I've had a Sovreign 7 Meter for over 20 years (dont even remember the manufacture date).
Bought it used and kept it ever since. Kept it moored on the Manatee River in Bradenton for about 6 years. I sailed it all over Tampa Bay, up and down the Florida West Coast offshore
and even raced it a few times with a PHRF handicap. It is a marvelous, forgiving, safe little boat.
As you now realize, it's not a race
boat but it IS the most stable boat I've ever been on and I've sailed and raced on a bunch of different boats. I wouldn't trade
the Sovereign for anything else. Mine is a thick (1"), heavy, old fashioned fiberglass hull
. I had a jet ski crash into it broadside. Nearly killed the jet ski rider, and destroyed the jet ski, but the Sovereign sustained NO significant damage (OK, it had a couple scratches).
I love the shallow draft
. I can sail almost anywhere there's waist deep water
and push it off if it gets stuck (done it many times). I can nose into most any shoreline, dragging an anchor rode
off the stern (just to be sure). I start the outboard
and usually reverse off the shoreline. If I'm stuck, I wrap the anchor rode
around the winch
, give it a few cranks and I'm free and under reverse power. Takes a little practice not to back over the anchor rode, but I've done it a hundred times leaving Red Lobster.
I solo mostly and it's and easy boat to handle even under full sail. After sailing with just the jib
, I purchased an asymetrical spinaker to help with downwind speed and it handled it just fine. I used the existing winches for both spinaker and jib
with no problems.
I purchased a Honda
with a generator
and hung it on the outboard bracket. The Honda
8 is a little heavy and hard to mount/dismount dockside, but the generator
charges my battery
bank pretty quickly (generator is worth the weight). In the cabin
, I replaced the alcohol stove with a non-pressure alcohol stove. It fit the same counter cutout and I've been very satisfied. It cooks slow, but that's OK (that's why I sail instead of having a power boat).
I've been in some really heavy weather
and seas offshore
but this little boat handled it just fine with a reefed main and a storm jib
. Never, repeat never been in real trouble with this boat. She is heavy hulled and well rigged....all original (but well maintained).
After about 7 years in the saltwater, I designed and built a custom trailer for it, hauled it home to Lakeland and put it in a freshwater lake, at a dock
for another 10 years. I'd pull it out occasionally for a dip in the Gulf, but mostly kept it close to home on fresh water
. The shallow draft allowed lake sailing just fine. Bottom line, the Sovereign 7 Meter is a very solid, well built boat (so is the 23' and 24'). It doesn't really perform like a small boat because it's not a lightweight hull
, like most other small boats.
With proper equipment
, I'd set off for the Bahamas
with no reservations.....assuming you know now to sail and navigate offshore. In my opinion, the boat will handle it, if you can.
Good luck with your Sovereign. Keep her maintained and she'll take care of you for a long, long time.....at least that's my experience and my opinion. If you have any questions, you may email
me - email@example.com