Over a twenty year period, Rene and Dorie Pittsey of San Jose, California
built a 43'9" ketch
in their backyard. Using plans they bought from Bruce Roberts
, the Pittseys version of his Mauritius 43 aft-cabin, center cockpit ketch
took form slowly but with careful attention to every detail. Along the way, they had the evolving vessel professionally surveyed to verify the integrity of their building process.
For example, the Pittseys wrote the following in their Morning Star
"The bulkheads are mahogany plywood
and are set against a lateral stringer along the hull
surface so that the ply never touches the hull
to create a hard spot. The bulkheads are glassed to the hull then through bolted through the glass lay up. The surveyor
called it belt and suspenders, but very strong. Much stronger than his boat."
A 140-ton crane was necessary to lift
the vessel out of their backyard, up and over their house and onto a flat-bed truck for splashing at an Alameda shipyard. That was a day in early November, 1995.
Sadly, circumstances today have compelled the Pittseys to sell their lovingly created vessel. But that's where the story gets interesting. From last Friday's 'Lectronic Latitude,
comes word of a "Dubai Prince" who wanted to buy Morning Star,
* * *
December 5, 2008 – Nigeria, Dubai and Your Computer
" . . . with the recent market crash, we were getting desperate. So when we received an inquiry from a prince in Dubai that didn't ask for bank information, we got a little excited . . ."
* * *
To read the 'Lectronic Latitude
account in its entirety, go to:
Latitude 38 - The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine