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THE WORLD IS SMALL!
Monday 13th February 2012

Reprobate was shipped to Antigua in time for the 2005 Classic Yacht Regatta.  A brand new Spirit 46, she arrived with a sister ship and the boats were assembled in Jolly Harbour.  A factory crew came out to do the job and some of them remained behind in Antigua and raced her in the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta.  The owner of Reprobate hailed from Vancouver, Canada and following the Regatta he cruised her for several months throughout the Caribbean.  He then had her shipped back to British Columbia, Canada where he hoped to spend more time enjoying her.  He soon found out, however, that British Columbia’s rather wet environment was not really suitable for a sleek and wet boat like the Spirit 46, which has no standing headroom and plenty of brightwork to maintain.  As a result, he put her on the market for sale fairly soon after arrival in British Columbia.

An English gentleman came along who liked the looks of Reprobate so he purchased her and shipped her back to the Caribbean.  He had just sold his plastic fantastic and fancied a change.  Reprobate was renamed Libertine and soon ended up living in the boatyard at Nanny Cay in the British Virgin Islands.  The English gentleman sailed her occasionally for a few weeks here and there, but the boat lived mainly under cover out of the water.

Photo by Tim Wright/www.photoaction.com.

As he did not have enough time to spend on the boat, and with the changing economic climate, Libertine was soon up for sale again, but the required TLC went missing and the varnish deteriorated so badly that she became difficult to sell.  I was called in to the rescue and asked if I would bring her back to Antigua and help restore her to her original glory.  My friend, Paul Jackson, and I flew to Tortola and did the 36-hour slog to Antigua on what we decided was a submarine and when the boat finally dried out restoration work began with the help of some very capable Antiguan varnish specialists.  The idea was to get Libertine ready for Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and improve on her 5th place finishing performance of 2005.

My friend, Don Ward chartered her and with his charter fee paid in advance, we were able to restore Libertine to the condition she deserved to be in.  Don won the single-handed race and then went on to get the gun in all three Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta races (the fourth was abandoned!).  Not bad for a boat that looked like a wreck only six weeks earlier and, of course, well done Don!

Libertine was sold immediately after the Regatta and was shipped once again, this time to a good home in Maine on the east coast of the United States.

So why is the world so small?

My wife and I spend most of the summer at our cottage on an island on Lake Kasshabog in Ontario, approximately two hours northeast of Toronto.  There are hundreds of thousands of lakes in Ontario and even more islands.  We had just  returned from Newport, Rhode Island, where we had done some summer charters.  Having just driven all that way, we weren’t ready for socializing when our neighbour called us over for a drink.  He had a friend, a sailor, who was visiting and who he would like us to meet.

So we did go and, low and behold, the friend lived in Vancouver and was the original owner of a Spirit 46 called Reprobate!

Article by Hans Lammers.


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