|Tom and Samantha Gray with Serendipity in the background.|
She has lived aboard Serendipity full time for 25 years, but after the death of her husband and now that her daughter (who was raised and schooled on the boat) is leaving for college she's decided to sell the boat and downsize, but Karen tells it much better than I could.
Karen: "I am very much a fan of your blog but did not know how to contact you, so thank you so much for taking the initiative to email me! Having been through so many of the same refit efforts with my late husband Tom that you and your wife have been through (though I must say not with such beautiful results as I have seen on your blog), I get a laugh at some of your comments...most recently the pleasure you took at sanding off the "stupid stripes," which we did in Grenada in 2002, along with several other coats of paint.
Ah, where should I start with Serendipity. She was purchased by Thomas Gray in Boston in late 1986. At that time her name was Swallow. I believe Tom was her third owner. I know little about her history before us, except that she was definitely out of the Virginia plant, and Tom was told she had crossed the Atlantic to the Med and back under a prior owner. Tom had Serendipity laid up in a yard in Winthrop, Mass., stripped of her mast and rigging, when I met them both in 1989 (my little Catalina 22 was a yard neighbor). A retired Navy chief and electronics technician, he was in the midst of replacing all her electrical wiring and electronics when I joined the crew. Serendipity has been my full-time home for almost 25 years.
|The Grays added extra storage, counter top space and a nav station in place of the dinette.|
In 1989 we ditched the propane heater in the main salon and headed south to Florida, where we began what was essentially to become a ten-year refit (and you thought things were going slow on Oceanus!). I realize the C-43 could accommodate a racing crew of six, but there were just the two of us back then, and we were living aboard and planning extended cruising.
We didn't need the large dining area opposite the galley; we wanted the nav station and all electronics aft, more accessible to the cockpit; and we needed lots more storage! Other changes were dictated by our "grow your own crew" program - our daughter Samantha was born in 1996. So below decks, we converted the U-shaped dinette into a nav/computer workstation and lots of additional storage space for provisions. I like to cook, so I appreciated the extra counter top space.
We closed off the galley completely from the main salon with bulkheads port and starboard, and a dutch door (so we could close the bottom half when we were in the cockpit and still keep an eye on the youngest crew member securely below).
|Serendipity's main salon with a fold-down table.|
|Tom and Samantha at the helm. Note the custom radar arch in the background.|
|Serendipity's all-weather cockpit.|
|Serendipity under sail.|
Last year, after a lifetime aboard and 12 years of boat-schooling, Sam started college. It's time for another couple, or perhaps a young family, to enjoy Serendipity. Like many land-based empty nesters, I've decided to down size. She is in the water in Titusville, Fla., for sale but not listed with a broker. I've created a website for her http://www.columbia43.com with all the specs and lots of photos, or someone can email me at email@example.com for more information or if they'd like to take a look at her."
|Serendipity's optional skeg-hung rudder.|
If I didn't have Oceanus, I would be on a plane to Florida with a check in my pocket. I hope Karen can find new owners who will take care of this classic as well as she, her daughter and husband have.