Our first cruising sailboat, Chance, was a 34 ft sloop designed in 1972 by legendary yacht designers James McCurdy and Philip Rhodes (McCurdy and Rhodes). Built by Seafarer Yachts in Huntington, NY, Chance has blue water pedigree and the classic lines found in some of history’s most revered sailing yachts.
The Seafarer 34 beat out competitive designs from Erickson, Pearson and Catalina in races worldwide and is considered one of the best handling sailboats in the 30′ range. Like the Tartan 34, she boasts a solid bronze swing keel, minimizing her draft to 3’9″ for faster downwind sailing. As a cruising vessel, her shallow draft allows her sail into waters otherwise only accessible to motor boats and catamarans.
As part of our journey, we set out to discover not only our boat’s pedigree, but her history as well – right down to her very first owner. Chance, originally named Quest, was built for a wealthy yachtsman in Bridgeport, CT in 1974. Soon after construction, she was traded to a real estate developer for a newly built 3 bedroom condo (how’s that for value?!). The developer had little time to sail, and already owning 3 boats decided to sell her to a friend who eventually owned her for the next 20 years. He took excellent care of until 2002, when she was eventually abandoned and left on the hard for more than 8 years. In 2010, she was auctioned by the marina for $450. Her new owner had high hopes but very little time so she was once again abandoned. We purchased her in 2012 for nearly $8000. Why $8000? She is actually worth much more. Although she had some weather, she’d had very little mileage and is and incredibly solid boat. Of course if we had known about her previous auction price, we would have negotiated a little (A LOT) better. But the truth is, WE LOVE this boat.
Shortly after buying Chance, we decided she needed more than just a “refit.” She needed a complete makeover. So we began the long and arduous task of taking apart and redoing all the great work that some smarter, more knowledgeable, salty soul did when she was first built. From thru-hulls to instruments, engine bed to brightwork, this boat will slowly but surely return to her former glory.
Pictures of Chance after the refit: