” I am the current Captain of Etchells Fleet 4 in Marblehead and have owned and raced Etchells USA 1061 “Panache” since 2007. “
LiRuPa, Etchells 30.5’
Interview with the Captain – Paul McLaughlin
About the Boat
Why did you choose to buy a Etchells?
It is one of the finest and enduring race boats ever developed.
What other kinds of boats did you consider before buying this particular model (and how did they compare)?
It never occurred to me to consider another class of boat.
How did you come to find/locate her before purchasing (and what’s the boat’s history if you know it)?
I am the current Captain of Etchells Fleet 4 in Marblehead and have owned and raced Etchells USA 1061 “Panache” since 2007. We are trying to introduce more sailors to the Etchells and grow our Fleet so, this past May I bought “Whirlwind” Etchells 1238 to add to the availability of local boats. In June, we hosted the US Nationals in Marblehead and one of the boats that competed was “Mahalo” USA 1099. The boat had recently been upgraded, was in excellent shape and was for sale. I couldn’t resist so Mahalo has become LiRuPa and my other two boats are for sale.
What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
The boat came with many sails and most of the modern adjustments (mast ram, electric pump, jib inhaul) however, I will be adding a new “Dog “Palfrey jib in-hauler system next spring and have ordered a new radial jib from Doyle.
What are the features you like most about your boat?
The mast ram, electric pump and the combination of course and fine-tuning sheet adjustments. The Brolga shroud turnbuckles are easy to adjust, even when under a heavy load.
Who first introduced you to boating/sailing?
I have been on the water my entire life. I grew up on Long Island and surfed and fished. When I was in the Navy, I drove boats and while I was stationed on Coronado in San Diego, I was introduced to bay and ocean sailing and was hooked. When I was discharged, I bought a Hobie 16 Cat and then began chartering in the Caribbean.
Do you belong to a yacht club or other boating/sailing organizations?
I am a proud member of Corinthian Yacht Club for 33 years and served on the Board of Pleon for 10 years and currently serve on the Board of Sail Salem.
What boats have you previously owned?
Hobie 16, C&C 30, J-22, Viper
How do you typically use your boat over the summer, and where do you go?
I race MRA and in local and travel regattas.
What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
Limited availability of quality riggers and fiberglass workers.
Do you have any notable boating resources you use?
Harvey Rigging, Marblehead Composites, Whitecap Composites, Chris Small Boatworks, Doyle Sails
Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Etchells like yours?
Seek out local Fleet 4 members, talk with Jud Smith and Tomas Hornos at Doyle. There are boats available in an affordable range to get out on the race course.
What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
It is named after my three grandchildren: Lily, Ruby and Paul – “LiRuPa”
Click the gallery below for more photos and information about LiRuPa!