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A Fine Vintage

2009 January 2

In a switch, a family daysailer is passed up to the parents, where she gets a second life as Merlot
by Ralph Naranjo

Merlot, a favorable blend of vineyard attributes, may seem like a fitting Cape Dory metaphor, but to a sailor set in his ways, neither the wine nor the sloop initially held much sway. It took an odd chain of events to bring both into the picture, and it all began with a plan to encourage our daughter Tara and son-in-law Scott to add sit-down sailing to their windsurfing repertoire.

About seven years ago we were highway bound and headed Down East on an over-the-road windsurfing safari that ended in Cape Cod. During and early morning doughnut run, Scott and I passed a driveway moored Cape Dory Typhoon with a for sale sign, inducing an immediate U-turn. With windsurfers on the roof and a new trailersailer in tow, our son-in-law and daughter upped their sailing commitment.

During the next few years, daysailing set the hook, and as the family grew in number, dreams of a larger boat took hold. Soon the little sloop made a transit south in I-95 leaving Long Island Sound astern and heading for the Chesapeake Bay. She arrived ready for a refit and a new home on another great estuary.

For the complete article, pick up the January issue of SAILING Magazine on newsstands now.