Voyager, a Story of the Bitter and the Sweet – By Paul Fenn
Yesterday, my son Will, celebrated his 13th birthday. Like all parents, I can remember so clearly the day he was born. Then a decade went whizzing by and before I knew it he was 10. And now, I have a teenager on my hands. Wow, time certainly does move along.
Totally by coincidence, I had a call from an old customer of ours, Charlie Forsdick, and learned that Will was not the only one having a 13th birthday, Voyager, a Sun Odyssey 43 was also turning 13. Charlie and Terry Forsdick had taken delivery of their new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 43 in the Spring of 2002 in Westbrook, CT. Charlie was planning on retiring soon and he and Terry were itchy to throw off the lines and go cruising. “We must have looked at 25-30 boats before deciding to buy the SO 43” Charlie told me. “Ted Novakowski, who originally sold us Voyager, really did a great job finding us the right boat” he added.
“This was a big project” Ted Novakowski recalls. “Charlie had thought through all the systems vital to the cruising program he was looking to do and given plenty of consideration to comfort aboard over extended periods. The radar arch/dinghy davits was one of the earliest projects to be tackled. There were considerations in both functionality and appearance. Additions and adaptations were managed as the installation progressed. I remember an inch here and a degree there… it was a bit of trial and error but in the end I think the function was just what was hoped for and the appearance was really complimentary to the lines of the boat. I still remember the christening. Charlie and Theresa know how to throw a party and the christening was no exception. Voyager was showcased in a slip outside the marina clubhouse, visible from the street, docks, and water. We all enjoyed a great occasion with food, drink and friends. With the boat as the centerpiece of the day, this really celebrated the beginning of the cruising lifestyle Charlie and Theresa had planned for years.”
A few years went by. Then in 2006, true to their plan, Charlie retired and off they went, full-time… first to the North to explore old haunts; Block Island, Newport, Martha’s Vineyard, Cutty Hunk, Nantucket and then to the south to sit out the winter months in the Bahamas. They did this for many years, up north to New England for the summer, down south to the Bahamas in the winter. A few years ago, they bought a place in Ft. Pierce, FL that they now call home. They continued to cruise however, exploring both coasts of Florida, the Panhandle and the Gulf of Mexico.
Charlie and I spent a good bit of time on the phone reminiscing and talking about all the adventures he and Terry have had over the past 13 years. “It’s really been great Paul. My experience with the boat and the people at Jeanneau has really been wonderful. Unfortunately, I’m not as young as I used to be and well, Terry is suffering from some memory loss and it’s not as easy for her to get around, so as much as I hate to do it, I think it’s time that Voyager find a new home.” I could tell that Charlie wasn’t overly excited by this dose of reality but like all good sailors, he was making the best of a situation that was less than perfect.
As we were wrapping up our conversation, I commented that while it’s sad to be forced to sell Voyager at least you bought her in the first place, outfitted her with the best gear possible, threw off the lines and realized your dream of going cruising; so many people never get that far. He agreed with me but I couldn’t help hear a little disappointment in his voice.
There’s an old saying that’s been around forever that the two best days in a boat owner’s life is the day he buys the boat and the day he sells it. It’s a humorous saying for sure but for those us us who really love the lifestyle, it simply isn’t true. The story of Voyager is one of both the bitter and the sweet. Thankfully, there’s a lot more sweet than bitter and that has made all the difference.
On we go….