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17 years later, our dreamboat:
Shiplet, a 2007 382 Diesel Duck from Seahorse Marine.






The pictures are from JMYS broker's listing. They were taken by Larry Friedman.

What a long story it is if you go back. If you go all the way back, Nancy and I talked about going over the horizon ever since our honeymoon on S/Y Paj in the Swedish archipelago, back in July of 1978.


This picture is not from 1978 but that is S/Y Paj on an earlier Baltic cruise

In 2004 we were getting more focused on a next phase of planetary exploration, but back on Earth after two amazing life-long careers at JPL. At this point we had a wonderful Ericson 23 appropriately named La Petite. We'd bought her on ebay, sight unseen for a staggering $1749.


I'm sorry that I can't give credit to the photographer who took this picture.
I just don't remember his name.

While she was small she was a truly wonderful little sailor and we took her out just about every weekend day and took her out for cruises to the Channel Islands, Santa Barbara Island and of course, Catalina Two Harbors. We logged 1000 NM per year in La Petite, mostly in 10-20 NM Saturday and Sunday trips. This is when we really started collecting experiences even if we were still also collecting 'things'. Lots of memories !

2004 is when I first became aware of George Buehler and his quirky Diesel Duck designs. His concept of an ocean-crossing single engine troller with a sail rig for stability and emergency get-home capability - it just seemed so perfect. Nancy and I talked about his designs and we bought his study-plans for the 38 Diesel Duck just to dream about the future. I talked to him on the phone but mainly by email and tried to figure out a way to make a Diesel Duck a reality for us, but at the time it simply wasn't in the cards. We still had and needed our careers and jobs.

By 2008 both Nancy and I knew that JPL was becoming too much of an old institution to be as thrilling as it had been. There was an increasing emphasis of processes and procedures as if they could help you carry out JPL's mission to do what had never been done before. So we started seriously looking for a boat that we could cruise on full time. This is when we lucked out and came across what would become Senta II, our Ericson 39B, previously owned by Lew Decker as Serendipity. We named her after my grandfather's last school-ship, Senta.



Senta, sailed by my grandfather, Sven Grenander, founder of Svenska Kryssarklubben.


Senta II as we sailed across the bar into Bahia del Sol in El Salvadore.
The picture was taken by Bill of El Salvadore Rally fame.

Our terrific times on Senta II are documented in some 800 entries in the original blog, the link is at the top of the page.

If you have read the original blog you know that we ended up shipping Senta II from Costa Rica to Florida. Florida is where we started seriously considering graduating to a trawler, as many sailors do after years of cruising, sitting out in the cockpit in all weathers. All in all it took us over two years to find the perfect trawler, after many false starts and disappointments (one false start was a run-down Diesel Duck which another couple bought before we had a real chance to consider a project boat). We finally found what would become LAGOM, a 1984 Willard 40 pilothouse, back in California !!


LAGOM at anchor in Smugglers Cove on Santa Cruz Island.

We upgraded LAGOM until she was almost perfect and ready to take us to Alaska when I started seeing reports out of China about WARS (Wuhan Acute Respiratory Syndrome). The rest is history and WARS was renamed Covid-19.

Since marinas were locked down our travel up to Alaska was put on hold and we stayed in LAGOM as our WARS/Covid pod for the next 13 months. Our friend Jeff Apple was putting his beautiful Diesel Duck on the market and we kept looking back at her, behind LAGOM. She was too much boat for us but we still considered the possibility and kept talking to Jeff about her and other Ducks.

We also looked at quite a few Nordhavns, especially N40s and actually made bids on a couple or maybe even three.


Moby Duck arrives to her new slip behind LAGOM

Then a miracle happened !

We (Nancy ?) saw a 2007 382 Diesel Duck for sale in Lake Michigan. The pictures at the top of this page are from that ad. On March 17th 2021 we filled out the Yachtworld form to ask about her and I also sent Jeff Merrill an email telling him that we were interested. Jeff answered that we were 4 days too late, she was under contract since the prior weekend. We were obviously very disappointed but I sent an email to the listing broker to let him know that if the deal fell through we were seriously interested.

On April 18th miracle number two happened:

"The buyer for Jubilee has suffered a medical event
and is not able to proceed with the purchase"

Four days later, after an Enterprise Car Rental screwup we were on the road in an Avis rental car, on our way to Suttons Bay on Lake Michigan ! The tragedy that befell the prior owner gave us Shiplet but we really sympathize with his misfortune and hope his medical issues get resolved.

The sea trial and survey took place during a rain and lightning storm but worked out great. We got to know Dean Phelps, the original owner who has used Jubilee/Shiplet the last several years and we also got to know Larry Friedman, the broker. Both Nancy and I were amazed that for once the pictures taken by a broker didn't lie, Jubilee/Shiplet was in as good visual condition as advertised.

We found several systems issues later but those will be written up as we go back and update the blog so there is no reason to repeat them here.

For the best introduction to Shiplet we will just link Jeff Merrill'sYoutube video, below.