First Glances at Daze Off

Monday March 9, 2015

Daze Off 3

One of the moments we all have been waiting for….a first look in person at our new custom aluminum boat.  Daze Off.  No, that name will not be staying.

Since it has been a couple of months that I’ve written anything about her, let me do a little refresher on her basics.  Daze Off is a 37 ft custom aluminum boat with a deck house.  The make is a Trisalu and it’s a French design but was built in Quebec in 1983.  She has a 7′ draft but also a lifting centerboard so we can bring her down to 3’6″ when we need to.

The layout of the boat features the deckhouse as soon as you step in the companionway, and this area houses a nav station; a seating area with a table; a quarter berth; and a very large and deep storage locker.  Walking down a few more steps to the main salon you have the galley on the port side and a full head/shower to starboard.

Forward of these items is a settee on both port and starboard.  Not enough to lie down and comfortably sleep, but good for relaxing  and putting your legs up. Then there’s the v-berth, only this one has a twist.  It’s a pull down murphy style bed.  So when we’re ready to sleep we unhinge the ‘wall’ and bring that area down to rest on the settee cushions and it forms the top 1/3rd or so of your bed.  Kind of an interesting feature and we’ll see how much we like it since that is where we plan to sleep.  Although we do plan to convert the deckhouse into our main sitting area, so we don’t think it will be an issue if one person wants to go go bed before the other.

To see an old listing for her (in French) click here.  If not, here’s a few photos of her from the listing…from when she was still cruising back more than 10 years ago.

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Notice how I said ‘when she was cruising more than 10 years ago’.  She has been sitting on the hard here in Indiantown ever since 2006, and has fallen into a bit of disrepair.  We knew when we bought her that she was going to be a complete fixer-upper and most likely a gut and rebuild, basically using the hull as an empty shell to begin from scratch.  A hull which incidentally, has holes in it.  Yup, first order of business on this new adventure is going to be to get some welding done on the bottom so at least she won’t sink when put in water.

But the first first order of business once we arrived at the marina was to go take a look at her.  We contacted the broker via email and since he knew that we should be arriving that day and he’d left the boat unlocked so we could get in and poke around her.  Getting directions from the marina office on what area she was sitting in inside the storage yard we took off, nervous, eager, and excited to finally lay our eyes on her in person.  So as soon as we walked up to her there was the initial thrill of finally seeing her face to face, followed by a slight wah wahhhh.  She is indeed a fixer-upper.

I think it was just the initial shock of seeing in person how dirty she is, but it shouldn’t matter because as we said we’re going to pull out and replace everything anyway.  The rust stained paint job on the hull shouldn’t be an issue either since we’d like to go back to a raw aluminum finish.  All the components we needed were there though at that’s all that mattered.

Oh wait…it didn’t have all the components.  It was very apparent and clear once we stepped foot on her that some very important items were missing.  Ones that we had full intentions of keeping.  Things such as the solenoid for the windlass; the regulator for the alternator; a very nice self tailing winch; all the blocks; and the plans for the boat which we had seen in photos when the boat was listed.  But the kicker, at least for me….the boat did not have a wheel.  It was just gone.  Removed.  No longer there.  We’re planning to switch to a tiller anyway, but seriously?  How does that not come with the boat upon purchase?!

In all honestly we can partially blame ourselves for this as we never asked for a list of items included when we purchased the boat.  So none of those things were promised to us…you just think they’d still be there.  Who’s going to have any use for them and why take them?  Oh well.  My rant for today.  They seem to be happening a bit more now, so I hope this returning to Florida to outfit a boat wasn’t a mistake.

She does have great potential though, that part is for sure.  We are still very much looking forward to not only designing a layout that fits our needs perfectly, but everything will be new.  Plus it will all be installed by us so we’ll know the complete history of this boat along with every single inch of her.  That part excites Matt the most but I do happen to get more excited about cosmetic type repairs…wood materials, fabric colors, a sleek and modern design.  What can I say..I’ll never be as into boats as most cruisers are.  I’m here for the lifestyle, not necessarily the sport or functionality.  Although I have grown to love, and always will, the option to travel with my home.

So now we have a real feel of what we’ve gotten ourselves into and the kind of work we have ahead of us.  A lot, in case you were wondering.  Like, a crap ton.  But we think it will be worth it.  As soon as I stepped below deck I could automatically envision myself sitting in the Caribbean on her a year from now as the sun shines through the hatches to her bright and open interior.  Spending evenings in the deckhouse watching the happenings of what’s going on around us and then cooking a meal in my newly renovated galley which will hopefully offer me a little extra counter space and keep me from using the steps to store items as I empty out the chill box.

In the meantime we have to get Serendipity cleaned up and ready to sell since we will not be having two boats in the work yard at the same time for $600/boat/month.  Hopefully after 2-4 weeks of that though we’ll have Serendipity in a slip and ready to sell, and begin tearing apart the new boat and start putting her back together.  Let the new adventure begin!

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Welcome back to ‘Merica!

Saturday March 7, 2015

lighthouse in Jupiter

Even though I knew this day has been coming for about the past six months now, I still can not believe that we are all the way back in Florida, making our way up the ICW to see our new boat.  Part of me is extremely excited to finally see her in person and get started on working on her.  The other part of me….kind of wants to turn around and high tail it back to the Caribbean. Not because I don’t want this new project of fixing up a boat, mind you, it’s because we’re now back in Florida doing it.  The place we can never seem to escape.

I had been soooo looking forward to getting back to the land of convenience for awhile now that I forgot everything that comes along with it.  For so long I had been eager to pick up a radio station once more that didn’t soley deal out tunes based on sailing or drinking or anything to do with the water (the only station we could clearly get in the Virgin Islands), but as soon as I picked one up outside of West Palm Beach I promptly regretted it. My ears were immediately assaulted with advertisements for personal injury lawyers, annoying auto insurance commercials, and purchases you absolutely must have to make your life better, because we all know that just by buying into it that’s exactly what will happen.  Objects bring happiness, right?

I instantly wanted to scream to all these people, “What are you listening to this waste for?!  Don’t you know that in the grand scheme of things, none of it matters?  That there is so much more to life than finding a way to blame someone else for your problem or watching some unknown’s musical performance on whatever reality tv show!”.  They are distractions, I know.  But trust me, there are much better ways to distract yourself.

I kid you not, I literally had to keep myself from turning the wheel 180 degrees and heading right back where we came from.  Life was pure and authentic in the Caribbean.  People knew what was really important.  And now we’re back in the land of superficiality.  Which, to be fair, could have been the same in some of the Atlantic islands we visited but since I wasn’t fluent in the language I was blissfully ignorant of it.

Well, that’s my rant for the day.  You might hear me complain a little bit but I did have a ball at Publix the other day having whatever my heart desired right at my fingertips.  So maybe convenience isn’t all bad.  I’ll just have to learn to tune out the rest of the crap.  Plus, it is nice to be back in a land of friendliness between strangers, even if it is fake and superficial. One thing that was beginning to drive us absolutely insane in the Atlantic islands was how no one would smile or say hi, and if you went into a shop you were greeted by someone who treated you like you just ruined their day by asking for help with something.  And don’t even get me started on common courtesy of making room for someone to pass on the sidewalks. Ugh!  Ok, rant really done this time, I promise.

So…we’re back on the ICW now!  Traveling north from the same area we departed to the Bahamas from back in March of 2013.  Yesterday was a day spent trekking a somewhat familiar route as we backtracked our way up to Stuart.  Leaving at the crack of dawn we put Serendipity’s engine to good use for the first time in a long time and logged endless miles through the narrow (to us now) canal system and under countless lift bridges.  After a good 9 hours on the water we dropped the hook in a nice little bay just across from Sunset Bay Marina.  It was so strange to slip back into our old routine of traveling during the day, relaxing in the evening, and prepping yourself to do it again the next day. Now we’re so used to ‘go go go, rest rest rest’.

Today was the trip up the St. Lucie River to our new home for who knows long at the Indiantown Marina.  The morning started out extremely foggy and actually delayed our departure for a few hours, and I can’t say that I was upset to crawl back under the warm covers and wait it out.  Just after 9 we got our butts in gear though and sipped on warm coffee while wearing our foulies out in the cockpit.

This journey only took 5 hours in which time we saw our very first alligator poking it’s eyes out of the water and transited one lock.  By late morning the fog began to lift and we felt rays of sun sneaking through the clouds here and there.  This to us was a good omen since arriving at Indiantown was going to give us our first glances at our new aluminum boat that we purchased sight unseen six months before.

Well, we’re here now, safely tied up to a dock at the marina, and yes, we did get our first glances at the new boat.  But to find out if the good omen of the sun or the bad omen of the fog won out as to what we found waiting for us, well, you’ll just have to tune in tomorrow to find out.

lift bridge on ICW

lift bridge on ICW

lighthouse in Jupiter Florida

Hobe Sound

plane over Serendipity

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Virgin Islands to Florida Passage: Serendipity’s Last Sail

Thursday March 5, 2015

sunrise on Atlantic

Day 1 – February 24, 2015

  • Winds South 20 knots; Seas 1-2 meters; 
  • Storms started to come up just as we left the Charlotte Amalie harbor.  About 5 miles out, while Matt was sleeping, the winds shifted and picked up to 35-40 knots, also causing an accidental jibe.  It took me forever to tighten the genoa back in, surprised Matt didn’t come up to see what all the racket was.  Once we rounded St. Thomas the skies cleared and we enjoyed the hills of Puerto Rico in the distance until they eventually faded away.

Day 2 – February 25, 2015

  • Winds South 20 knots; Seas 1-2 meters; 119 nm
  • We crossed the Mona Passage today!  Except, we were about 100 miles east of it, so I don’t think that really counts.  Glad I pre-made a few meals in Charlotte Amale since I am in no mood to cook.

Day 3 – February 26, 2015

  • Winds South 15-20 knots; Seas 1 meter; 113 nm
  • Matt woke me up 30 minutes early this morning for the best.thing.ever.  Whales!!  Yes!  Right next to our boat was a pod of 3 or so Minke whales!!  They were just checking us out and swimming next to, under, and in front of the boat as if they were dolphins.  A few of them even came so close that if we reached our hand over the side and into the water we could have touched them.  They swam with us for about 30 minutes before leaving, but it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

rainbow over St. Thomas

Minke whale in North Atlantic

Minke whale next to our boat

Minke whale next to our boat

Minke whale

minke whale next to sailboat

Day 4 – February 27, 2015

  • Winds SE 15-20 knots; Seas 1-2 meters; 121 nm
  • How is it that one can sail an ocean in constant 3-4 meter steep seas while cooking meals and de-boning fish, but running with 1-2 meters of spaced out seas, for 4 days now!, is making me feel like I constantly want to puke.  What has happened to my body?!
  • P.S.  We just found out through a satellite phone message that we are now a first time aunt and uncle!  Congratulations to Matt’s brother Travis and girlfriend Jen on their baby girl, Olivia.

Day 5 – February 28, 2015

  • Winds SE 20 knots; Seas 1-2 meters; 111 nm
  • This is probably one of the best weather we’ve ever had on passage.  Every day the conditions are identical and beautiful.  Sunny skies, moderate winds, and following seas.  We just passed the Turks & Caicos last night, I can’t believe how fast we’re making this passage!

Day 6 – March 1, 2015

  • Winds SSE 15-20 knots; Seas 1-1.5 meters; 115 nm
  • We should be half way done now.  Currently traveling up along the east side of the outer Bahamas, coming up on San Salvador.  To keep time from dragging I told myself that this is the point where I can let myself finally begin counting down the miles to West Palm Beach.

sunrise on the Atlantic

sunrise on the Atlantic

Day 7 – March 2, 2015

  • Winds SE 15-20 knots; Seas 1-1.5 meters; 116 nm
  • And now I’ve begun the constant movie watching on my tablet because there isn’t anything else to do.  You know, the kind you would never normally watch unless there’s no other option?  I’m treating those like there’s no other option.  I kind of forgot how funny Jack Nicholson was back in the late 90′s.
  • P.S.  I also have been reading.  Just introduced myself to Paulo Coelho and read a few of his books, but they can be pretty deep and I’m ready to give my brain a break.

Day 8 – March 3, 2015

  • Winds SE 15-20 knots, Seas 1 meter; 114 nm
  • Today we are finally turning ourselves west into the Northwest Providence Channel of the Bahamas, but we’re having a heck of a time getting in there.  We must be fighting a terrible current because we’ve now fallen to 2.8 knots while under power.  Seriously jealous of those tankers whizzing by us at 18 knots.

Day 9 – March 4, 2015

  • Winds SE 15-20 knots; Seas 1-1.5 meters; 102 nm
  • 24 hours and we will be back in Florida.  I can’t believe our cruising life on Serendipity is just about at an end.  I love her, I honestly do.  And even though I’m not a sentimental person I find myself giving her little hugs here and there.

Day 10 – March 5, 2014

  • Winds SE 15-20 knots; Seas 1-2 meters; 108 nm
  • AM: Wow, things really get crazy on the water the closer you get to land!  Last night we passed by Freeport in the dark but there must have been 10 tankers anchored outside waiting for light to make their entrance.  It was kind of scary passing within a mile or two of them while they were so close and brightly lit up, even though we knew they weren’t moving.  Also had to call another tanker overtaking us this morning to alter course so we wouldn’t come within 200 ft of each other any more.
  • PM: We’re here, we’re here!  Just over 9 full days on the water and we are now anchored in Lake Worth.  It feels so good to be sitting still again and to have a Publix right around the corner to stock up on all the foods I’ve been missing for the past 9 months.  Like Ranch dressing and ground beef.  Mmmm, we’re going to be eating so well again soon.

getting passed by a tanker

West Palm Beach from the water

sunset over Lake Worth

sunset over Lake Worth

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Charlotte Amalie, Lit Up

Monday February 23, 2015

Charlotte Amalie at night

I love the sunsets here in Charlotte Amalie.  They truly are something special.  They always feature every color from the oranges and yellows to the pinks, purples, and blues. The sky is only part of the show though.  Just while the sky is getting dark, all the lights of Charlotte Amalie begin to flicker on.

The harbor is surrounded by small hills, and slowly they begin to light up as all the homes, hotels, and restaurants prepare for the night.  At the other end of the harbor, the mega yachts illuminate themselves and the waters around them.  It’s an extremely beautiful anchorage to be in once the sun goes down.  Possibly one of the best we’ve seen yet.

I can’t say I’ve missed a single night yet sitting out on deck with a gin and tonic in my hands and the sun goes down and the lights come on.  Tomorrow, though, will be a different story.

For tomorrow we begin our direct passage back to Florida.  Approximately 1,000 nautical miles, traveling on the far east ends of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, eventually tucking in to the Northwest Providence Channel in the Bahamas and making landfall again in West Palm Beach.  We’re hoping this will only take us 10 days, but based on some light wind passages we’ve had in the past we’re also preparing ourselves for two weeks just in case.

So we are officially leaving the Caribbean until we can return again on our new aluminum boat.  Catch you on the flip side you amazing islands!

Charlotte Amalie at night

Charlotte Amalie harbor at night

Charlotte Amalie harbor at night

Charlotte Amalie harbor at night

Charlotte Amalie harbor at night

Charlotte Amalie harbor at night

Charlotte Amalie harbor at night

Charlotte Amalie harbor at night

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Serendipity for Sale

Serendipity 2

Getting ourselves ready to sell Serendipity is one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do.  Much harder than selling our house, cars, and all our personal belongings to begin our vagabond lifestyle.  She’s the perfect boat for us.  She’s a perfect boat in general.  Great for two people (or maybe even a family of three), easy to handle, and very safe and strongly built.  We can tell you from experience that she’s ocean worthy too.

We even spent the past few months contemplating our cruising life and seriously considering putting the ‘Dip back in the water, hightailing it to the Caribbean, and enjoying a few more years relaxing on her.  She’s the perfect boat for that and we would have been more than happy living on her amongst the palm trees for the foreseeable future. Why spend the next year throwing time, sweat, and money into a new project when we have a perfect boat at our disposal right now? But even though life is about the now it’s also about the future.  And our future has high latitudes and ice fields in it which means that an aluminum boat is the best way to go.

So with a fairly heavy heart we have spent the past two months getting her in impeccable shape for her new owners, whomever they may be.  The hull is shining like new, every cabinet, nook, and storage space has been scrubbed clean, and the bottom has just received a fresh coat of paint.  She is literally completely cruise ready, no more work necessary.  It’s 100% ready for new owners to move their belongings on and sail away. Heck, we just sailed across the Atlantic and back with her last year.

Serendipity 1

Serendipity 3

(New exterior photos coming soon, photos above taken in Jamaica in 2013)

 

Isn’t she pretty?  Sigh….if only we had the funds to keep both boats.

On to costs, that’s probably the biggest question and at the forefront of any minds that are considering purchasing her.

$62,000 USD

* She is currently sitting in Indiantown, Florida; approximately 10 miles east of Lake Okeechobee. We will consider delivering Serendipity along the East Coast of the US or Florida’s Gulf Coast with purchase.

Serendipity is a 1989 Sabre 34 Targa, and here are her dimensions:

  • Material: Fiberglass
  • LOA: 34 ft 2 in
  • Beam: 11 ft 2 in
  • LWL: 28 ft 3 in
  • Minimum draft: 4 ft 6 in
  • Maximum draft 4 ft 6 in
  • Displacement: 11,700 lbs
  • Ballast: 4,800 lbs

Engines

  • Maximum speed: 7 knots

Tanks

  • Fresh water tanks: 2 (55 gallons)
  • Fuel tanks: 1 (30 gallons)
  • Holding tanks: 1 (30 gallons)

Accommodations:

  • Number of single berths: 1
  • Number of double berths: 3
  • Number of cabins: 2
  • Number of heads: 1

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So now that you’ve gotten just a taste of what she looks like inside, let’s go over all her features section by section.

Galley

  • Grunert refrigeration (increased box insulation in 2011)
  • Regal two burner stove/oven converted to LPG
  • Sliding cover for extra counter space over stove
  • Two 6 lb aluminum LPG tanks installed in propane locker
  • Propane solenoid
  • Saltwater tap at sink
  • Whale foot pumps for fresh and salt water
  • Pressure water
  • Two bowl stainless sink
  • Pull out trash
  • Microwave in aft cabin
  • All Spartan bronze seakcocks (greased 2015)
  • All thru hull hoses were replaced in 2011

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Head

  • Raritan PHII head (new 2012)
  • 30 gallon holding tank
  • All hoses replaced with Trident in 2012
  • Shower sump box
  • Fan for wet locker
  • Whale foot pump for fresh water
  • Pressure water

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Drivetrain

  • Westerbeke 30b three 1989 with 1,750 hours
  • Transmission rebuilt in 2013
  • Cutlass bearing replaced in 2015
  • PSS dripless shaft seal 2013
  • Three blade feathering Maxprop
  • Shaft rope cutter
  • Hydronic bus heater
  • Dual Racor fuel filters
  • All hoses replaced in 2011

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Electrical

  • 475 watts of solar on bimini and davits (2011)
  • 1000 watt Xantrex Pro inverter (2011)
  • 450 amp hour 6 volt battery bank installed 2012
  • Bluesea 422 battery monitor system (2011)
  • Bluesea Automatic Charge Relay (2011)
  • Xantrex solar charge controller (2015)
  • Vetus 105 amp hour start battery installed 2015
  • All LED lights except aft cabin
  • Camfro fans in galley, head, settee and v-berth

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Electronics

  • Raymarine C95 chart plotter with North American Navionics charts (new 2012) in rotating Navpod
  • Raymarine RD418 Radar (new 2012)
  • Raymarine SPX 10 Autopilot (new 2012)
  • Raymarine type 1 linear drive (below deck autopilot) (new 2012)
  • Raymarine ST6002 autopilot head (new 2012)
  • Raymarine rudder position sensor (new 2012)
  • Standard Horizon Gx2100 VHF with AIS receiver (new 2012)
  • Raymarine ST60 wind, depth, and speed sensors (speed through water does not work)
  • Standard Horizon Ram3 mix in cockpit (just stopped working)
  • Vizio LED tv installed in cabin (2011)
  • Pioneer CD player with cockpit and cabin speakers

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Deck

  • Lewmar Concept 1 Windlass ( new 2011)
  • 175 ft ACCO 5/16″ G4 chain (new 2012)
  • Fortress anchor (new 2012)
  • 2 x 100′ 3/4″ 3 strand anchor rode
  • Large/strong cast double anchor roller
  • Garhauer rail midship cleats (new 2012)
  • Garhauer 1 1/4″ dinghy davits (new 2012)
  • 6 Stainless ports with tempered glass (all except cockpit which are OEM plastic)
  • Deadlights were replaced in 2013 with tempered glass and Dow 795
  • Dodger stainless frame
  • Bimini stainless frame
  • Amsteel/Dyneema lifelines installed 2012
  • West Marine Jacklines
  • Revere throwable and inflated lifesling (needs new mount)
  • Stainless stern ladder
  • 2 Bomar deck hatches (rebed in 2014)
  • Port side stainless jerry can holder
  • Lewmar wheel with elkhide cover
  • Stainless steel emergency rudder bracket and mount on transom
  • LED stern, bow, and anchor lights

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 Rigging

  • Solent stay added in 2013
  1. Wichard adjustable/removable turnbuckle
  2. Wichard 6056 folding padeye on deck
  3. Wichard 6056 folding padeye below deck fitting
  4. Wichard Mast Tang
  5. 1/4″ stainless rigging with Norseman fitting
  • All standing rigging replaced in September 2012
  • Most running rigging replaced in 2011
  • Hall Spars mast and boom
  • Garhauer adjustable genoa cars installed 2011
  • 2 Lewmar ST 43 winches as primaries
  • 4 Lewmar 16 on the cabin top and on mast
  • 9 Spinlock clutches added 2012
  • Mainsail, Spinnaker halyard, boom vang and topping lift control back in cockpit
  • Tack and clew reef lines back in cockpit for either 1st and 2nd or 2nd and 3rd reefs
  • 3.5″ Spinnaker pole used as bulletproof whisker pole (15.5′)
  • Harken roller furling
  • Harken traveler
  • Hydraulic backstay adjuster  (should be rebuilt soon)
  • North Sails Mainsail with three reef points (ok condition)
  • Dutchman mainsail handling system
  • North 120% genoa  (usable, but should be replaced)
  • Staysail with reef points (old)
  • Storm Jib (new never used)
  • North Sails asymmetrical spinnaker in North sock (very good)

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Solent stay attached to turnbuckle for storage

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Solent stay attached to deck and ready for use.

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Sabres are fantastic boats, but even so, not every Sabre is built equal.  Between the Targa model (which we own) and the Classic model, we’ll tell you why we think the Targa stands above. Let’s take a walking tour of Serendipity, shall we?

Sabre Targa vs the standard layout

The Targa is an aft cabin/head model-  This layout features many cruiser requirements over the standard Classic model.  The aft cabin creates a closed off storage area, which is how we use it, or you can have a large private sleeping cabin. A much better set-up than the open berth of the Classic layout.  Access while sailing to the aft head on the starboard side is also much easier, safer and drier, unlike the Classic, where one is dripping seawater from wet foul weather gear throughout the cabin on the way to the head!

The port and starboard longitudinal bulkheads that make-up the aft head and berth makes traversing the companionway steps very safe and secure with something to lean against the entire way down. She also has real companionway steps, not some thin ladder like most boats.  Behind the head, there is a hanging wet locker with a fan to help dry your foulies.  The Aft cabin has storage under the berth, under the microwave, and sliding door cabinets along the hull.

The L shaped galley puts the sink where it should be, over the center-line of the boat where the draining is best. This gives you a very large and usable refrigerator inboard of the sink, two storage drawers, a utensil drawer, pull out trash and great sliding storage along the hull.

The starboard side has a real navigation seat that doesn’t use a settee or berth cushion to just make due.  Along the hull is your circuit panel (with open spots for additional equipment), with Blue seas Vessel System Monitor (battery, A/C, bilge pump alarm and holding tank monitor), CD player, and VHF.  Below the navigation seat are your 4 6-volt batteries making 450 AH. The nav desk has top load storage, two drawers, and a cabinet door for excellent storage.

Moving forward, you have a U shaped settee on the port side and a straight settee on starboard.  Both have great storage below, behind, and above in the beautiful tambour teak sliding door cabinets.  The cushions are very comfortable with the fabric still in very good condition.  The folding table, as it came from Sabre, took up a lot of space and required you to slide through a narrow gap to gain access to the port settee.  We have modified the table to give a very open feeling and so much more floor space.  This is the way they should have been built!

The Achilles heel of most Sabres is the mast step’s drain clogging, rotting the beam that holds the mast, requiring an expensive and invasive repair.  Great news! The Targa model has a fiberglass mast step/pan that cannot rot like the others.  Serendipity also has a custom cast aluminum step allowing draining far superior to the original.

The inside tour ends with the V berth. Serendipity has plenty of clothes storage in a hanging locker to starboard and cabinets below the berth and to port.  The bed is 6″ of comfortable foam with a great ventilation from an overhead hatch and two ports.

What makes Serendipity special vs other Sabres?

  • Solent stay installed for a storm jib or staysail.
  • All lines including reefs brought back to cockpit.
  • Adjustable genoa line cars
  • Windlass with wired remote
  • Amsteel Lifelines
  • 475 watts of solar makes us power self-sufficient at anchor
  • Garhauer davits
  • Shallow draft of just 4′ 6″.  Keel was removed in 2013 to rebed and check for keel bolt issues.  Bolt was replaced with stainless due to corrosion.
  • All rigging replaced in late 2012 and chainplates were removed and resealed
  • A real below deck autopilot and not a toy wheel pilot
  • Refrigeration is already installed and is not just an icebox
  • 450 AH of batteries installed… try fitting that comfortably in most 34′ boats
  • Stainless steel ports and new tempered glass deadlights (they’ll never go foggy on you!)

 

So you can see why Serendipity is such a great boat and why we spent so long deciding if we should even sell her.  If we knew she could make it through ice fields there would be no need to!  But alas..we don’t want to attempt that, which means she needs to go on the market so we can begin outfitting our new (to us) aluminum boat.  We hope Serendipity goes to a great home and we know whomever purchases her will love her just as much as we do.

Again, we are asking for $62,000 USD while selling through owner.  We think this price is very competitive in the Sabre world.  There are currently others in the market…one at the moment for $69,000 which has none of our cruising features and older electronics; or the Classic models which are selling for $50,000 – $96,000 with what we think is (sorry!) a less logical layout and usually older equipment.  So to get the Targa model and in ready to cruise condition…we think this is a steal.

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Lifestyle Photoshoot with Kimberly Joy Photography

Sunday February 22, 2015

Kimberly Joy lifestyle photo

If you don’t know who Kim and Jereme of Lahowind are, you’ve probably been living under a rock.  Not only are they great friends of ours that you’ve hopefully taken the time to check out their site after we’ve linked to them, but they’re very well known in the sailing and blogging community under their own right.  And a lot of that has to do with Kim’s amazingly gorgeous photos.

Stunning colors, clarity, and a hint of soft whimsy.  This is no accident or stroke of luck.  Kim is a very talented and qualified portrait photographer that runs her own business out of Naples Florida. Kimberly Joy Photography produces great family and couples portraits and are always taken in dreamy outdoor scenery such as at the beach, under piers and next to leafy green trees.  In short, every shot is g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s.  Seriously, you have to check out her site.

So when I asked Kim if she wouldn’t mind coming over one afternoon to pretty pretty please grab a few shots of me that I could use as blogging profile pictures and (hopefully) one day editorial head shots, she had an even better idea.  Instead of just a few head shots, why not do a whole lifestyle photo shoot on Serendipity? Something like a portrait session, but encased our life on a boat.  Umm….yes please!!

So when both of us had a free afternoon on our hands and we waited until the sun was getting to it’s perfect point in the sky, Kim and Jereme dinghied over to Serendipity to begin the photoshoot.  Unfortunately we had two small things working against us though.  One was the wind suddenly decided to gust up to over 20 knots which made keeping my hair out of my face just a little bit of a problem, (introduce hat..thanks for the idea Kim!), and the other was that my dear husband vehemently did not want to be photographed. So much for the family portrait session.  We still sneaked him into a few photos anyway and the cat also did a great job of standing in for him.

In the end we were left with an assortment of dazzling photos of ourselves on Serendipity, something we will cherish forever.  Thank you so much Kim for this wonderful gift!  And for any of you readers out there…if you’re ever in or near Naples, make sure to book a session with Kim, I promise you won’t regret it.

Kimberly Joy lifestyle photo

Kimberly Joy lifestyle photo

Kimberly Joy lifestyle photo

Kimberly Joy lifestyle photo

Kimberly Joy lifestyle photo

Kimberly Joy lifestyle photo

Kimberly Joy lifestyle photo

Kimberly Joy lifestyle photo

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Back to Christmas Cove

Friday February 20, 2015

yachts in Christmas Cove

Just as we had predicted there is nothing but bad weather coming north of us for the extended forecast.  So we’ll be stuck in the Virgin Islands for just a bit longer.  Darn.  I was really getting tired of this place.  (Insert obvious sarcasm)

Just as I was hoping we’d be able to do, we’ve moved ourselves back over to the picturesque Christmas Cove.  Truthfully I had been wanting do use this extra time to explore a little bit more of St. John and some of it’s wonderful parks.  Maybe do a little more snorkeling.  Which, by the way, we now have a temporary mask and snorkel for Matt thanks to our friends Felicia and Steve on Kasablanca.  They’d just have a bunch of family visiting them and someone left their gear after only one use.  Ooops!  Oh well, their loss is our gain.

The only problem is…Matt is completely content to sit at the moment.  Not only does he not want to go through the trouble of moving the boat 4-8 miles to the next anchorage, but he doesn’t even want to get off the boat.  I was able to briefly get him off for a little bit of snorkeling the other day, enticing him with the promise of sting rays and sea turtles.  Luckily they got the memo and showed up to the party.

Otherwise we’ve just been chilling in our perfect little spot here in the cove.  We’ve had a few dinghy run ins with friends, such as Laho and Necesse, and I’ve made a few solo trips to see friends and squeeze in another night of wine and good conversation with Jody of Where the Coconuts Grow.

We know there are small things we can start doing to prep Serendipity to sell when we get back to Florida, but after this relaxing style of cruising we’ve had since June, we can’t seem to knock out more than one (short) project before it’s time for a break which turns into an all afternoon siesta.  Which suits me just fine.  This is still ‘vacation time’ in my eyes and we’ll be working hard once we get to Florida.  What’s a few more projects then?  Right now I still need my afternoon naps.

snorkeling

photo courtesy of Lahowind

sunset over St. Thomas

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A Black & White Look at Charlotte Amalie

Thursday February 12, 2015

Emancipation Park

There had been grand plans to leave the Virgin Islands in the next day or two after making a big provisioning trip in Charlotte Amalie, but it now looks as if that won’t be happening anymore.  Not that we’ll be stuck here forever!…although I’m sure we wouldn’t mind.  No, it’s pesky weather systems that keep popping up off the coast of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, and they’re making the window for our 1,000 mile journey back to Florida just a little hard to plan.  We can only seem to get three good days in a row when we need at least 8-9.

For the past few days we’ve been just sitting at anchor in the harbor here at Charlotte Amalie, although it looks like some storm systems are going to be rolling through here as well.  We actually had to move ourselves the other day because the spot we had been sitting in just in front of the cruise ships and the entrance to the harbor was bringing in a terrible swell.  I was getting back to the point where I didn’t want to get up off the settee because I’d get sick.  So now we’re much closer to shore and protected a bit more by one of the islands here and a few of the bigger boats anchored in front of us.

If the weather windows don’t improve in the next few days we may just move ourselves back to Christmas Cove since it’s only 5 miles away and so much more enjoyable and relaxing there.  Weather for the next week just north of us is showing pretty strong, so there’s a good chance that will be happening.  We did take advantage of one of the nice days we did have here to get off the boat and wander around town a bit.  Kind of what you’d expect from a cruise ship port, lots of shopping and restaurants, although there was a nice park by the Post Office that was a great spot to just sit and people watch.

Going back through the photos I took of the day, everything is such a hodgepodge and nothing flows from one area to the next. So I thought I would help that along try my hand at a few black and white photos.  Not something I know much about, but a handy tool for me to eventually learn. And honestly, I’ve been stuck on the boat here a few days and need something to do.

Matt at the Green House

Greenhouse Bar, Charlotte Amalie

Del Sol, Charlotte Amalie

Emancipation Park, Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas

Post Office, Charlotte Amalie

shopping district, Charlotte Amalie

side alley, Charlotte Amalie

Greengos Restaurant, Charlotte Amalie

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World Beer Tour: Portuguese vs Canairan

Saturday February 7, 2015

Super Bock vs Wuld

Guess who popped back into our lives and snagged themselves the best mooring ball in Christmas Cove?  Kim and Jereme from Laho!  Extremely excited for our paths to cross once more and when they invited us over to enjoy a beer around sunset there was no way I could say no.  Not only for the chance to hang out with them again, but also for the chance to prove that I am able to behave myself.  No mixed drinks for me tonight.

Nope, instead I planned on taking Kim and Jereme through a World Beer Tour.  Or maybe not so much a world tour as a European Atlantic Island tour.  Matt and I haven’t actually purchased any beer since we’ve been here in the Caribbean, partly because Matt isn’t much of a drinking and partly because we bought ourselves a liter of gin in Sint Maarten that is still going strong.  So what I’m left with are a few of the beers we stocked up on in the Canary Islands and also a pack of mini bottles from the Azores that I found stuffed in the bottom of a bag in our aft cabin.

One brand is a very popular Portuguese beer, Super Bock.  It’s pale lager that has vast popularity among the Portuguese and many other countries. Apparently it even has a cult status with Manchester United English Football supporters.  I was able to purchase it in ‘mini’, something I love and have not seen outside of Portugal, but the beers are bottled in little 200 ml, or approximately 7oz bottles.  Great for when you need something cold and refreshing with that lager taste but either want to watch your calories or not take in too much alcohol in one sitting.  (Yes, there are times this does happen)

Jessica & Kim w. Super Bock

It’s contender for the night is a beer we picked up in the Canary Islands, solely for it’s 0,35€ per can cost originally. It’s another light pilsen that I have found packs a lot of flavor and even enjoy it more than many of the other beers we found in the Hiper Dino supermarkets.  Many of the online reviews I were able to find describe it as lightly malty with notes of fruit and a hint of bitterness in the finish.  I’d have to agree with these comments.

Jessica & Kim w. Wuld

It was a tough competition in the beginning, opening the Super Bock first, just because we were all in the mood for a cold beer and how could it not taste delicious?  Plus everyone was in love with the tiny bottle and it’s easy pull off cap.  And although the beer was quite good, my favorite out of all the Portuguese varieties, I think it was mostly the bottle that everyone was in love with.

So push come to shove, cooler full of Super Bock and Wuld, I think all of us would be ready to reach for a Wuld first.  It was just a little more flavorful and filling.  Not that any of these were similar to the watered down light beers we’re used to drinking though. Sorry Super Bock, you played a great game.  And I still look forward to drinking you the next time I’m in Portugal.

Oliver & Matt

Matt, Jess & Oliver

Photo courtesy of Lahowind

sunset over Christmas Cove

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My Personal Paradise

Friday February 6, 2015

Georgie & lobster

The past few days we’ve been living in nothing short of a Caribbean paradise.

For starters, the weather is gorgeous.  The sun is always shinning, the temperatures are hanging out around 80 during the day and there’s always a nice breeze blowing through our hatches.  Secondly, we are anchored in the gorgeous Christmas Cove of St. John US Virgin Islands.  We’re surrounded by beautiful turquoise waters filled with sting rays and even a sea turtle that I was able to swim next to for a few minutes while snorkeling the other day.  And lastly, the icing on the cake, is I’m surrounded by friends.

Throw out the first two if you must (although please don’t, because I’m very much enjoying them), but being around people I care about and can bring a smile to my face is really the only thing in the world I truly need.  Yes, Matt does this everyday, but the more you have of this the better it is.  So it’s suffice to say I’m having the time of my life right now.  Totally worth coming back across the Atlantic for.

Yesterday evening we went over to s/v Kasablanca to enjoy a few sundowners and get to know our hometown cruisers Felicia and Steve a little better.  The vino tinto I tried to recreate for them from Montanditos didn’t quite turn out the way I hoped…I think we would have been better off drinking the red wine and Sprite separately.  What was great though was the conversation and comparisons on Atlantic crossings and attempts.

Felicia and Steve left the Great Lakes last summer with the plan to follow in our footsteps and make their way to the Med as well.  They left from much further up on the east coast and had nothing but terrible weather for their first few days and decided to turn their good ship around and head back to the US.  Instead of spending a few years in Europe, they made their way down to the Caribbean which they’ve been enjoying immensely.  Strange how we all ended up here at the same time even though both our original plans dictated otherwise.

sunset at Christmas Cove

Today was another great day where we were able to spend a few hours in the water with Jody and Peter going lobster diving.  Even cooler…Matt was able to try out their hookah diving system while doing this.  An air supplied device that allows a person to stay under the water while taking in air from the surface through a long hose, powered by a compressor.  Since we were diving for lobster in an area that was 40-60 feet deep, it’s adequate to say that he probably wouldn’t have been able to get down there with single breaths from the surface.

With only three hoses one of us had to be content just to float at the surface and watch the action below and  was fine for that person to be me.  I still haven’t mastered equalizing yet, and can’t get more than 10 feet down without the pressure forcing me to surface again.  So after a quick lesson, Matt followed Jody and Peter into the azure waters surrounding us as they poked in cracks and crevices looking for our dinner.  Matt was having the time of his life being able to stay down at the bottom of the sea floor among the rocks and coral for as long as his heart desired.  I had just as much fun following him from the surface and playing in the bubbles that floated up around me, banging on them like bongo drums as these huge spheres of oxygen rose around me.

In the end the guys were able to come back up with two lobsters, even though Peter said their catch was normally much bigger.  Our hosts for the day graciously gave us the entire haul and I was already picturing melted butter dripping from my mouth as lobster was being shoved into it.  If I was feeling generous, Georgie might even get a bite.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to enjoy our dinner with Jody and Peter and cook them up on Mary Christine’s grill since Peter had to be to class again that night for his Captain’s license and was just using the few free hours he had that day to take us out.  Such a great guy.

So I have found my little personal paradise and it’s called Christmas Cove.  I don’t think I ever want to leave here.  I’m not sure if there’s really any need to other than occasionally pick up groceries from Charlotte Amalie.  Except..there is.  Only another week or so in the Virgin Islands and we’ll be making our way directly back to Florida.  But hopefully this place and all my friends will still be waiting for us next year when we come back in our new badass aluminum boat.

Georgie looking at lobster

lobster in pan

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