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 September Sea

 The Boat

Why a Lancer 36? - Inside September Sea - Interior Improvements - Exterior Improvements

Keeping Cool - Haulouts

- Correspondence from Lancer 36 Owners


Why a Lancer 36?

After looking at umpteen boats with all kinds said by brokers to be "immaculate," "shows pride of ownership," "you won't be disappointed," YIKES!  Truly saw THE BAD and THE UGLY many many times before we found THE GOOD:  The Lancer 36 Sloop:

Model: Lancer 36
Designer: Bill Lee & Bruce Farr
Production Years: 19
LOA: 36'-2"
LWL: 29'-0"
Beam: 11'-9"
Draft: 5'-6"
Displacement:  10,500 lbs
Ballast:  4000 lbs
Sail Area:  See below
Head Room:  6' +
Engine: Yanmar Diesel, 3 cylinder., 27 hp, .5 Gal/hr
Two models of this outstanding Bill Lee designed ocean-going yacht, whose prototype (Chutzpah) won the TransPac twice, proving its first win as the smallest TransPac winner ever, was no fluke.  This vessel provide a choice of flat-out racing capability with Bruce Farr modifications or truly elegant racing and cruising in real luxury.  Its roomy and open salon (sans v-berth), shower stall, large galley with 9 cubic feet dedicated to refrigerator/freezer space are all true luxuries.

Sail area for a Lancer 36 masthead rig:
Main - 267 sq ft
100 jib - 336 sq ft
135 Genoa - 453 sq ft
150 Genoa -504 sq ft

Note: The Lancer 36 comes in two styles of rigs: Full and Fractional.

(Note: September Sea is Full Rig Style.)

Forward is a very large, open salon.  There is no V-berth in this vessel, which affords so much more room for the salon and galley.  The salon configuration offers lots of sitting room and can be used as single berths port and starboard, or the salon seating can be arranged easily into a King-sized bed. Moving aft on starboard is the very large L shaped galley with lots of counter space (with 9 cubic feet of refrigerator/freezer and/or ice box beneath).  Aft of the refrigeration and counter space is the very roomy navigation area with large teak desk.  Seating for the nav station is provided by the forward section of the double pilot berth.  On port directly across from the galley is the door to the head that has hot/cold pressurized water with a large storage cabinet above it.  The head area has a beautiful teak seat and is in the shower stall (with its own shower head and water controls).  Followed aft by the enclosed owners stateroom with double berth, hanging locker, and separate entrance to the head. The interior is done in oiled teak.  Teak is generously appointed and its joinery exceptional throughout.

Fuel: 30 gallons
Water: 50 gallons
Holding 20 gallons

The Lancer 36 offered brilliantly designed rigging by Bruce Farr (world reknown for his passion for sleek, fast designs with style) and Bill Lee, known as 'The Wizard," trademark: "Fast is Fun!"  He was named Sailor of the Decade, and is a multiple Transpac winner: (  Bill Lee is the designer of the Santa Cruz 27 and he and the Santa Cruz are honored in the American Sailboat Hall of Fame at the Museum of Yachting in Newport, Rhode Island, the Santa Cruz as being one of the most influential yacht designs in American sailing history; Bill Lee as being one of the most influential yacht designers.  He was named Sailor of the Decade from 1977-1987.  September Sea was built by one of the masters of speed and innovation: the Great Bill Lee.  You can read more about this colorful character and enterprising sailing superhero at

The smallest winner ever of the TransPac (the sailboat race covering 2,225 miles, from the Palos Verdes Peninsula south of Los Angeles to the Diamond Head lighthouse at Waikiki) was Stuart Cowan's 35-foot sloop, Chutzpah, in 1973 and '75.  See that?  Won it twice!  Chutzpah was the prototype for the Bill Lee designed Lancer 36 model we now own. Bill Lee designed our Lancer 36's hull with Chutzpah in mind.  Those who have the opportunity to grab one of these beauties... don't beat around the bush!  I ran into Chuck Force on the tennis courts here in Marathon and when he heard we had a Lancer 36, he said: "Boy is that a fast boat!"  Chuck has crewed the Transpac and knows the entire history of the Lancers.  He touts them as fantastic boats that are hard to beat.  He said he couldn't understand why they are relatively inexpensive... he felt they should command a good price because they are excellent, excellent sailboats.

Some of the boats in the Lancer Lineup:

The Lancer Lineup and Brochure Pictures (circa 1980) above reflect interiors from various Lancer models.

Well... the word is getting out that these boats are among the best bargain monohulls on the market!  I've even seen a Lancer 80.  Wow!  What's more, Lancers were made right alongside Endeavours as they shared productions facilities in Irvine, California.  No doubt the two brands also shared many ideas and improvements.  You can easily see many similarities in the two brands.  If you look at the Endeavour sailboats from the same era, you'll see they have Plan A and Plan B.  The Endeavour Plan A "open salon" is very similar to the Lancer 36.  Endeavour prices are much higher than Lancers.  Endeavours are a heavier displacement, deeper boat (more freeboard, more headroom belowdecks); but most often their draft is less than the similar Lancer, and head-to-head regarding sail performance: the Lancer 36s have the advantage of world famous Hall-of-Famer Bill Lee.  They're not only stylish and comfortable... but are slippery fast sailboats that perform superbly even to windward.  I kid you not!  It would serve you well to look at the Lancers if you're in the market for a very fast boat under sail, and one that is very, very comfortable inside -- and at rock bottom prices compared to Endeavours!  (Hurry... this will only last as long as people are kept in the dark!).  Note: William F. Buckley owned a Lancer 36 (s/v Patito) until quite recently.  Good enough for Buckley??  Good enough for us!

(Thumbnail pics like the one above, can be clicked on to enlarge the picture.

Like Guv Arnie says in the movie "Predator," "Come on, "Doo It.")

And yes, she's fast! Her "PHRF" rating ("Performance Handicap Racing Fleet") is 120.  You can compare boats and their PHRF ratings at the U.S. Sailing Organization's website:  She's sleek and lean and fast.  She's so lightweight she will move at the touch of a finger.  Yet she's strong and comfortable.  The Bill Lee/Bruce Farr Lancer 36 was built to the highest standards and specifications.  She's solid as a rock, and she is surprisingly very well self-contained and a boasts a salon that could be more described as a Lounge.  The Salon has what I have coined as a "Stretch Out Lay Out."  What a dream on such a small performance cruiser. 


January 26, 2008

Your website is neat but you missed the mark while mentioning the Lancer 29'. this IS NOT one of the Power Sailor models that have been known to fall apart. In fact, the Lancer 29 and Lancer 30 are basically the same boat though the 30 had an optional interior layout similar to your 36 in later years. The Lancer 29 is designed by C & C and was very well built by Lancer. though they command less in the Market than other similar Boats (C&C Boats are fairly cheap too for some reason) there is nothing shoddy in their construction. I've enjoyed my lancer 29 for several years now and have been in some really tough situations with her, and have yet to be let down by the performance or build quality.  I'd invite you to locate one and have a look or if you get into the Galveston Bay area come see me for a good look and sail.

Good Luck and Fair Winds, David


P.S. The Lancer Owners website you mention is now defunct.

Thanks for the update and testimonial, David.  it most certainly appears that any sailor would be pleased with any one of the many Lancer sailing yachts.  The smaller power sailors were suspect with deficiencies... those were the ones that were known to fall apart and have yet to loosen the taint on the Lancer name overall.  One big never-ending misunderstanding can get a buyer a fabulous boat at a bargain price. 

C&C doesn't usually have the high quality interiors known to Lancer owners, though there are always exceptions to generalities. 

Thanks for the invite, David... when I get to your area I'll look ya up!  Hugs!

So how did we get from looking at catamarans to buying a monohull?  (For more on this, click here to see correspondence with a reader who thought she wanted a catamaran and changed her mind to a monohull after we compared notes.)  Well, we'd vacationed, over the years prior to this, in the Virgin Islands mostly, and had seen some of the charter catamarans there.  Very lovely to look at.  Beautiful lines, they seemed to be at one with the water.  We looked into possibly buying one of those "buy now, pay as you go, we-charter-it-to-pay-the-bills" sort of thingys... Then we thought perhaps we should just look for a place in the Virgin Islands and rent it out to cover the costs; as real estate appreciates vs. a catamaran's value would depreciate.  When the time would come to uproot  ourselves from land and go cruising, we could sell the real estate, which would definitely have increased in value; and use the proceeds to buy a catamaran.  It seemed to make a lot of sense!  We were going to the Virgins in September 1995, had a house reserved in which to vacation,  and we'd look around at real estate possibly in St. John.  Then boom!  Hurricane  Marilyn came along and changed the landscape, along with our long-range plans.

During that time of "What do we do now?!"  Charmaine began to look at monohulls.  We went to more boat shows and finally started looking inside monohulls for the first time.  The first time we stepped aboard and inside a monohull, the difference in the amount of open living space was  striking.  In a cat, you have a main salon, which is your only real living area.  The salon is the living space above the waterline, and with an opening on each side so you can step down into the hulls, beneath the waterline.  Usually the bedrooms (cabins or berths) are located in the hulls.  Your Galley (kitchen) and Salon most often share the same space.  Sometimes the Galley is in one of the hulls along with either a cabin or Head (bathroom).  To the contrary, in some monohulls that don't have a V-berth (the very forepeak of the vessel used as sleeping quarters), the entire boat from side to side is all connected instead of being cut up into three parts, as a catamaran.

I sent away for lots of monohull brochures.  Interestingly, on the internet I began to read about sailing and looking at pictures of monohulls as they heeled over and glided through the water.  It looked to be quite a challenge... and a rush!  Bill heartedly agreed: We needed to really take a serious look at monohulls.  We'd heard stories of how catamarans tend to be much more "fair weather" sails.... we wanted something that could safely take us just about anywhere, even in the worst of conditions.  Though I'm sure there are cats that can do it; we also liked the idea of the physicality involved in monohull sailing.  Besides, we could always get a catamaran after the knees and back wore out!  Not only that... but you don't have to heel uncomfortably while sailing this baby... she can take you for a ride even in light winds (that as a huge selling point for us who were total sailing novices at the time).  When the winds pick up, let the sheets out and she'll level out for a very comfy ride.  Sure came in handy when sister Cheyenne came to visit (she's not into heeling... LOL)... to her she went for the sailing ride of her life and loved every minute of it.  {We didn't tell her that sometimes we heel over 25 degrees just for the exhilarating thrill of it all!}

Then I saw this picture of a Lancer 36 for sale.  Now let me explain; at first Bill wouldn't even look at a vessel under 39 feet.  To me, it all depends on the layout of the boat.  I had seen 32-foot center cockpit boats that were incredibly roomy.  But we wanted to be down close to the water instead of high up in a center cockpit.  After showing Bill that it really depends on the layout, he finally got interested in smaller boats.  Also, maintenance is much more expensive comparatively as a boat gets larger because it's not just a longer boat.  It's also a wider and taller (meaning more freeboard: the area from the waterline to the deck)vessel.  That's when our boat search became more tuned to the right layout in the smallest (yet not claustrophobic) vessel.  My search for unconventional layouts brought up the Lancer 36.  Once we looked at the pictures and reviewed its history, we decided to travel to go and see her "in the fiberglass" (well, boats don't have "flesh" ya know!). 

The Lancer 36 is a fabulous boat... no, check that... actually she's...

Perfect!  All thru hulls were replaced, we had all the cushions redone and installed central air conditioning (just like in a house).  All new plumbing, new faucets, salt water hand pump for the galley (saves fresh water when you're washing dishes while traveling and anchored away from marinas), and installed eight Caframo fans {we use 12-volt models 747 (for the cockpit) and 757 in white} for added ventilation. (Note: They can be noisy after awhile.  The noise is caused because the fan blades are no longer optimally balanced.  A trick to quieting them: use double-sided tape to add weight to the back of the fan blades.  Once you get the weight right the fan will run smooth as silk and quiet as a mouse).  We've just finished all new stainless steel interior cabin lighting, and have ordered a new Origo alcohol stove (if you're turning your nose up at the alcohol... you need to see the new models--time changes everything {please refer to "Interior Improvements: Stove and Oven" below}).  September Sea has a semi-dedicated shower stall, which is a real treat on a boat this size.  Most others you use a hand held sprayer hooked up to your sink basin faucet and have a drain in the floor.  This method often gets the entire bathroom wet (yes, I have a problem saying "Head").  We're very fortunate to have a more "normal" shower configuration.  The shower has its own hot/cold water selector and shower head.  We added a lovely shower curtain that has snap backs built into the shower stall (no water going where you don't want it!).

The picture you saw above shows her sitting in her slip at the Marina where we first laid eyes on her.  This 1984 Lancer sloop was designed by Bill Lee and Bruce Farr.  Talk about some serious credibility!!  Two of the most ingenious designers of our time.  And that's the OUTSIDE... the rigging and hull...

Note: To date (as of September 2006), five Lancer 36s have been sold after the perspective buyer(s) queried me about the Bill Lee/Bruce Farr 36s soundness and performance.  I couldn't be happier having had a part of their Lancer 36 ownership.  What a thrill for me... and most certainly a thrill for them all.  Each time, I hear back from the owners often, always thanking me for my honesty and trust in the remarkable performance and attention to detail of the Lee/Farr Lancer 36.  Woooo Hooooo!!

Inside September Sea

What I loved about her layout was that she was very open inside.  When you walk down the companionway (the entrance from the cockpit), you can see all the way to the salon.  Here's how she looked inside when we first saw her (see below).  I took the picture standing at the dining table of the salon.  You can see the Galley stove with cutting board over it, followed aft (towards the back of the boat) by a large 9 cubic feet refrigeration area (you can see the two access lids) that runs perpendicular to the stove, followed by the Navigation Station (looks like a big wood box, that's the navigation desk that opens to hold navigational materials).  When you sit at the Nav Station, you are sitting on an open double berth. The picture below was taken the first time we stepped aboard to see her. 

September Sea as she is today.

Come on Aboard & Come on Down!

Looking as you enter the boat, walking down the companionway, to port are muted parrots  hanging on the owner's cabin door to greet you.  (They hate it when I make 'em be quiet when company comes over... I keep telling them that others just wouldn't quite understand.  Yes, the parrots.)  A cute little speckled gecko climbs the bulkhead above the wind chimes.  "Gekky" is a gift to me from Peek-a-Boo Peggy of m/v Tiempo.  She is one of my dearest, dearest friends.  Such a jewel of a lady... with a heart of solid gold.  Bill and I adore her and EDwin.  Notice he likes to be called ED?  LOL  The second door (you can see the knob) is common entrance to the Head... BATHROOM!  Ernest Hemingway sits, patiently awaiting the big catch (in the photo on the side of the microwave).  Yes, I am a big Hemingway fan and have been all my life.  Suppose I was just born for the Keys and boating.


From left to right: First photo shows the companionway.  Note the teak dinner plate holder seen in the picture positioned to the right of the companionway (between the top and second step).  Does a great job storing our large dinner plates so they don't take up precious room in the pantry.  The blender sits on the refrigerator and if you look to the outside wall of the refrigerator you will see how the table that's under the microwave looks when it's stored flat.  The photo to the far right shows the galley fold-up table extended, providing additional counter space when needed.  We have it mounted on the outside of the refrigerator.

There are only three steps to get out of the inside of the boat and up through the companionway to the cockpit (second photo above).  I really liked that.  The companionway doors are large and let a lot of light inside.  Many other monohulls we saw were very dark inside when no lights were on.  Not so... inside September Sea.

The Salon

Forward of the microwave you enter the Salon.  Below, the port side (with the old lights... we've since replaced all light fixtures, as seen in most of the other photos.)

CD's and Books, a Complete Ship Must-Have (yeah, and a big TV (big to us... used to be small on land) to watch Grand Slam Tennis Tournaments).


Partial shot of September Sea's portside: Salon.  Charmaine's work station is to the left (you can just see my keyboard in the lower left corner).  Note the beautiful teak central AC vent grill cover we found.  Woooo hoooo... sure beats that ugly metal thing we first had... what an improvement!


Just another one of my moods... I love rearranging things to make them look different.  People don't try enough on boats.  Especially small boats.  A new look can be had with the very things you own now... just move that quilt in here, take that out and put it in the galley, move this to the head... etc.  With no Vee-berth taking up room in the forepeak of the boat, the Salon is open and airy and, at times, Charmaine's canvas.  We thought the table was not very efficient and chucked it.  It as bulky and odd shaped, not like the nice dual-leaf tables we've seen on other Lancers.  Somebody had too much time on their hands and not enough wood.  Unless you got arms like Wilt Chamberlain... ya not gonna find it to be of much use.  And moi, aka "Old Stumpy"... couldn't do diddly wid it.

Besides, it really was in the way; and  Also, there are extra cushions and built-in supports so that the entire salon seating area makes up into a king-sized bed.  There is a huge storage space behind the forward most salon seating area.  It is cavernous indeed.  There we store the extra cushions, sails... and don't forget the four tennis racquets!   Charmaine really loves the option to sleep out in the open salon area on a king-sized bed.  We often sleep out here when out for a few days sailing and anchoring out.  The big hatch above the salon makes for great airflow right over you when sleeping.  You can see Charmaine loves her fans... "I gotta have air moving!"  Yup.     

The Owner's Cabin & Head (Bathroom!)

We initially used the master cabin for storage only.  (Wait a minute: Whose master, I wonder?!  It's time we got rid of that antiquated saying!  Henceforth, it will be referred to as the Owners' Cabin.)  It was really tight for Charmaine, who was used to sleeping in a King-sized bed (for over 25 years!).  Eventually, after sleeping out in the Salon very comfortably and knowing that I had OPTIONS... I began thinking of the Owner's Cabin as a possibility for sleeping.

We took everything out and put it in storage on land.  After having a new mattress made and covered, it was prepared as a bed.  Now it was ready exploration!  I would go in there and read a book or look at a magazine, then eventually it became a nice place for an afternoon read and soon I would fall asleep in there!  It wasn't long before the "claustrophobic one" (yeah me, Charmaine) could actually think of sleeping in there overnight.  With the addition of a television and DVD player, six months after moving aboard we both slept in there for the first time.  It's been our cozy cabin ever since.  Now that's some serious progress!  

Below pictures of the Owners' Cabin (initial pic left).  Click to enlarge thumbnail pics.



When you enter the boat down the companionway, as explained above there are two doors to your left (port).  The first door, closer to the companionway (steps), goes into a private cabin that has a double berth and hanging locker.  There is also a private entrance from the Cabin into the Head.  Wonderful!  You don't have to go outside the Cabin to get to the Head; and you can leave the adjoining door from the Cabin into the Head open for more space.  The second door takes you inside the Head (bathroom). 

You kind of have to do the Cirque du Soleil contortion thing to get into the cabin berth.... but it's a roomy double; especially if you love the one you're with!  There's a hanging locker to port (left side of the boat; since we're looking at the aft cabin berth from the front, port is on the right in the picture) and two drawers beneath the berth.  We used the drawer space beneath the cabin berth to install central air-conditioning.  The AC main control and the vent for the cabin are on the wall of the locker.

Ship's Galley


The picture above left is the Galley as we first saw it.  You can see the hand hold right next to the blender.  That's for coming down the companionway steps.  The navigation station and double berth are on your immediate right as you enter the boat.  Forward is the galley.  Double stainless-steel sink (with pantry cabinet behind it), two-burner stove and oven (with a very large pantry area behind it), a huge refrigerator (9 cubic feet) consisting of side-by-side compartments so that you have the option to use one half of it as an ice box to keep the contents of the other side cold when on the hook and wanting to conserve power.  We put in a Frig-o-boat refrigeration/freezer system and it is unbelievable in low power consumption and it keeps ice cream solid!!  {Please see Interior Improvements, below.}

We also love our Origo, non-pressurized alcohol stove and oven.  Just a fabulously easy, maintenance free appliance.  {Please see Interior Improvements below.}

Sink, Head & Shower Stall



(Above: Before Pictures)


Picture far left: Looking from inside the Owners Cabin through a private doorway into the Head (Bathroom).  I really like the private doorway between the owner's cabin and the head; it's very nice when guests are aboard, as you don't have to go out into the common area to access the Head.

Second picture from left:  Head vanity area with sink and cavernous storage behind faucets.  There is a small storage area below the sink, which holds more mechanical equipment than supplies.

Third from left: The head is inside the shower stall (note the shower curtain) and has a teak top (even better seen in the last picture to left) which comes in very handy for sitting when my 6'2 husband wishes to shower while on the hook (otherwise he loves the Resort's facilities).  The shower has its own faucet and controls and shower head, independent of the head sink (so the head sink remains is usable when someone is showering). 

Navigation Station/Bill's Office & Guest Double Berth


Nav Station w/berth.





                                                    The large Navigation Station means Bill's office is born!

Behind the 9 cubic feet refrigeration compartment/countertop (see pic above) is the Navigation Station/Bill's office (our printer and all electronics for internal networking are housed there; including all the Ship's other Electrical Control Systems (inverter, DC Electrical Panel, Smart Controller for the refrigeration, etc.).  The seating area for the Nav Station is the forward section of the Guest Berth.

We soon decided to make it all storage behind the navigation station, since our office equipment was there anyway.  We simply removed the mattress of the berth and put it in storage on land. (Mattress is shown in the picture above left: taken when we first viewed the boat).  Continuing to develop and maintain software for clients while living aboard is not very difficult with access to DSL, giving you high speed internet.  The berth behind the nav station housed our technological equipment beautifully!

Later, all the storage items we had behind the nav station, we moved elsewhere.  That allowed us to have a new mattress made for the double berth behind the nav station.  After doing so, we restored the area to double as Bill's work station AND a double berth ready for visitors (above right). 

Decorating: Changing Latitudes & Keepin' It Fresh

Below:  Just one of my many decorating moods.  I love changing things around on the Salon's forward shelf for a new look!  It really helps me to keep things interesting.  It's a small living space--if you don't change up from time to time--things can get very boring and stale to look at.  I can't rearrange permanently placed furniture... so the forward shelf area of the Salon is the place for allowing me some creative license.  It really helps to keep the interior fresh-looking--alive and interesting!  I'm sure most women would agree with me; we females tend to have that domestic gene that drives our men crazy at times:  "Honey, how do you like what I did in the Salon?"  <BLANK STARE FROM HONEY>.  Even in a small space most men won't know!

Even got room for lots of Family Pictures!

A closer look!  (aka showing off some more of our loved ones) <wink>  Our daughter Breighan in pink, and with her brother Bj in the mountains of Arizona.  In between those two pics is a family portrait of God-daughter Alison Powers ("Buddy" to her closest family members) seated in blue with her daughter, our Grand-god-daughter Hailey.  Love our little "Hailey Baby!"  Standing behind Alison is her father Jim, her mother Iris Lugo (Iris and I have been best buds for nearly thirty years), and Jim's wife Jo (just can't get myself to call Jo a "Step-mother" it doesn't fit her!  Jo is a Sweetheart and we all love her so much.  She's just the perfect match for "Buddy's" Dad Jim.  Jim and I used to play tennis together when we first met he and Iris were pregnant with Alison at the time.  Wow.  How the years go by.)

She's warm, comfortable, light and airy...  and Charmaine has lots of room for her stuff!  Moms always have to have pictures of loved ones... even on a small boat!  Little treasures that make us smile MUST have their own space aboard.  It makes us and the people we love very happy to know they are so important to us.

Salon Reworked

Above: The Lancer 36 salon as we first saw her... Soon she will become s/v September Sea.


Phase One: New cushions and removal of the dining table.. and we're all moved in!

The new cushions were covered in an ultra-suede that our son Bj (Da Beej) calls "Buttah Cushions."  That's "buttah" as in "butter."  They are ultra soft and easily cleaned with Formula 409 (no kidding!).  Well-known songster around these parts, Dan Sullivan, one of Bj's dearest friends (and who I adore), Dan would come over and Bj would say, "Dan, come and sit on the Buttah Cushions..."  Then they'd both be talking some Southern Smack.  Hahaha.  Let me tell ya a secret about Dan Sullivan... "Dan the Man" is the NEATEST straight guy I've ever known in my life.  Serious business.  I know many a gay male friend who is neat, but Dan makes them all look like they need  a new show: "Queer Eye for the Queer Guy."

Forward to the left (above) beneath the quilt is our dining table.  It's on lockable rollers so it's easy to move.  The table was given to me eons ago by my sister, Cheyenne, who purchased it because I'd been sick and she wanted me to have a bed table that was easy to use, during my convalescing at the time.  Hell, now I'm convalescing all the the time!  LOL  So glad I was sick (well, you know)... 'cause this solid cherry table has adjustable control for height and tilt.  It is fantastic!  The table surface can flip up vertically and sets beautifully against the wall when not in use. The rollers are locked down and she stays put.

Salon with Wicker Ditty Boxes

You can see the smaller of the two ditty boxes forward of the table.

I recently replaced the rope on the compression post (12-2006).  I like it!  Bright and cheerful!

Phase 2: We're looking very tropical and breezy!

 With the big obnoxious (for our use) dining table gone, using my office table works just fine for dining.  The wicker ditty box is lightweight and provides airy storage for blankets and for whatever else may be in the way that needs to be stowed at the time.  When sailing, I don't remove anything from the boat.  Each item has a place and is safe and secure while sailing.

 We also use the ditty box as a coffee table.  We take the teak tray (stored on the side of the refrigerator) and put it atop the box.  Voila!  Perfect for tea and crumpets, Dahling.

Just a different look on the open space forward.  Behind Bj's picture is a huge storage area.  The Lancer 36 has lots of storage.  At first look you don't see it, but it's there!  Changing what's up on the forward table top from time to time tends to keep a very small place from always looking the same.  Same can be tiresome day after day.  Fresh flowers and a few trinket exchanges and it's all new again!

 Salon Converts

to A Big Roomy Bed


The Salon of September Sea made up into a very large bed and still room to sit across from each other at the end.  When put together another way, the entire area from the galley back is all bed.  This is the shorter version, which works well for us and is so easy to put together.  The computer table is beneath the microwave when not being used as a dining table (it sits across the beam forward of the compression post (where the hat hangs).  It makes a really nice table for two or even four with two sitting on port and starboard and two sitting abreast forward in the salon.  Notice the fold up table the microwave sits on.  It is supported by itself (that's what the bolts are in the shower, the backside of the table support).  The microwave we leave up when cruising as we simply attach a bungee around it.  If we want more room than that, we leave the microwave in the car and the table folds down and is held securely against the outside shower wall.

Interior Improvements

Battery Bank

Central Air/Reverse Cycle Heat: 13,000 BTU's by Mermaid Marine

Fans, by Caframo (7) Model 757 + Cockpit (1) Model 747

Insulation of all lockers and storage areas

LED lamps & LEDs for light fixture replacement by Stecktronics

Light Fixtures, Stainless

Museum Putty used for holding items underway up to 40 lbs.

Plumbing Fixtures, Stainless

Portlight/Window coverings: Peek-a-Booo Blinds found at

Pumps, Handpumps for manual water

Refrigeration/Freezer: FrigoBoat

Rock 'n Roll Wine Glass Rack by RocknRollRack

Stove and Oven: Origo 6000 found at

Water Pump


Onboard Refrigerator and Freezer

Check out the Frigoboat.  Unsurpassed with power savings.  We've had ours for three years and it's flawless.  Keel-cooled (so it has what looks like a piece of sandstone on the hull below water) and quiet as a mouse... and emits no heat at all.  Makes ice cubes that are like little bricks they last soooo much longer than the ones with the holes in 'em.
Frigoboat.  It is a true miracle of science. 
At their Frequently Asked Questions you can find answers that will whet your appetite for having refrigeration and a freezer that makes ice cubes all without draining the battery bank!
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~


LED Table Lamps & Lighting by Stecktronics

We love our LED table lamps.  We have two and are getting one more, as they are just so wonderful.  Offering 80 hours of continuous light... and a charger to keep you shining bright.  This is one product where you actually get more than you pay for!  Think of the energy savings not burning your interior lights and causing unnecessary drain on your battery bank.

For ambience, these lamps are hard to beat.  They're so heavy they stand alone and do not move, even in heavy seas.  I know, because I've been there!  The lamp is super sturdy and has that utility "so-ugly-its-beautiful" charm about it... one look and you know it's built to last!  We also bought our LED mastlight from Stecktronics.  We couldn't be happier with it.  The LED mastlight also can signal an SOS as well as a strobe function.  It's fabulous!  We also use the LED table lamp as a nightlight atop our companionway whenever anchored in areas which make us easier seen by other vessels; and we turn it on in our cockpit whenever we won't be back to September Sea before dark.  It's so wonderful to see our LED table lamp shining a path back home.  Here in the Keys, it's common to see Stecktronics' table lamps in open air restaurants.  They're fantabulous!

Mastermind Reynold Steckley has just introduced LED replacement lights for cabin dome lighting.  It's fabulous.  The ultra white light it casts is just lovely.  Seems as if the sun is shining all day and all night long!

Contact Stecktronics, you'll be very glad you did!  {Copy below from Stecktronics' website}



This is “NOT” an ordinary battery powered lamp with a couple of D or C cells for power. “NOT” a light that will end up as an ornament on a shelf because replacing batteries would soon drive you to the poor house.

Here’s what this lamp is all about…….

Stecktronics originally developed this light for commercial applications, such as restaurant and tiki bar table lighting. This type of use required the light to be battery operated and cost effective.

Stecktronics' background in ultra-efficient marine type LED lighting coupled with the use of large capacity, rechargeable, sealed lead-acid batteries; made it possible for these goals to be met.

Restaurant sales immediately prompted patrons to purchase these LED table lamps for their own use. These uses include; decks, patios, poolside, boats, RV’s, camping, and the list goes on. Don’t forget, it’s an excellent long lasting light during power outages.

Talk about long lasting; these LED lamps will burn continuously for over 80 hours on a single charge. You can recharge the battery hundreds of times.

Recharging is made easy by simply plugging the charger into an AC outlet and inserting the power end of the charger into the convenient jack located under the lamp base. There is also an on-off switch on the underside of the lamp base.

The prismatic effect on the shade is incredible and the LED’s cast a 40 inch diameter circle of directional lighting on the surface it’s sitting on. The surrounding area has a soft glow of ambiance that will please you and all your guests.



It is recommended to recharge the battery before the LED light goes out. When you notice the LED bulbs getting dimmer, it’s time to recharge. Running the battery completely dead each time will shorten the life of the battery.

The GUEST® charger has been modified with an angled plug that fits into the jack on the under side of the lamp base. (See above) The lamp can be operated while charging but it will take longer to charge with the lamp on. A full charge can be obtained overnight, although leaving it on the charger for extended periods of time will not harm the battery.

DO NOT use the charger outdoors. Follow all instructions packaged with the charger.




LED Table Lamp Model #2005-WC (with charger)             $141.00
LED Table Lamp Model #2005-NC (without charger)         $103.00
(Both lamps above include battery)

Extra sealed lead-acid battery (12 volt) #2012-B                   $24.00
Extra 12 volt GUEST Charger #2012-C                                  $38.00

Please call Stecktronics (1-757-880-8980) to order merchandise. A part # and description of your item/s will facilitate the ordering process.

Mastercard and Visa gladly accepted.

Hurry before prices increase!

Peek-a-Booo Blinds


I had used dish towels to cover the portlights when we first moved aboard.  My friend Peggy introduced me to Peek-a-Boo Blinds.  Mind you, be very careful when typing it in on a search... I found all the PEEK-A-BOO anyone would ever CARE to find!  Ha!  Have mercy, it was a regular Twat Fest... if you'll excuse my French.  (Is twat French?).  LOL  Where's Josephine Baker when you need her to clarify something like this?!  ANYway... click the link for more info about Peek-a-Booo Blinds.

(I promise... nothing there to make ya blush!  Just put three O's in Peek-a-Booo.  I learned from my mistakes!!)

Pictures Above left: Peek-a-Booo blind for starboard side fixed bow portlight in Salon

Above Middle: Salon Peek-A-Booo Blind when open; Above Right: Peek-A-Booo Blind when shut.

Below, Starboard Salon & Galley (before installing Peek-a-Booo blinds).  Martha would be proud! 


Above: From left to right on the wall above -  (Top) Charmaine & Bj on a ride at Six Flags in 1990; beneath that pic is Bj's son, our Grandson Will at age 3; Right of that picture is Grandson Will and his mother, Sweet (forever-our-daughter-in-law), Melissa.  Picture to right of thumbnail shows Peek-a-Booo replacements for window coverings.

Rock 'n Roll (Wine Glass) Rack by RocknRoll of Alaska

I just found this item and am thrilled to have it.  I'll be putting it up soon, we're gluing teak strips so we can screw the rack into the strips and not into the deck!  The rack is all teak and is beautifully made.  Now that we're getting rid of the last of our storage items (which includes a lovely set of fine crystal stemware)... I've decided to keep a very few things that will keep me forever aboard.  Bill and I will be toasting our 35th in 2007 and now we'll be able to clink glasses in style!  This was not possible until I found a solution to keep the crystal secure and unbroken.  Thank you, RocknRoll!!  Woooo Hoooo!! 

Note: You must be at their website to see the demonstration.  Don't forget to come back to September Sea!!

It's worth it to click to enlarge the photo above.

You will see September Sea's Rocknrollrack loaded with crystal forward on starboard (right).

This product is ingenious!  Through 33-knot winds and 7-foot seas for over twelve hours... safe as safe can be.  Wow!  Simply an amazing product.  Tell 'em September Sea sent ya!

{From the RocknRollrack website} The Rocknrollrack, marine & RV wine glass rack, will keep your glassware secure with a revolutionary patent pending design! 
Don’t compromise your style while boating or RVing.  Take your glass stemware along on any adventure with this wine glass rack.  No more rattling and clinking, a safe, convenient way to store your wine glasses and other footed glassware.
Beautiful, easy to use, and handcrafted in Alaska, it will be the only wine glass rack you’ll ever want to use!

Collector's Hold Museum Putty: It Works!

Advertised as: A miracle removable putty that holds securely in place valuable status, crystal, glass, vases and more from accidental breakage, theft and earthquakes. Proven to deter theft and breakage, yet removes easily with a twist. Ready to use and easily removed and reused.  Holds 40+ items.  Excellent for: Collectibles, Plates, Glassware, Statues, Figurines, Vases, Crystal, Pottery, Pictures, Bottles, Steins, etc.  Excellent for RV & Boat use.  About $5.00 US.

My personal experience with Museum Putty:   As we left the shallows and headed towards Clearwater Beach, I noticed a vessel speeding off the shore.  Looked a bit different but didn't pay it too much attention.  Suddenly I felt like someone was watching me.  I turned around from the helm and there was a vessel about six inches away from our stern.  Drug Enforcement.  They said they wanted to board.  Okie Dokie.  I was told not to slow down and was doing about 6 knots under motor.  Thank goodness we weren't under sail.  Two young men did a "Fear Factor" jump from their vessel to ours... have mercy!  They asked to see our documentation and we were fully cooperative.  One of the officers went below and I heard him ask my husband if we had "any firearms, drugs, or illegals."  I think he meant illegal aliens aboard.  Hmmm... I don't think so!  LOL  Bill talked with the officer and the young man asked to see inside our bilge.  Bill opened the bilge and the officer shined a flashlight to and fro.  He was satisfied we were not carrying any contraband or illegals.  As he got up, he looked forward to the salon and I heard the young officer say, "Whoa!"  I thought, what on earth could be happening.

He said, again, "Whoa."  Huh?  Then it all made sense as he continued, "I have never seen a salon this neat on a sailing vessel underway."  He yelled up to the cockpit, "Man, she's got crystal vases with fresh flowers and water in them!  Statues!"  I laughed.  We all were disarmed and friendly now.  He looked in the bilge and said he was satisfied we were straight-up American citizens and his job was done.  Nothing to worry about with us.  As he came back up he told his fellow officer, his thumb pointing backwards to our salon: "I got to tell everyone about this."  He turned to me and said, " How do you keep everything from falling. I just can't believe it.  Sailboats always have stuff strewn all over the boat."  I told him my secret was a fabulous product called "Museum Putty."  We then had a conversation about Museum Putty, how it works and where I get it.  Got your interest, huh?

I tell ya, the stuff is truly incredible.  One little ball of it will hold up to 40 lbs.  The flower vases have water in them... the water stays in the vase... that's how good the holding is.  It is nothing short of amazing as the young officer's reaction surely attested to that.

The secret is to "twist" the vase or object into place.  The twisting action creates an incredibly strong suction between the object and the surface via the Museum Putty.  Items are held in place amazingly.  Perfect for keeping objects from sliding and moving about when underway... and also perfect for households with small children.  You don't have to put your little ditties away... the child can't pick it up!

Museum Putty is also used as a theft deterrent.  No snatching and grabbing with Museum Putty holding an item.  If you don't know how to remove the item... and it's really simple... you can't pick it up or knock it over.  Items can be removed properly and easily then use the same putty to put it back.  You just remove the putty (real easy) and roll it into a ball again in your hands.  Voila!  Ready to hold your things again.  I almost didn't understand how easy items can be picked up (if you know the trick) and dusted around and then put back with the Putty.  I tell ya, this stuff is nothing short of a miracle.  The photo above is just how September Sea appears when she's under sail... yes... even when heeling WAY over... Museum Putty holds!  And yes, those vases had water in them the entire trip!  Wow!

Thank you so much, Museum Putty!!

Exterior Improvements

Alternator, High Output


Bonnets for Hatches by Windsmith

Bug Screens for Hatches, Windows, Companionway

Cockpit Enclosure, Full

Generator: 2000 watt

Landscape Screen: Keeping Cool

Solar Panels: 6

Spade Anchors & Bow Rollers

Wind Generator

Landscape Screen:  Keeping Cool

People have been interested in our concept of using landscape screen as shade for the boat while in the marina and while out on the hook.  We got the idea from our great friends Janet and Greg Cauble (m/v Big Bamboo II), our perfect neighbors for three years while at Dockside Marina.  Greg and Janet have since split up, unfortunately, but we all remain great friends.  Here's a picture of how we use the landscape screens (cut and sewed to fit each area): 

(Click on the photo below to enlarge.)

Spade Anchors: The Anchors that HOLD

From: Charmaine
Date: 09/05/06 19:05:17
To: Livaboard List
Subject: Re: [livaboard] SPADE Anchor
September Sea weighed 11,800 lbs. when new.  She's loaded down but still a bat out of hell when she sails... she's one fast baby girl.  The 44# Spade will be my secondary anchor... the 66# Spade will be my primary anchor.  I'll never forget a quote I heard some time ago... "No one ever dragged because their anchor was too big." 
I like that philosophy... and I'm in an area where 45-50 knot winds can come up on ya in a heartbeat.  I like sleeping soundly... the Spade does that for me.
Besides, my husband needs the exercise... and he says the 44# is a piece of cake to handle.  He's not afraid of the 66#.  Well.. perhaps because I can WAY out bench press him, he's just saying he can handle the bigger anchor...  LOL  We have a windlass... he'll handle it.  How could he not... no man wants his wife to say, "Move over, I'll get it!"  {Especially with that "Wimp!" look in her eye as she woman-handles it onto the bow roller}. Ha!
From Practical Sailor and their conclusion after exhaustive tests over many years testing various anchors, by comparing their holding strength in a wide array of bottoms:
"The Danforth-type anchor has proven itself for decades in many conditions. The lightness of the Fortress version hasn't
always been to its advantage, but it sure didn't hurt in this test.  {SOFT SAND OVER HARD SAND}.  And in the past several years, every test we've made of the Spade Model 80 has been positive. So if the kind of bottom we encountered in this test were our "home" bottom, those are the two anchors we'd choose. Alternatively, we'd get the Spade and a heavier,
galvanized Danforth type or a Bulwagga ... just because it doesn't seem versatile to carry only light aluminum anchors—it makes sense to have one with some heft to it."
Practical Sailor on RESETTING IN SAND:  "The Bulwagga and the Spade performed in a manner that did nothing but enhance the showings they made in the sand/mud setting and holding phases of the PS tests."
The Spade is the ONLY anchor which has very little movement [0'00 movement in the PS tests] and it simply digs deeper rather than letting you go.  It is not designed to break out and then reset, it is designed to HOLD you where you are.  I LIKE THAT.
From Practical Sailor:
• In the February 1, 1998 issue, on which of 11 different anchors set best
in sand. The top three, in order, were the Bulwagga, Spade and Bruce.
• In the January 1, 1999 issue, on which of 15 had the best holding power in
sand. Top-ranked were the Spade, Bulwagga and CQR.
• In the December 1999 issue, on which of 17 anchors set and hold best in
mud. Tops for setting was the Delta with six anchors tied for second; for
holding power, the rank was the Barnacle, CQR and Bulwagga.
At the end of those three test sessions, the sand/mud holding power was
combined and the top three anchors were the Spade, Bulwagga and CQR.
For the Keys and the rest of the Caribbean, it's sand, rock, gravel, and
coral/shell.  These bottoms are where the Spade excels in setting and
holding.  If I were in thick grass or kelp, I'd go with the Super-Max.  In
the grass that grows around here, the Spade has penetrated easily (50% of its
weight on the tip is the reason) with no problems whatsoever.  They're
expensive, and the cheaper Oceane is a good substitute but not nearly as
heavy (but it has a larger surface area than the Spade).

{In response to someone asking me why not choose a Delta} The Deltas are fabulous anchors, no doubt about it.  If I were were in an area with lots of thick grass and/or soft mud, the Delta would not be a bad choice at all -- it would be an excellent choice!  However, my first choice would again be the Super-Max. 


(Below) [From tests done by Creative Marine in Gulfport, Mississippi (where we all know they know soft mud) in 2003]:

"The conclusion reached from this test was that only four anchors provided a set in this bottom, the XYZ prototype anchor, the Bullwagga, the Delta and the Super Max anchor. Of the four, only the Super Max anchor provided security up to 700 pounds of pull, while the others dragged from 390 and 400 pounds on. The XYZ and the Super Max anchors are deep penetration anchors by design, and it is felt that with time and constant pressure both types would penetrate deeper and thus create added holding pressures. Since the Super Max anchor has an adjustable arm that can be changed for differing types of

bottom conditions, it appears to be the best anchor for all-around anchoring usage, since it has been proven in others’ tests in sand, gravel and coral bottoms. The XYZ in order to be competitive with the Super Max anchor in soft mud bottoms would need to be quite a bit heavier and larger in fluke area.
I'm VERY happy with the Spade.  I've yet to speak to someone who didn't like the Delta for mud or grass.  But for the other bottoms.... AND occasionally mud and grass... I am diggin' the Spade.  It holds like a... well... it holds like a Spade!
Chamaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

Update April 2007: Our Spade Anchor has proven superior holding in all types of bottoms: grass, mud, rocks, gravel, sand, and yes... even muck!  It is so easy to set (we let out about 30 feet of rode when we drop it, then we set it by going backwards slowly, when we feel it grab we rev up to 3000+ RPMs.  It holds and we're set!  We then let out all the anchor rode we desire.  You cannot go wrong with a Spade Anchor.  We just love it and it has yet to ever let go of us, even in a prolonged 45 knot blow.  Didn't move one inch.  THANK YOU SPADE ANCHORS we sleep soundly at night and give absolutely no thought whatsoever to checking our anchor.  We just don't have to!  And that's thanks to YOU, Spade Anchors.  Sometimes you really DO get what you pay for!

Stove and Oven: Origo 6000

Our Galley is very spacious for a boat this size, and we love it!  Above is our brand new Origo stove and oven.  We just love it.  It's non-pressurized alcohol, taking all the dangers out of using alcohol as fuel aboard.  STOVE brand alcohol is all we burn in it, as it burns cleanly with hardly a smell.  When a Port fan is used in a portlight above the stove, it works fabulously as an exhaust fan.  Port fans that run troublefree for 70,000 hours are available at:  An ingenious design and 5,000 BTU's per burner!  Maintenance-free, this appliance is a no-brainer!  Many wonder about the heat it puts out... (i.e., "Can it bake?")... Oh yeah, baby!  It gets so hot you can fry chicken inside the oven.  No preheating or priming of burners anymore!  Origo hit a homerun with this one!  The stove or oven can be purchased separately and put together or used as stand alones.

Haul outs

September Sea goes on the hard every two years for bottom paint and scheduled maintenance.  Time for Bill and Charmaine to have their annual get-away at the fully equipped cabins at Faro Blanco Marina.  Nice change of pace.  But no more than every two years... we always miss our sweet little girl, September Sea!  What a fantastic vessel she really is.


from other Lancer 36 Owners

Jeremy Gow
Date Sep 04, 2008
Location click picture for more information
Message Hi Guys,

You don't know me, but I've visited your website a number of times, specifically when I was considering purchasing and moving aboard a 36' Lancer. I did just that, last August, and have successfully lived through my first winter aboard. Seeing your website and how creatively you've used your space, really made the notion much easier for me. You two have done a terrific job of making the most of a boat that admittedly, is very liveable to begin with, but I'd have to say you've out-done yourselves.

The biggest challenges I faced (living in Vancouver, British Columbia) were somewhat the opposite to your challenges. I needed to keep the boat warm and dry in a very wet climate. When you heat a boat that sits on cold water, of course it sweats, so I installed an enormous household dehumidifier that keeps the humidity at a very comfortable level, along with an oil-filled electric heater, and a small box fan heater to circulate the air on board.

By the way, you are right - these are slippery boats - I had mine going 8 knots in a nice strong breeze last summer in the Canadian Gulf Islands on the Genoa alone...

Thank you both for the inspiration to go ahead and make a rewarding lifestyle choice... My next step may just be to try and make a living teaching sailing aboard my Lancer!

All the best, and many thanks,

Jeremy Gow

Name Leanne and Pete
Date Sep 04, 2008
Location click picture for more information
Message Hi Charmaine and Bill,

I wanted to thank you! We just closed a deal to purchase a 1983 Lancer 36 and your web site proved invaluable in helping us make that decision. Thank you for all the great info and for sharing photos of your beautiful boat and your life living aboard it. We are looking so forward to making "Never Say Never" our own!

I have attached our "before" photos

Cheers! Leanne and Pete


From: Gabica, Bill
Date: 7/14/2008 4:58:06 PM
Subject: RE: Keel bolts


I hope to be the proud owner of a Lancer 36 soon.

I appreciate your information on the sight it helped me investigate some improvements for a boat I am buying.





From: Ann or Mel
Date: 5/25/2008 1:32:55 PM
To: Charmaine
Subject: The boat

Hi Charmaine,

Well, we did it.  Purchased an '82  Lancer 36.  One of the previous owners was a liveaboard  smoker with a dog (we're finding it's hair everywhere even after repeated cleanings...even in the engine compartment etc!), but the price was right.  We had to throw away all the interior cushions, but we would have made new ones anyway.  We pulled the mast and it was good, however the compression post had to be replaced and we replaced all the rigging since it was all original and we plan to sail it in SF Bay for awhile so that seemed prudent.  It needs a lot of TLC so I've been perusing your website again looking for ideas and noticed your boat has the headliner and it looks great.  Ours is stained and ingrained with cooking and cigarette smoke and is coming down in places (one of the previous owner's fixes was to staple the trim up with regular staples...urgh!)  Was yours in good shape at purchase or did you re-do it?  We're thinking of tearing it all out and just painting. 

Do you know if the hull molds changed at all between 82 and 84?  I was wondering if the two aft berths changed shapes at all.  I know what you mean about bending oneself to get into the owner's berth, it's quite a challenge as my husband and I are both tall and I have knee issues.  Do you have the measurements for the berth? 

By the way, I noticed my previous email about the toerails when I was looking at your site.  I couldn't find your reply on my computer either, but I think I printed it out...will look for it.  You did say that the rail didn't have such great drainage and that water would collect on the side decks and suggested making drainholes in it when doing the fix, does that sound right?

Well, thanks again for your great website.  When I get discouraged with our boat, I can look at the pretty pictures of September Sea and think ours will look as nice eventually too.

Fair winds,

Ann Wallace

From: Dave Sue marr
Date: 07/22/06 14:26:59
Subject: Your Boat
We are in the market for a boat and we have come across a 36 Lancer for sale in the PNW, on trying to get some info on these boats came across your web site that certainly gives us some positives to go on.
Have tried numerous times to get onto the Lancer owners site but to no avail (gateway closed) just wondering if you have any other sites that you could recommend for us, some of the general forms are pretty negative in regards to Lancers overall.
Thanks for providing a very interesting informative site with some beautiful and unique horizon shots.
Thanks in advance for any info you can forward.
Cheers.........Dave of 
  Good Timin'

From: Charmaine

Date: 07/22/06 17:55:48
To: Dave Sue marr
Subject: Re: Your Boat
Hey Dave, Hi Sue!
So delighted you found our website and enjoyed looking around
there.  You're right in that it's difficult to find extensive information
about the Lancer 36.
Bill Lee, who has won the Transpac many many times, designed
the hull for the Lancer 36.  The rigging was done by Bruce Farr,
famous names behind these boats.  They're sleek, fast, made
for sailing hard... yet most of the 36s hardly ever left their marina
berths.  People have intentions of doing one thing and then it
never happens.
The negative information about Lancers is directed to the
smaller ones: the 25, 27, 28.  They were ridden hard and some
fell apart: but none of those were built with designers such as
Bill Lee and Bruce Farr. {Note: Corrected this "fall apart" notion as a myth.}
The Lancer 36 is being discovered by sailors.  In the past four
years, four people have contacted me and those four now
own a Lancer 36 and they ALL thank me every time they get
the chance.
The beauty of this fine vessel is that its joinery is first class,
it's well built.  It has a salon you can lounge in... you can make
a king sized bed in the salon.  The cabin took me a while to
learn to sleep in, but now I love it.  It's especially cozy when
sailing 40 hours straight... can't roll off and don't need lee
cloths in that berth! 
It's a fine vessel.  Well built, negative information about Lancers
that were not this boat... make people shy away from Lancers
in general.  I tell you truthfully, you will not regret owning a Lancer
36.  The comfort of this vessel is found only in boats much larger.
The galley is super size for a 36.  The head has a shower stall...
you don't find that in a 36.  You'll LOVE IT.
Here's a link to get in touch with the webmaster of the Lancer
Owner's website.  I haven't heard from him in a while... but
use this link to subscribe free of charge... then you'll be in there
and can talk to those who own and love the Lancers.
Please write again if you have any questions.  I will be of help
to you all that I can.
My very, very best to you and yours.
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~



From: Dave Sue marr

Date: 9/4/2006 4:02:57 PM
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Your Boat
Hello Charmaine,
Well we bought the boat and sailed her hope from Seattle last week,thanks for the information you forwarded to us and hope we are as happy as you are on our new baby. 



From: John Stevens
Date: 8/23/2006 12:11:47 PM
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: New Lancer owner
Hello Charmaine,

I have been told that my boat is a Bruce Farr/ Bill Lee design.

Mike Bourbou of "Vela" said that he has them on his boat. As soon as he sends them to me, I will forward them to you if you are interested.

I just bought a new lancer 36.  


On 8/22/06 12:56 PM, "Charmaine" <> wrote:

Hello John, congrats on your new girl.  You'll love the
speed of the Lancer 36.  I'm not sure if Bill Lee and
Bruce Farr did the 1980... but they teamed up for a
winning combination with "Chutzpah" a 35-foot prototype
of the Lancer 36s designed by Lee and Farr.
I'm not one to tell you what you should do, but perhaps
you should know more about polars before deciding
whether or not you need them:
>From  Nelson Weiderman <;post=354> :
On Polars and Target Speeds. Remember the following sources of error and variation (in appoximate decreasing order of importance): (1) knotmeter readings as influenced by wash off the keel (port and starboard readings WILL be different by a couple of tenths), (2) sea conditions, (3) sail configuration, (4)
knotmeter calibration, (5) knotmeter error, (6) errors in the
theory of producing the polars, etc., etc. Polars can be of use as
general guidelines for new racers to establish targets when they
are racing the clock or in PHRF. Polars are less useful to
competitive racers in one-design fleets. Foot mode or point
mode depends on sea conditions and competitive conditions, not
on what the polars say. Never does the racer say "well, I need to
increase my VMG by three hundreths of a knot to weather by
changing my apparent wind angle by one degree." The velocities
computed to thousanths of a knot on the sheets you get from US
Sailing are a cruel joke. They are not usefully accurate even to
tenths of a knot in the real world where the wind and sea are
constantly changing. On Kima, we set our targets every few
minutes on the racecourse based on wind and sea and
competitive situation. They vary by several tenths from
starboard to port and depend very little on theoretical polar
data (but we have it posted for reference). So the message is not
to worry about a couple of tenths difference between sources of
information. There are too many variables to make that a
productive exercise.
Quite honestly, I agree wholeheartedly with Nelson.
Not trying to sway your decision, perhaps you know what
you want... but the Lancer is very fast on her lonesome.
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

-------Original Message-------

From: John Stevens
Date: 08/22/06 14:16:29
Subject: New Lancer owner
Dear fellow lancer 36 owner,
I have recently purchased a 1980 Lancer 36, do you happen to have the polars
on the boat or know where I can get them?
John Stevens
Mill Valley, CA

From: Marrack, Paul
Date: 12/15/2005 10:50:59 AM
Subject: Lancers

I have very much enjoyed reading about September Sea on your web site. I have just found the “Lancer” and looking for more information about these boats. You mentioned that “all Lancers Yachts are not equal”. I seem to have heard this more than once. Do you know what the problems are. Is this a boat to boat variability, a production problem for certain years, or where they were made? Does this apply the Lancer 36 or to all Lancers?


Paul Marrack

From: Bob Donner
Date: 11/17/2005 4:38:59 PM
Subject: Lancer 36 Questions
I'm considering buying a 1980 Lancer 36.  Any info you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
Is the hull solid fiberglass or "cored"?, I would think that the deck is
cored.  10,500lbs seems rather light for a 36ft boat.

(Charmaine: Cored hull, weight 11,500 lbs.)

Any issues with the rudder?

(Charmaine: None.  Fortunately, the rudder has a lesser draft than the keel, I think it is ideal.)


Any issues with blisters on the bottom?

(Charmaine: No blisters.  Blisters are caused from excessive cabin heat over long periods of time.  Boats must be kept ventilated when on the hard or not in use.  Good ventilation = No blisters!)

Is the keel iron or lead?  Is it bolted on?

(Charmaine: The keel is lead and is bolted on.)

Any other "helpful" hints would be appreciated.
PS. Love your web site.
Date: 6/22/2005 9:09:41 AM
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: [Lancer Owners] Lancer 36
I purchased a 1984 Lancer 36 in April.  The survey didn't show any problem other than a few small blisters.  After taking delivery of the boat while cleaning her up, I found that the fiberglass tapping that holds the salon floor to the transverse lateral beams (stringers) was all disconnected.  The glass tabs were small and apparently overtime, had all popped or broken.  Without them, under sail, the hull will twist.  The floor in this boat was designed to be a stiffing member, similar to bulkheads in other boats.  You might want to take a gander at the underside of the floor (bilge looking up).  If the tabs are cracked or broken, adjust your price.  The my yard installed 6 new beams (over kill) and re-glassed the whole thing for under $2,000.  Now the floor is solid and the boat points to weather an addition few degrees.  Plus I won't have any worries offshore racing when I crank down on the backstay adjuster!
Ken Yeomans
Vieux Bleu II
New Orleans, La. 


(The above was in response to a question I had before we purchased

our Lancer 36 now known as September Sea.)

From: Dr. Thomas Hamilton
Date: 3/24/2005 8:15:16 AM
To: Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea
Subject: Re: Lancer 36 September Sea
Charmaine and Bill: Good to hear from you. I can't agree more about the
Lancer 36. They truly glide through the water. We put a three blade
Kiwi feathering prop on ours last year. On our trip from Beaufort to
JAX last Dec we often saw nine kts over the bottom. It was after that
trip that I got more interested in why the boat was so fast. First
contacted the TransPac yacht club to try to get the run down on
Chutzpah then managed to hook up with Bill Lee. I wrote a brief history
based on discussions with him. I will attach it along with some hull
speed calculations I did; these may explain why the boat does better
speed than one would think. My history is pretty similar to yours, but
you have more detail. By the way have you seen the History of the
TransPac DVD. It has an interview with Stuart Cohen. It is very well
done. We are having the boat hauled for painting next week so will sure
measure draft. I assume your boat has a cored hull as well? Also, I was
unaware of the Endeavour connection. Lastly, have you by chance met a
dentist in the marina there named Buck Harrison? I haven't actually met
him face to face but we have communicated a lot concerning the passage
to FL from the Chesapeake. I look forward to following your web site.
We are moving our boat back north this May 1st. Then I have a real
treat am helping a friend move a Discovery 55 he is having built in the
UK to the Med in June. By the way, we were thinking of moving the boat
further south from JAX this winter but it seemed marinas in the Miami
area were very expensive. What is Marathon like?

Regards, Tom

On Mar 23, 2005, at 3:31 PM, Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea
> Hello Tom!
> Thanks so much for your kind words.
> So happy you enjoyed our website.
> We also talked with Bill Lee
> about the Lancer 36 he co-designed
> with Bruce Farr.  Nothing but good
> things came out of his mouth.  He's
> quite a character, but extremely knowledgeable and a Legend.
> Our specs, when we bought our Lancer 36 also said it had a 6'2 draft.
> Our draft is 5'6.  I have yet to see a Lancer 36 that was truly a
> draft of six feet or over.  Did you measure it when you had her hauled
> out?  If not, do so... I bet you'll be surprised with what you find.
> We know many here in the Keys who do have drafts of six feet and
> over.  It's really not a problem, as most may think.  You can sail
> everywhere down here with that draft, you just have to be a good
> navigator at some points, A lot of sailors down here are lazy, if they
> have to plot a course they aren't interested.  hahaha  All in all,
> it's not a problem and you have all the sailing ground you could ever
> want--even with a deep draft.
> Would love to get together with you and talk about our boats.  We just
> love her.  She's not only a beauty with graceful lines--she sails like
> a bat outta hell.  Many times we have to hold her back, she loves to
> heel and glide.  She is everything we ever wanted in a sailboat as far
> as speed and the thrill of the toe-rail in the water on occasion.
> Most boats don't sail very well heeled over... September Sea sure
> does!  She sails best at the two o'clock position, loves having her
> nose in the wind.  So many other boats would come damn near to a stop
> at that angle, not our Sweetie.
> Please give us a call when you're
> down here in the Keys.  Bill and I would be delighted to see ya.
> Our very, very best to you and yours.  You have made our day!
> Charmaine & Bill
> Aboard s/v September Sea