About The Boat

Sea Trek is a Mariner 40 Ketch designed by Clair Oberly and built in the Tayana yard in Taiwan. Her keel was laid late in 1978, she was finished in 1979 and shipped to the United States and commissioned by her first owner in 1980. She is a very traditional, heavy displacement (15 tons) extremely well built offshore cruiser. We purchased her in March of 1992 of moved aboard almost immediately. The previous owner had not abused her but also had not used her much. The equipment list was short so we pretty much started from scratch. She has a lot of teak on deck to keep us busy and a beautiful all teak interior.

Short trips on the Chesapeake Bay showed us the basics we would need. Our first weekend brought about our first addition. Bringing up the anchor from some muddy bottoms encouraged us to immediately install a good wash down system on the foredeck. The basic electronics such as speed, depth and wind instruments came very soon after. She had a VHF but it was old and also was replaced. Our first cruising plans were to head down the ICW to the Bahamas for an initial shakedown. Creature comforts as well as safety equipment took priority. The previous owner believed that the only way to cook on a boat was with an electric skillet and a microwave. He had a large microwave gimbaled in where a stove should go. We made the decision right from the beginning to do all of the installations ourselves as long as it did not endanger the safety and integrity of the vessel. Our first major project was a three burner propane stove with an oven. That meant we needed to completely install the entire propane system. This and all following installs were done according to all manufacturers and AYBS standards of safety and gave us a head start on repairs should something break.

We tried different types of dinghies from the hard rowing type to our final decision for a rigid hull inflatable. One of our friends came walking down the dock one day with a pair of beautiful stainless steel dinghy davits they had just remove from their boat. They ask us if we wanted them and before he finished asking I had them off his shoulder and sitting in our cockpit. The dinghy has almost never spent an night in the water since then.

Other than the normal and required safety equipment we were still pretty basic. But those creature comforts are what makes a cruising experience a pleasant one or a camping trip on the water. We installed a power inverter to run our small appliances and tools as opposed to a generator. We decided we could always change this later on. We never did. New cushions and blinds on the ports had the boat looking much more homey. With the inverter and more electronics we knew we would need a better source to keep the batteries up. Initially we installed a Four Winds wind generator as a starting point. It kept up on that first Bahamas trip but as we added over the years we also added three 85 watt solar panels.

That first cruise taught us a lot. We needed a good source for weather when not available through VHF or TV. At first a small transistor SSB receiver hooked to our laptop got us weatherfax and text weather forecasts. As our cruising expanded we joined all of our fellow cruisers with a SSB which of course did much more than our tiny receiver. Even later Susan received her ham license and we added ham radio to our communications. The 406 epirbs came into their own and we added those. A liferaft was next since we knew longer offshore passages were on the horizon. Over the years we have added new full batten sails to replace the originals. Our Perkins 4-108 proved to be woefully under powered for the boat so a new Yanmar took a big bite out of the cruising kitty. We have added a microwave, DVD/VHS recorder and player and a new LCD HD TV. Our original outdated autopilot did not survive that first trip down the ICW so we installed a heavy duty below decks hydraulic pilot that was designed for boats up to 75 feet and it has paid for itself over and over. One lesson we learned right off was not to buy cheap, ask others that have been out there and always go bigger than you think you will need.

On this last trip we replaced the canvas bimini and dodger with a hardtop that I designed from aluminum frame and Starboard, with a clear Lexan windshield. This has been a fantastic improvement. It allows us to completely enclose the cockpit like a pilothouse and gives us a good place to mount some of the solar panels. A plus lets me climb on top of it to deal with the mizzen. Radar, dual GPS units, a chartplotter, a new stereo set up and just recently a new central AC/Heat unit rounds out just some of the improvements we made along the way, The AC only runs when plugged into the dock by the way. We also found that a watermaker was much needed after that first trip. These are only some of the upgrades we have done. She has custom non skid decks, electric windlass, custom seats on the foredeck and in the cockpit and the list goes on and on.

We carry 78 gallons of fuel which gives us a cruising range under power of about 400 miles. We carry additional plastic jugs on deck with extra fuel for long passages or when in areas where fuel stops are few and far apart. Our water tank hold 100 gallons and can be refilled endlessly from the watermaker. Our draft is 6 feet and although sometimes a bit of a concern, it has not kept us form any cruising grounds. Over the years we have AwlGripped the boat form the waterline to the masthead. She has never experienced the problems many Tawain boats have had with leaks and deck problems. Perhaps that is due to our diligent maintenance or testimony to her solid construction.

To us she is the perfect cruising liveaboard and although she is unlike the new modern "cruisers" with 5 cabins that sleep 12 and can entertain 16 at dinner she is for us, very comfortable, and not too overwhelming should something happen and perhaps only one of us would need to get her home. Her solid construction give us that feeling of safety and well being no matter what the conditions. She has kept us safe and sane through 15 named storms, a few offshore gales and just a bunch of crappy weather. Don't know if you can tell but we kinda like our boat. Fair Winds


  1. A very aptly named boat and looks like you have done a great job getting it ready for the sea. If you get anywhere St Kitts please look us up and then the Sea Trek crew can do the 'Underwater' Sea Trek in St Kitts. Happy days sailing.

    Sea Trek in St Kitts

  2. ran across your site today and wanted to say HI. I've been diligently saving and daydreaming for about 10 years now and thoroughly enjoy reading the tall tales, words of wisdom and just plain smart arse comments from time to time. Been saving for what seems like forever, and maybe another 10 years and I can join you for a drink or two.

    Of course, as all good adventures go, things can change in a heartbeat with the weather so my own adventure is waiting out the doldrums for that swift breeze to port!

    Keep up the good work, it's helping keep those of us who are still in prison (employed) something to look forward to!



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