The sailboats that I have had so much fun on.. “Nixon was cool…”, “Sudden Stops Necessary”, “Secret Agent Man” and now “Magic Carpet”.. I guess I am done with 3 worded boat names 🙂

Beneteau First 30 JK  “Magic Carpet” (2016 to Present)

The first production boat designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian (Volvo ocean race boat designer) and Michel Desjoyeaux (two time vendee globe winner) she looks a little bit like a mini IMOCA open 60, with a fat arse, twin rudders, hard chines, square topped main, aft mainsheet traveller, plumb bow, fixed bowsprit, T bulb keel and tiller steering but inside she has a proper and “heavy” cruising interior with heating to boot. She is pretty petite at 32ft but a lot of fun, especially with the asymmetric kite up!

Drone footage we took on Magic Carpet while sailing with the spinnaker. Then the wind died and the harken top down spinnaker furler I installed was put to good use 😉

J/92  “Secret Agent Man” aka “SAM” (2012 to 2017)

I bought SAM because I like fast boats and boy is she fast (and rated really well at PHRF 105).  She is the perfect boat for San Francisco Bay where you can sail all year round if you can move in light airs. She does that really well, doing 5 knots on a close reach with only 6 knots of breeze! I raced her a little in the midwinters but mostly sailed her in the bay either single-handed or with crew. The huge retractable bowsprit means she is a speed machine with the asymmetric up.

Sam taking a breather..

Beneteau First 38s5 “Sudden Stops Necessary” aka “Stops”

Inspecting the rig after the ocean crossing in Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia.

I bought Stops initially to race and cruise outside the bay. She was pretty bare, used by the previous owners for day sails inside the bay. In 2008 I decided to take a sabbatical to go sailing and I really need a boat that was kitted out for a long distance cruise. But that was height of the financial crash and nobody was buying boats. I wasn’t able to sell Nixon and figured I no chance of selling Stops. So I made the decision to refit Stops for ocean cruising. I had to most of the work myself to keep the costs down. Over two years I embarked on a major refit that involved most weekends. I rewired the boat, installed a bigger battery bank, second diesel tank, wind generator, solar panels, self steering windvane, SSB radio, chart plotter and new instruments, new VHF radio with AIS, new anchor windlass etc etc.. Finally she was properly kitted out for ocean sailing. I wrote up most of the projects here Refitting S/V Sudden Stops Necessary

I then left on Oct 2010 and sailed her to Australia, more details here. She handled the 13,000 miles very well. Only issue was a rudder sleeve coming loose which I glued back with a haulout in Raiatea. I then sold her in Australia, which at that time was a good market to sell boats because of the strong Aussie dollar. Had great times on Stops and was sorry to see her go.

J/24 – USA 2737 “Nixon was Cool…” aka “Nixon” (2003 to 2010)

Nixon on our first race. Photo was taken just in time by Latitude 38, we broached a few mins later 🙂

Nixon was my first boat. I couldn’t change her name because she was a winning boat (superstition says you can’t change the name of the winner) and she was also a legend in the bay. Many J/105 skippers in San Francisco had started sailing on Nixon. I bought her to start racing one design, after sailing a lot of handicap races. 2004 was a training year and ended up near the bottom of the season rankings but in 2005 we managed a 5th overall even after breaking the boom and missing 4 races.

2015 Summer Season Race Results. Nixon came 5th overall.

We had a great racing crew with Jon, James, Osman, Aude, Munzie and many others. Even had tshirts and hats made! I bought Stops the following year and stopped racing Nixon that often and finally sold her in 2010.

Great shot of us racing upwind by Lyons imaging
Great pumpkin regatta, where we came 3rd in class, obviously scaring away the competition
Just about to round the downwind gate on a race . Photo by Linda Tilton.
My mum painted this amazing water color.
Another great water color painted by my mum.


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