EDITOR’S NOTE: Since writing this post, the trip has been postponed until Wednesday because of the weather along the East Coast.
If the weather permits, and that’s a big if right now, the stately 88 ft., wooden-hulled Sincerity will leave the dock at DiMillo’s Marina on Monday night to participate in the charter boat business on Antigua – a place that is also a mecca for international sailors. At the helm of this stately ketch will be Phin Sprague, Jr. an experienced off-shore sailor and manager of Portland Yacht Services. Going with him will be a crew of about 10 – 8 men and 2 women- some with more sailing experience than others. One of the women is the cook.
Antiqua is a mecca for international sailors and that is a good thing. The Sincerity has just been listed with a Camden yacht broker for sale. Duncan Fog, first mate on the Sincerity, said this boat has never been owned by an American and probably never will be. “It’s not an American boat,” he said. “It’s a very classic, traditional boat that appeals mostly to Europeans.” There are no ‘bells and whistles’ on Sincerity. She’s well known in the Mediterranean because she’s done a lot of cruising there.
Fog went on to say that for about 40 years after World War II, she was owned by the “flamboyant” Jean Castel, a restauranter in Paris. His famous restaurant Chez Castel made him an icon in Europe and he literally was treated like royalty when he traveled – often on his Sincerity. Fog worked for him aboard the Sincerity.
This teak planked masterpiece is owned by Tryve Bratz, Camden. Originally from Norway, he sailed her from Norway to Camden about 10 or so years ago. For the last 4 years, she has been out of the water. “A wooden boat is expensive to maintain,” said the owners son, Einar who was washing dishes in the galley of this history laden ship. Einar said he’s looking forward to crossing the Gulf Stream. The current will try to drag us around a bit.” She was built in Italy in 1928 for either Danish royalty or the president of FIAT – no one was sure. The panels in the salon were originally in the Orient Express, Einar said.
She sleeps ten very comfortably and could accommodate many more if there were a need. “The most luxurous thing about this boat is that it has two heads,” said Einar laughing. “We wash everything by hand.” The sail down is expected to take about 10 days. The cook said she’d made lots of dinners and frozen them so all she would have to worry about is breakfast and lunch. The fresh produce still needed to be purchased as of noon today.
All of a sudden lunch arrived out of the rain and high winds on the water dock at DiMilllo’s and it was time for the captain et al to disappear inside the Sincerity’s dry and windless innards.