Archive for June, 2011


Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Shown is the most ambitious painting I have ever attempted… THE NIGHT WE LOST THE RED-TOP. It’s a large (30” x 40”) oil painted from memory of one of the most unforgettable moments in my life. I celebrated my graduation from college by spending the summer of 1966 living aboard BURGOO, a 37-foot ocean racing yacht. We sailed her from Newport to Bermuda where we started the Transatlantic Ocean Race bound for Copenhagen. One evening 1000 miles from the nearest land the wind came on to blow and we made the fateful decision to reef the main and press on overnight under our largest spinnaker, expecting the wind would abate after dark. Instead it blew harder and somewhere around midnight we were hit by a blast that spun us into the wind and hove her down with the spreaders under water. In the pitch black we called “all hands” and spent a very uncomfortable hour slashing away up to our waists in the cold Atlantic to try to relieve the strain of a huge sail full of tons of water. By morning our beautiful nylon number one spinnaker was no more, but we were upright and once again on our way towards Europe.

You can view this and my other most recent paintings at Ocean View Grange in Martinsville, Maine between July 15 and July 17 from 10 to 6.


Thursday, June 23rd, 2011


Here’s PETUNIA at 74. I really believe I can say her restoration is now complete. Over the winter I took the mast down to wood and removed all those years’ worth of blemishes. Then there was an ugly stain at the aft end of the boom that I thought I’d sand out. The more I sanded, the worse it looked, until finally I WENT THROUGH! It had rotted on the inside from moisture seeping in the sail track fastener holes. So that was repaired, and here she is shining like a new dime in Tenants Harbor. If you read this blog regularly, you’re a special person and entitled to invite yourself sailing!


Sunday, June 12th, 2011

The happily married couple

Mark Fitzgerald finally found the right woman!  Here are Mark and Ann Fitzgerald, married on June 11th at Lucia Beach overlooking Mussel Ridge Channel. It took a while, but I’ve never seen Mark so happy.

For those of you who don’t know, Mark was my right hand man at C.W. Paine Yacht Design for 22 wonderful years, and is the best boat designer on the planet. Send him a congratulatory note at


Friday, June 10th, 2011


Many of you will have seen in my book, photos of my Nester dinghy sailing.  I enjoyed her, but she  had two flaws- she twisted quite a lot, and she sailed with lee helm.  My own fault, of course- for convenience I put the mast too far forward. I built the forward side-to-side member at sheer height so as to have enough “engagement” of the bottom of the mast (about 11 inches)  to eliminate any stays. How could I have failed to see a better solution- one with the mast in the right place?

So I’m ripping that member out, removing the rowing thwart aft of it, and making a new rowing thwart, enough higher in the boat to result in exactly the same height of engagement, yet not too high, I hope, to still be able to row from that position. I’ll keep you abreast of progress in this blog.


Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Dinner on the Krka River

         I got to thinking about one prediction I made in the conclusion to my recent book: “Surely in the near future some lad far cleverer with a computer than I ever was will write a computer program that will enable twenty or so would-be yachtsmen to share one very beautiful yacht as if it were solely their own.” 

        I watched the slow demise of my highly successful yacht design studio as the once too numerous to manage customers vanished over the horizon.  I had put it down to the lingering effects of 9/11, but perhaps I lost sight of a far more positive reason- the advent of chartering. Why would one own a yacht, with all of the maintenance expenses involved not to mention the depreciation- when one can  so easily and more cheaply charter. The happy group in the above photo, plus John the photographer, have chartered together for decades. We have enjoyed larger yachts than any of us could afford to own, have seen cruising grounds from Tahiti to Croatia, and have, at the end of one week in a climate far more amenable than the frozen wasteland of winter in Maine, simply handed back the keys at the end and told the charter company to fix anything that broke.

        Another prediction: The day will come when the rapidly rising cost of liquid energy and its attendant impact upon airfares will combine with one or more terrorist attacks upon this highly vulnerable mode of human transport to put an end to civilian air travel. And that will be the end of chartering.  Until that happens, though, this happy group will be posting photos like this one on this blog from some of the loveliest cruising grounds on God’s blue ocean.