Hello Everyone,

2020 has arrived and S/V Larabeck sailed smoothly into the new decade. We’re talking about our 1985 Passport 47 center-cockpit, cutter-rigged sloop, which took the place of the Bavaria 42 we sold in Australia after completing our 2010-11 Cross-Pacific journey.  Alas, we could not stay “boat-less” for long, so in August 2012 we purchased the “Aquamanda” and rechristened it “Larabeck.”   This boat had been dry-docked for several years in Deltaville, Virginia, and was just waiting for someone to come to its rescue.  So we took it home and brought it back to life.

Passports are sturdy boats, and if we one day decide on a new adventure, S/V Larabeck could take us just about anywhere.  Currently it’s our weekend refuge on the Mississippi River north of St. Louis at the
Harbor Point Yacht Club; we have been members here since 2004.  Our time on the Larabeck is not limited to weekends: Michael works in St. Louis and calls Larabeck home on workdays.  Sharon works in Springfield, Illinois, yet often brings her laptop to the boat to write and to teach online in the peace and quiet of the harbor.  Maybe we will have the chance to take this sailboat up-river to Lake Michigan one day for a summer retreat as well.   

As any boat or home owner knows, keeping things in ship-shape is a never-ending job, and we entered the new decade with a number of boat-improvement tasks completed.  Most recently we installed a new water tank, added a built-in generator, and replaced the battery charger.  In 2018 we installed a brand new engine (click photos), which was probably the most complex job since we prepped and painted the 68-foot, 700-pound mast in 2013.  Previously we replaced all through-hulls, the anchor windlass, hatches and port-lights, and navigation electronics including an autopilot.  We’ve also replaced onboard components including two heads (toilets), refrigerator, and gimballed stove/oven, and we added an air conditioner.  

As for sailing, we get a lot of practice tacking on the Mississippi River.  An exception is when the wind comes out of the SW, by which we can usually sail all the way to the Sioux Energy Center Power Plant on just one tack.  Currently we are looking forward to sailing by any wind direction in the after-winter weather yet to come this new year 2020. 

Fair winds,

Michael and Sharon
S/V Larabeck