So what's so damn special about this boat anyway? Well, for starters you would have to sail it and then you would understand. Let me give you some history first. The boat was designed by Doug Peterson and was built by Newport Offshore in Rhode Island back in 1982. The boat was comissioned by David Phoenix for The Big Boat Series. It was the most expensive racing sailboat built at that time. The boat was first named "BullFrog" because of her green color and the wide berth of her hulls, she looks like a frog sitting down. David Phoenix had an untimely death, and it had been rumored that he ran a whaler into a buoy in San Fransico. The boat was then bought by Monty Livingston who then renamed the boat
"Checkmate". A much more fitting name especially since she was dominating the race circuit during that time. Vigor and I were told that during one race while in hurricane conditions, the boat was clocked at 33+ off the knot meter! Her aluminum hull was so loaded and twisted, the crew was unable to close the flush hatches and sea water from the crashing waves were flowing inside the boat. After Livingston's death, the boat was donated to The Sailing Foundation whom in turn had to sell due to draft issue's. Their outfit was moving to Florida and she draws 10 ft. And yes she goes to weather like a bat out of hell! And now Vigor and I have had our hot little hands on it now for 13 years!
This video was shot by the Sailing Foundation. They were in Catalina on a mooring ball. This was before
we owned the boat.
Here we are on one warm Summer day in the harbor. It was a
very light and casual sail, but we were almost matching wind
speed! 9 + kts.and the wind was maybe 11kts. on a reach.
The boat is 55 ft.in length, 16.5 beam, and weighes 16 tons. She is made of aircraft quality
aluminum and her draft is 10 feet with an elliptical keel and rudder. The interior is very lightweight
honeycomb NASA materials. All cabinets vacuumed bagged with detailed rounded complex
corners. Very retro down below!
What was designed to be a wet bench for removing foul weather gear is now used as tool/workbench for Vigor. The square holds in the
background are still there and used
gladly as storage.
I have accumalated a lot of outfits over the years for our videos. So in order
for more storage, I had to persuade Vigor to build some cabinets for my ever growing pile of lingerie and related articles of clothing. So we decided to make a fun video out of it....called Cabinet Cabaret!
This video shows you how crazy high our mast is from deck. I'm usually the
one who goes up for maintenance and repair because Vigor has to man the
ropes and winch since he is stronger. I never get used to it...it scares the
crap out of me,and my heart is pounding out of my chest every time! I
decided on one occasion to take a pocket camera with me to give the
viewer an honest experience of the journey up the mast. Oh,and the stick
is 80 ft. off the deck with three spreaders!
These set of pictures were taken a few years back when we had to pull the boat to
put an epoxy barrier coat on the bottom. We love Shelter Island Boat Yard, and
Wayne Strickland (boatyard manager) is a great guy. And when they give you a price,
that's the price it is. Unlike other boat yards who give you a price and when you go
to pay the bill it's suddenly 30 to 40 percent higher. Don't get me started on the
horrors of boat yards. I will do an article on it one day.