The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot.
- Michael Al


High & Dry in Barrington, RI - September 2017

The Quest

After looking at a lot of boats in Maryland and on the internet, we knew that we wanted a strong ocean-capable hull, plenty of headroom for Jeff, a master bed that didn't require crawling over each other, a comfy cabin for a visiting couple, a third cabin for Lauren to convert (someday) into an office/craft room, and it had to somehow feel like a home. 

Nothing in MD was quite right, so we branched out and searched ads all up and down the east coast. We found clusters of potential boats in Florida, South Carolina and New England. Hurricanes determined that we'd visit the northern options first. Jeff detoured over to RI during a business trip to look at several lovely boats. After verifying that the boats were in the condition reported in the ads, Lauren flew up to take a look. 

We knew we didn't want a project boat but couldn't find all of our desires in a boat that was ready to go, so we expected to do some compromising and some refitting. When we visited, she was languishing "on-the-hard" in Rhode Island. She hit a lot of the basic requirements, but she lacked some of the specialty equipment needed for an ocean journey. Ultimately her combination of strong build and good looks won us over. 

Some Specs

Sonnet is a 1988 Bristol 53.3 - meaning that she's a 53 foot long sailboat built by Bristol Yacht Company in 1988. 

Cutter rigged sloop w/ 100 hp diesel engine

Length (LOA): 53'

Beam: 15'8"

Draft: 5'4" (10'8" with centerboard)

Mast height: 65' ??? 

Fuel capacity: 200 gallons

Water tankage: 240 gallons

Home Sweet Home



The center cockpit is over the engine compartment which has access from all sides. Access to our living area is via the steps down from the cockpit. 

Clockwise from bottom center: There's a navigation desk and a sadly non-functioning clothes dryer in the hallway heading aft. The master cabin with en suite head & shower stall is in the stern. Continuing around the drawing is the galley with frig, freezer, propane stove/oven & double sinks. Our saloon has a straight settee where this drawing shows two arm chairs. Also in the saloon is our folding dining table and L-shaped settee. Both settee slide out to be double beds. Continuing forward is the second head/shower which is shared by the V-berth guest cabin and the starboard cabin which has bunks beds. 

Our Galley


For a boat, our galley has a lot of countertops (when we're not using them to hold a project). This angle doesn't do a good job of showing our pot locker and pantry space.

The Saloon


Plenty of room for a family meal or a game of cards.