’ at the waterline. She is only 13’6″ wide though, so long and lean. The mast is 72′ above the water and the keel is 6′ below the water. NO ICW for her, she is made for the open ocean. We are the third caretaker, the previous owner circumnavigated on the 2010-11 ARC. So she was well equipped. However, most everything was old and worn out when we purchased her.
*Note to prospective boat buyers: You will spend an additional 1/3 the purchase price to repair/replace/refit all the things that are fricacta on that perfectly equipped boat you just bought. More if you don’t do most of it yourself.*