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Seafarer History - PUFFIN

Found Her

I purchased Puffin in 1980 in Chicago and rehabbed most 1960 systems, Ready to sail. Lake Michigan

In a boat barn on south side of Chicago, needed a lot of rehab and updating. Managed to get in a couple of day sails, last one in DEC nice Sunday, and then a slight snow storm blew in. Friends said they saw me on the Bears game broadcast. Announcer says "some fool is sailing right off Soldier Field" yep that was me.

Early 80's

Sailing Lake Michigan and working on Puffin. Jackson Park Yacht Club southside Chicago

Sailing Lake Michigan and projects on Puffin, Jackson Park Yacht Club Chicago.

Somehow I ended up as Commodore of JPYC, decided to retire from corporate America and run away from home to be a professional boat bum. with no job and a boat for a home, off to Florida.

Oh yah I started solo racing in 1985

1988 phase TWO


1988 Puffin and I left Chicago for Ft Myers Florida. Boat and I traveled overland, I had already boated down the Mississippi twice.

found her

Back in Chicago, sold Meriwether, boat hunting


The "Puffin" was sitting in a shed on the southside of Chicago. The owner was lamenting that the boat needed to much work, and was getting old, maybe to old to be competitive. "she" was built in Amsterdam in 1960, one of the early production fiberglass sailboats.  I gave him my card and told him I wanted to buy Puffin. He called me a few weeks later and said "if you are going to restore the boat i will sell it to you". Hull#38 was "shipped" to Chicago some time in the 1960/1961 time frame.

 Hull #1 was first boat built in 1959. I will try to  do the history of Puffin a Swiftsure 33 built by DeVries Lentch in Amsterdam, for Seafarer Yachts in New York. Just as a forward, a few years after I bought Puffin, I managed to get a free trip to Holland and tracked down the only active member of the ship yard. When I found the office in a small building, it was "manned" by Gerhardt's secretary. She told me he had taken his bicycle downtown to renew his driver's license, I thought that was pretty cool for an old guy in his 70's but that was in the mid 80's. When he got back he spent a couple of hours giving me the history of the Company. He gave me copies of every piece of paper about my boat and the history of all the boats they built.

The "Puffin" and I began our love affair in Chicago in 1980.