” I began my sailing life in 1975 at the Community Boating Center on the Charles River, which was a short walk from where we lived. At the time, membership was $5 per season, leading me to believe that sailing was an affordable lifelong hobby – joke’s on me.”
Sloop Dogg 2, Sabre 34′
Interview with the Captain — Bob Winter
About the Boat
Why did you choose to buy this particular model?
I wanted a larger boat to replace my 1981 Pearson 26 and do more coastal cruising. The Sabres are well-built, good-looking, and a great value. A friend of mine, fellow Corinthian YC member Jeff Given, had a Sabre 34 MK I at the time, and the model fit the bill for us.
What other kinds of boats did you consider before buying this particular model (and how did they compare)?
I looked at a few other “classic plastic” boats in the same size/price range. Cal 33 and Tartan 34 were the other finalists. The cabin layout and sailing comfort were the distinguishing features.
How did you come to find/locate her before purchasing (and what’s the boat’s history if you know it)?
I found Sloop Dogg II in South Portland ME via a yacht broker. The prior owner, who called her Storm Petrel, had her for around 25 years and was retiring from sailing. I believe I’m the third owner.
Who first introduced you to boating/sailing?
Nobody in particular introduced me to sailing. My family moved to Boston from Detroit when I was 9 years old, and I had this idea that I wanted to sail. I began my sailing life in 1975 at the Community Boating Center on the Charles River, which was a short walk from where we lived. At the time, membership was $5 per season, leading me to believe that sailing was an affordable lifelong hobby – joke’s on me. A couple of years later, we moved to Marblehead, and I got involved in the Pleon Yacht Club program as a teenager.
What boats have you previously owned?
When I was a kid, I co-owned a 420 with my racing partner. Since moving back to Marblehead in 2001, In the past have owned: J24, Pearson 26, and SeaRay Seville 20. Currently I own a Laser, a Grady White Freedom 225, and the Sabre 34 Mk I. In listing them like that, you’d think I have a problem.
What are the features you like most about your boat?
The biggest thing is that the Sabre 34, when trimmed correctly, sails like a dream. Size is just right for coastal and harbor cruising in this area. There is a lot of teak in the cabin, which adds to the comfort below.
What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
I’ve owned this boat for around 5 years. Since then, I’ve added navigation equipment, new cushions, new head, new cabin lights, new hatches, new traveller and new control lines. I’ve also rebedded the portlights and brought the copious interior and exterior teak back to life.
My punch list is still long. Near the top of the list are new sails, replacing the cabin sole, and adding a stereo.
Do you belong to a yacht club or other boating organizations (and what’s your homeport)?
I sail out of Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead MA. I also race occasionally in the Marblehead Laser and DF95 fleets.
What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
The biggest challenge is finding time to do maintenance and projects. Fall is busy with kids’ activities, and it seems that the snow always melts just a few weeks before it’s time to launch.
Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a boat like yours?
With a 40 year old boat, be prepared to be in constant maintenance/catch-up mode. Then again, the same is true for my friends who have 10 year old boats!
If the hull and deck are in good shape, mostly free of water intrusion, everything else can be fixed, and the boat will (theoretically) last forever.
Do research on the common problems for the boat model, and see if the current owner has taken care of those things.
If you buy a true classic in decent condition, the effort will pay off.
What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
My wife Monica came up with the name Sloop Dogg for our old boat, the Pearson 26. After much agonizing over a new name for the Sabre, we went with Sloop Dogg 2. While she at times regrets the name, it is a good conversation piece.
CHECK IT OUT
Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Sloop Dogg 2!