S/V Changes

Changes was in the Cedar Point in the water Boat Show fall of 1978 after being built by the original C&C builders in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada before they went bankrupt. Click on this link for more of their history. Phil and his wife Laura started looking to buy a boat the following May 1979. Phil speculates that she was built for the O’Dell brothers but for whatever reason they didn’t take her. She has 2 spin halyards, an adjustable baby stay and an oversize big boom built for racing. After looking at a lot of boats, one being another used C&C 34 for $60,000 her price of $50,000 new seemed ok, so they bought her brand new!

Changes started out her life cruising on Lake Erie on the weekends and every time they could get out. September of 1979 is where I came in when dating Rick Benson, he was invited to go sailing and I came along. The following summers, I sailed with them every Sunday during the season. It wasn’t long that they were taking longer trips and August 1980, they went to the North Channel for a month with his 12-year-old daughter going with them. They have been to Toronto through the Welland Canal with favorite places to visit being Erieau, Leamington, Port Stanley, Port Dover, all in Ontario, Canada; Put-in-Bay, Lonz winery on Middle Bass Island, Kelley’s Island, Pelee Island, and Erie Pa anchoring in the Lagoon in Presque Isle State Park on their vacations the last week of July and first week of August. It wasn’t unusual in the old days to cross over to Erieau and back for Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day Weekends all in the same season. As the years passed, Phil took good care of her and upgraded her which included taking down the mast and covering with tarps each winter.

Changes has had multiple “homes”. Her first home was the Mentor Lagoons Marina run by Al Nozak until in 1982, they kept her in Port Clinton at Clinton Reef Marina to better take advantage of the Lake Erie Islands for a couple of years. She was moved to Mentor Lagoons in 1984, then to Lorain Spitzer Marina and to Grand River Sailing Center in Fairport Harbor in 1991 where she stayed until 2005 when Phil became a member of Grand River Yacht Club (GRYC) and we were married on her until we left on cruising trips. For all those years, she’s only been in salt water for 9 months not counting this trip.

The 1990’s started Changes racing career with a Perf rating 151. The best racing years were when Phil and Terri along with George and Pat with their daughter, Michelle were crew winning a lot of firsts and seconds. They won the Moonlight Race as spin. Once Michelle started having babies and George and Pat got their own boat, we carried on racing with Phil W., Terri and Lorraine winning the Moonlight Race in Jam and ending her racing career with Jam Overall in 2008.


Years ago upgrades were slim as Phil and Laura were barely able to afford the $512/mo payments on a 10 year loan so they sailed with a compass and no VHF radio using a 2meter ham radio instead the first year or two.

The first purchases were a Loran C and Sigma analog wind and speed instruments in the early 1980’s. in 1981 a First Mate Autopilot was purchased replaced in with a Simrad Wheel Pilot autopilot in the late 1980’s (which we still have). In 1986, the ice box was converted with Adler-Barbour refrigeration and more insulation was added taking away the drain and foot pump to empty the box. We can now freeze ice and keep meat frozen in the freezer section small as it is. Around this time, Phil’s first set of 4 golf cart batteries were installed and the hot water tank was removed never to be replaced to make room for the batteries. A 600 watt inverter was also added long after the batteries in the 80’s. Teak cockpit table made in the early 90’s.

Racing Upgrades:
Major upgrades in the 90’s were for racing and included: Harken traveler, Genoa I-track is now T track with Garhauer cars, Anderson 2-speed winch for the main sheet, hydraulic adjustable back stay, 3 blade Martek feathering prop, an added set of Bariant 28 winches for the genoa sails, 2 spinnakers, a 155% genoa, and a racing main sail. Along the way a cruising spin shute was added but not used much at that time.

Cruising upgrades are:
We are now on our third set of instruments; 2 digital Nexus multi displays, analog wind direction, AWI (auto wind indicator) and a recent tachometer for the engine. Garmin 545 GPS Chartplotter with Explorer Charts for the Bahamas (essential we think). Raymarine ST6000 under the deck autopilot was installed in 2009. Our backup is the Simrad Wheel Pilot. Lexmark Electric Windlass installed in the early 2000’s with remote control and anchor locker lid modified so chain can fall straight down easily. Lewmar fore hatch replaced 2013.

Electrical: 9-12volt receptacles, and LED lights throughout. 4 New Interstate 6V 232 amp hrs each batteries in 2010, 2 100 amp amp meters, one for each battery. Red/White LED lights placed in the galley, head and over the chart table for night passages.

Rigging: Rod rigging inspected and repaired spring 2010 by Offshore Spars in Detroit, MI. New insulated back stay 2009 as part of Ham radio installation by Grand River Rigging.

Dinghy: Phil made our dinghy from epoxy covered plywood with seams covered with fiberglass painted with catalyzed polyurethane 2-part paint with a 4hp 2-stroke Evinrude outboard. We bought a 8hp 2-stroke Evinrude from Kevin and Becky while in Pike’s Creek, Bahamas with a check. In 2011 he improved it with an additional seat forward and permanent repairs from when the dinghy was pulled under Changes when the painter wrapped around the prop. This trip he re varnished the bright work, painted the seats red and added two coats of bottom paint. The dinghy has a 3lb Danforth and line.

Galley: New propane Force 10 stove with propane locker under the helm seat and propane gas detector. Cherry plate and silverware holder Phil designed and built on bulkhead. Shelf over stove and refrig.

Canvas Work: ALL the canvas currently on the boat has been made by Lorraine and Phil which started with a new Main Sail cover, foredeck cover, and canvas Bimini and NO Dodger for our 2010 trip. Upgraded for the 2013 trip, we now have a hardDodger Phil made from epoxy covered luan plywood and painted with catalyzed polyurethane 2-part paint with canvas window, hard Bimini with Sunbrella go-between and window side panels using plastic track to attach the canvas to the hard dodger instead of snaps. Phil constructed theBimini so that we can collect rain easily and to mount our 2-140watt Kyocera Solar Panels with Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E controller. Our go between is constructed so that we can collect water, but we are working on revisions to make that easier and also keep us dry in the cockpit when we don’t want to collect water.

Interior: We upgraded cushions in the V-berth to high density foam mattress from Mattress Warehouse and 2″ memory foam mattress topper in summer of 2010. We added the Froli Mattress system after Oct 2010 to help with condensation under the mattress from colder temps, which has worked very well since. 2012-13 we replaced the foam in the seat cushions in the salon and Lorraine recovered the cushions with Ultrasuede front and sides and Pfifertex backs. This summer the Quarterberth cushions were replaced with the same foam used in the seats and recovered with upholstery fabric and Ultrasuede type fabric for bottoms and sides, making it very comfortable to sleep on with the memory foam mattress we keep on board for guests. Cherry bookcases on bulkheads port and starboard and a beautiful solid cherry with black walnut salon table complete the salon.

Plumbing: We had a new Jabsco Head toilet 2009 and Jabsco Mascerator pump inserted in 2009 was replaced September 2013. In 2012, The polyethelyene holding tank cracks at intake and output hoses were professionally repaired and new tubing replaced. The air vent hose was rerouted so now there are no low spots and the smell is much better. The head has a new red/white LED light brighter than the original.

Ground tackle: We carry a 35lb Delta anchor with 125ft of 1/4″ high tensile chain and Mantus chain hook attached to double 25ft nylon line snubber. Phil put extra plates for cheeks on the bow roller so the chain doesn’t roll off. Our 2nd anchor is 22S Danforth with 40ft chain and 150ft of 1/2″ line rode. We have a 11lb Danforth to help keep the bow into waves when at anchor in tidal current that’s crossway to the waves to help prevent rocking back and forth.

Further upgrades for this trip are: Stainless steel tubing replaced lifelines from boarding gate to stern, and balance of lifelines replaced 2013. 2 LED reading lights, 6 Caframo 12V fans hard-wired in, new engine mounts, rebuilt 2-bladed 16″ Max prop, rebuilt back stay adjuster, new VHF standard Horizon Matrix AIS Plus GX2150 radio, new SG237 Automatic Antenna Tuner, Sony AM/FM/CD car radio with speakers in salon.

In 2006, Changes was damaged in a 100-year flood at GRYC causing cosmetic damage. Dick Parker of Parker Marine gave her a new red awl grip paint job raising the water line 3″ and fixed the deck coring around the anchor locker on the bow. He replaced the through holes for the engine and rear bilge pump with bronze. All these made Changes better than new!

If there was ever a C&C ready for comfortable cruising, Changes is it!



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