Paul Fenn

Voyager, a Story of the Bitter and the Sweet

Charlie Forsdick at the helm of Voyager, his 2002 Sun Odyssey 43
Charlie Forsdick at the helm of Voyager, his 2002 Sun Odyssey 43

Yesterday, my son Will celebrated his 13th birthday. Like all parents, I can remember so clearly the day he was born. Then a decade went whizzing by and before I knew it he was 10. And now, I have a teenager on my hands. Wow, time certainly does move along.

Totally by coincidence, I had a call from an old customer of ours, Charlie Forsdick, and learned that Will was not the only one having a 13th birthday, Voyager, a Sun Odyssey 43 was also turning 13. Charlie and Terry Forsdick had taken delivery of their new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 43 in the Spring of 2002 in Westbrook, CT. Charlie was planning on retiring soon and he and Terry were itchy to throw off the lines and go cruising. “We must have looked at 25-30 boats before deciding to buy the SO 43″ Charlie told me. “Ted Novakowski, who originally sold us Voyager, really did a great job finding us the right boat” he added.

“This was a big project” Ted Novakowski recalls. “Charlie had thought through all the systems vital to the cruising program he was looking to do and given plenty of consideration to comfort aboard over extended periods. The radar arch/dinghy davits was one of the earliest projects to be tackled. There were considerations in both functionality and appearance. Additions and adaptations were managed as the installation progressed. I remember an inch here and a degree there… it was a bit of trial and error but in the end I think the function was just what was hoped for and the appearance was really complimentary to the lines of the boat. I still remember the christening. Charlie and Theresa know how to throw a party and the christening was no exception. Voyager was showcased in a slip outside the marina clubhouse, visible from the street, docks, and water. We all enjoyed a great occasion with food, drink and friends. With the boat as the centerpiece of the day, this really celebrated the beginning of the cruising lifestyle Charlie and Theresa had planned for years.”

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Voyager’s christening party in 2002 at Westbrook Sailing Center in Westbrook, CT. It was a grand day!

A few years went by. Then in 2006, true to their plan, Charlie retired and off they went, full-time… first to the North to explore old haunts; Block Island, Newport, Martha’s Vineyard, Cutty Hunk, Nantucket and then to the south to sit out the winter months in the Bahamas. They did this for many years, up north to New England for the summer, down south to the Bahamas in the winter. A few years ago, they bought a place in Ft. Pierce, FL that they now call home. They continued to cruise however, exploring both coasts of Florida, the Panhandle and the Gulf of Mexico.

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Charlie always had the need for speed as demonstrated in this awesome shot of Voyager sailing close-hauled in a steady 15 knot breeze

Charlie and I spent a good bit of time on the phone reminiscing and talking about all the adventures he and Terry have had over the past 13 years. “It’s really been great Paul. My experience with the boat and the people at Jeanneau has really been wonderful. Unfortunately, I’m not as young as I used to be and well, Terry is suffering from some memory loss and it’s not as easy for her to get around, so as much as I hate to do it, I think it’s time that Voyager find a new home.” I could tell that Charlie wasn’t overly excited by this dose of reality but like all good sailors, he was making the best of a situation that was less than perfect.

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Terry kicked back, enjoying the great cockpit of the Sun Odyssey 43. “Spending time aboard is always wonderful!”

As we were wrapping up our conversation, I commented that while it’s sad to be forced to sell Voyager at least you bought her in the first place, outfitted her with the best gear possible, threw off the lines and realized your dream of going cruising; so many people never get that far. He agreed with me but I couldn’t help hear a little disappointment in his voice.

There’s an old saying that’s been around forever that the two best days in a boat owner’s life is the day he buys the boat and the day he sells it. It’s a humorous saying but for those us us who really love the lifestyle, it simply isn’t true. The story of Voyager is one of both the bitter and the sweet. Thankfully, there’s a lot more sweet than bitter and that has made all the difference.

On we go….

P.S. Voyager has been listed for sale with Florida Coast Marine Yacht Sales located in Harbortown, Marina, Ft. Pierce, FL. For anyone looking for a great boat with a great legacy, please contact Kim Korman at 772-489-0110 or by email at kkorman@fcmyachts.com.

Farewell Valerie Toomey and Bon Voyage

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Valerie Toomey at the helm of the Jeanneau 509 crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas for a 2013 photo shoot

It is said that the true character of a company can be found in the people who work for it. Valerie Toomey joined Jeanneau America in 2010 bringing with her an over abundance of positive energy and a unique style all her own. Now, 5 years later, she leaves us… not for a bigger or better job or to seek out new opportunities, but to do something most of us who love spending time on the water only dream of, going cruising.

Beginning in July, Valerie along with her husband, syndicated cartoonist Jim Toomey, and their two children, Madeline age 12 and William age 10, will head to Les Sables-d’Olonne, France where they will move aboard their brand new Lagoon catamaran. From there, they’ll spend the next year (maybe more if Valerie gets her way. And she usually does!) cruising through the Mediterranean and eventually south across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. It will be a grand adventure I’m sure.

“When I started working for Jeanneau, I really wasn’t a sailor but over the past 5 years, after organizing numerous boat shows, photo shoots, owner’s parties and rendezvous’, I have learned a thing or two and discovered that I love sailing and being aboard a boat” Valerie says.

Pirate Night during the 2014 BVI Owner's Rendezvous (L-R: Rosie Rigaux, Catherine Guiader and Valerie)
Pirate Night during the 2012 BVI Owner’s Rendezvous (L-R: Rosie Rigaux, Catherine Guiader and Valerie Toomey)

It’s never easy to lose a good employee or say goodbye to a good friend. But the fact that Valerie is headed for an adventure that’s right out of one of our brochures, somehow makes it all a little bit easier to accept. So Bon Voyage Valerie Toomey and thanks for shining your light on Jeanneau. It’s been a great 5 years!

Valerie and her girls at the close of the 2013 Annapolis Sail Boat Show
Valerie and her girls at the close of the 2013 Annapolis Sailboat Show

On we go…