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Five Paceships - and still counting...


By Bob Johnson

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Hi, fellow Paceship Owners.  I'm Bob Johnson, probably the latest Paceship owner to join the Paceship web site.  I just bought a Paceship, P20, hull no. 112.  I bought it in Kansas City from a naval officer who is being transferred to overseas.  It has a repainted navy blue hull and is in very good shape for a 1974 boat.  I'll include pictures after I've cleaned it up a little.

This will be my fifth Paceship.  Not sure if that's a record but it certainly says something about my interest in Paceships.  I saw my first Paceship at a Washington, DC boat show in February, 1970. 

 Its sleek, C & C design was like nothing else in the show.  My friend and I bought the boat on the spot for $6,000.  It was hull no. 3 and was nicely equipped with genoa, spinnaker and working sails.  Paceship Yachts did not intend to sell this boat at first. 

The sales manager was supposed to take the boat on to Florida and race it to develop interest.  However his wife took ill and they had to return to Nova Scotia so he let the local Paceship dealer sell it.  We took delivery in early March, 1970.  Harold Hutchinson, the boat dealer, operated his dealership from his property on the Tred Avon River near Oxford, Md.  My partners and I learned to rig and sail the boat there.  Harold was an interesting man.  He had been in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a fighter pilot during WW II.  He married later in life and had a batch of small children running around his property. 
Paceship P23 Hull #3
An interesting sidelight is that Harold also sold a P23 to John Dean, President Nixon's lawyer who was to become famous in the Watergate affair.  Harold was cautioned that if a phone call came in claiming to be from the White House, it really was the White House on the line.
I stayed in the three-way partnership for about a year.  The next year, one of the partners wanted to sell his share.  And, it turned out that my wife got very sick on boats so I also sold my share at that time

That led to by purchase of my second Paceship.  In 1971 I purchased a left-over 1970 Mouette also from Harold Hutchinson.  It was hull #472.  It had a bright yellow hull and was a great boat for a single sailor.  I kept the boat for four more years, sailing it out of the Magothy River onto the Chesapeake.  As my children grew, we enjoyed the boat during the summers.

The Mouette was sold in 1974 when I entered into a partnership to purchase a Pearson 30.  We kept that boat for a few years, later trading it in for a C&C 38 which was a heck of a nice racing boat.

Mouette, Hull #472

I have also owned a Vanguard 470, a Tanzer 16, a Starwind 19, a Gallille 15, a Sailfish and a WeeSort.  Two of my frequent boat partners and I even bought a derelict Chesapeake Skipjack on Tilghman Island, MD. and spent several years restoring it to sailing condition.  It was too much for us to keep up so we ended up donating it to a Maritime Museum in Baltimore, only to have them sell it to raise cash.  A couple of years ago, we spotted it in an outside beer garden.
My next Paceship was bought in Cincinnati, Ohio from a local sailor.  It was the PY23 centerboard model, hull # 240.  That was a great boat as well.  With the centerboard, I was able to trailer it around a bit.  I kept it on the Chesapeake for a year while I commuted from Ohio to use it.  I also took it to Florida in the winter.  Most of the pictures below are from the Chesapeake.
Red Sky  PY23 on Brookville Lake, IN
PY23  Red Sky, Hull #240
A couple of years later, while sailing around various local lakes, I came across another Paceship, this one a PY23K model.  I remembered the stiffness and sail-ability of my original P23 and had to have it.  By know you realize that I have a Class A addiction for sailboats.  A major part of the addiction is that I am particularly attracted to classy boats that are in need of restoration.  And this newest Paceship needed lots of help. 
Thirteen,  PY23K On the Hard
The trailer was shot; the boat hull badly sun-faded and it had a major deck leak.  After several months work, repainting and restoring, I got the boat ready for a one-time trip to Florida.   I believed that it would be a perfect boat to sail the on the west coast of Florida.  And, since we were staying in Florida for the six winter months, I planned to leave the boat there year round.  This was my fourth Paceship and my thirteenth boat overall so it was named Thirteen.

Last year my wife and I decided not to spend so much time in Florida.  We were missing our grandkids too much so we came back north to Burlington, KY.  Looking for a smaller, daysailer, I started checking the Internet.  There I came across a P20 in Kansas City.  I drove out there and bought the boat on the spot, however the trailer wheel bearings were so bad, I had to rebuild them before I could bring the boat back.  A picture of the, as yet unnamed, P20 is shown below. I also discovered the Paceship web site and thought other Paceship owners might enjoy my strange tale.  If for no other reason, you can always use me as an example to your spouse that there are even nuttier sailors out there.

P20 Hull # 112

And see about his addendum to this story here!
If you care to comment or just have an interest,
Contact Bob via his PPP!

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