The Boat

1978 Formosa Cutter Rigged KetchDesigned by Bill GardenBuilt in the Ta Shing Boatyard in Taiwan51 feet on deck 59 feet overall

Deb and I started with a 30′ Laguna sloop as the first sailboat we owned. As the kids got a bit older, we were looking for something for Deb and I to do together. We fell in love with the lifestyle and met great friends and dock neighbors on Lake Lewisville near Dallas, TX. Between being first introduced to hanging out on a boat at the lake from Rick, or sailing with Jim and Karen or Wild Mary and Robert, we got a great introduction to sailing. Then we met Mike and Kerri who lived aboard and sailed in the islands for over 5 years and we started to think it was actually possible to live aboard and enjoy the life style.

We moved South of Houston and had our boat shipped there, so that we were able to sail on “bigger” water including Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Just after moving the boat, we started looking at larger boats that may be the one we would live aboard. We loved the large clipper bow looking boats with Teak decks, but I was so worried about the work effort. We ended up putting a bid on a Formosa and did not get the boat. We did however find a great deal on a Gulfstar 43 sloop. She was in Florida, so we spent a few weekends checking it out, then sailed her from Panama City Florida to Galveston, TX. We spent the next 3 years completely refitting that boat and moving aboard after 2 years. We sailed down to Corpus for 6 months, then back to Houston. 

Then we decided it was time to finish out the last of the items we had left to still complete on “Last Affair” our Gulfstar. That was new cushions for the Salon. Deb and I started looking on Yachtworld for inspiration and what others may have done for cushions. We didn’t find cushions, but we did find a Formosa 51 for sale. We took a nice drive one weekend to New Orleans where the boat was and it just spoke to us. We evaluated the work it needed, and there is quite a bit, but after our experience with our Gulfstar, we were confident that we could do it. That is not to say the work is going to be easy, but none of it is structural or mechanical, which means we can do a lot of it ourselves. 

Original Line Drawing provided by TaShing Boatyard in Taiwan

So in October 2014, we purchased S/V Dream Chaser. We are enjoying the boat so much. There is certainly a lot of work, maybe a little more than we even expected, but so far, we are organizing our project lists and prioritizing them. We will continue to do the work on her and we will blog the details of it for the benefit of others as well as to chronicle the effort. Years ago when we started working on boats, we would often search the web for guidance on certain tasks or things we were facing. When we didn’t find that information in detail, we would record what did so that others may also benefit from that knowledge and seeing what they may be in for on a given project. This website will be a place for seeing photos, videos and blog posts on the project, progress, and enjoyment of living aboard and restoring a classic sailboat.