“My new passion is forming and chairing the MYC History Committee with a goal of writing a MYC History Book…We learned that the club was originally founded as a dory rowing club in 1878.

Renegade, Soverel 33′
Interview with the Captain — Commodore John Murray, Marblehead Yacht Club

On the Marblehead Yacht Club 

How would you describe what makes the Marblehead Yacht Club so special?
The MYC is Marblehead’s most casual yacht club with excellent launch service and a good BYOB dining on the deck. We are a volunteer yacht club which means members help out or join one of the many committees to help plan activities.  Volunteering keeps our membership costs reasonable. 

What are you most proud of that happened at Marblehead Yacht Club during your watch? 
On my watch, I was instrumental in a few changes at the MYC. The first accomplishment was getting a shower designed, budgeted and built; the lack of a shower was a constant source of complaints by members who slept on their boats.  Next, was the reincarnation of the Downeast Challenge race from Marblehead to Boothbay Maine in 2018 with co-chair Eliot Shanabrook.  Last year, the Downeast Challenge had 21 boats including the largest shorthanded long-distance fleet in northern New England.  My new passion is forming and chairing the MYC History Committee with a goal of writing a MYC History Book.  We have a fun and engaging team researching old records, maps, photos and documents.  We learned that the club was originally founded as a dory rowing club in 1878; its members later switched to dory sailing including the Town Class and designed the Town Class logo used today. We appreciate any old-timer stories about the club so feel free to reach out!  We look forward to completing the research and publishing a New York Times Best Seller.

About the Boat

Why did you choose to buy a Soverel 33?
I was looking for a high-performance race boat for a skipper on a budget.  The Soverel 33 has a great reputation as a fast boat and fun to sail.  It is the sailboat equivalent of a classic Corvette Stingray. 

What other kinds of boats did you consider before buying this model?
I was considering a Hobie 33, another classic 1980’s racing machine. I preferred the Soverel 33 because it had standing headroom and a roomy interior.  I still think about the Hobie 33. 

How did you come to find her before purchasing?
Jim Da Silva a fellow sailor I know from BYC Wednesday nights and the Beringer Bowl, knew I was in the market for a Soverel 33 or Hobie 33 as I had recently sold my S2 9.1 sailboat Torch. He connected me with the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY that had a fleet of Soverel 33’s they were selling off to make room for newer boats for the cadets.  I bought the best one in the fleet for a good deal and sailed it from Long Island Sound to Marblehead in 2019.  Jim later told me that he had raced on Renegade several years ago and won the Soverel 33 National Championships in her; he even gave me his Renegade Team shirt!

Who first introduced you to boating/sailing?
My dad who grew up sailing in Quincy, told me he took me racing in his Indian class sailboat when I was 2.  I spent my childhood cruising around Cape Cod with the family of 7 in my father’s Columbia 26 sailboat named Rights of Man.  I was about 8 years old when I took my first solo sail in our dinghy named Women’s Rights in Hadley’s Harbor; I was hooked!  When I turned 14 my dad bought me an old wooden Beetlecat that I raced in West Yarmouth, MA and won national championship a few years later. 

What boats have you previously owned?
Beetlecat, J24, Etchells 22, Tartan 10, Ericson 39 and S2 9.1

What are the features you like most about your boat?
Besides the sleek lines, I like the well-balanced feel of the helm.  I love the big open cockpit – lots of room for sailing and hanging out with friends.  I also like the simple spartan interior – not many systems to worry about breaking.

What improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
I replaced all my standing rigging the first year after my headstay broke. I also replaced my fuel tank when it leaked. I am consider adding a roller-furler jib in a year or so.

How do you typically use your boat over the summer, and where do you go?
I love Wednesday night racing, the perfect excuse to go sailing with some friends after work and enjoy a cigar and a couple beers – life is good.  My favorite races are the BYC Berringer Bowl to P-Town and the MYC Downeast Challenge to Boothbay Maine; both are overnight destination races so you get to arrive somewhere different and both have excellent post-race parties.  I love cruising Maine and took and my 10-year old son back from Boothbay these past few years. I enjoy sailing to Cape and the Islands and have done the Vineyard Cup regatta a few times and spent this summer cruising to Cuttyhunk and back with my 2 sons. My wife enjoys an overnight to Misery Island or Boston harbor. Hanging out on the mooring with a cigar and beer listening to music never gets old.

What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
The boat is pretty basic so not much work besides winterizing the engine and taking off all the junk the boat has collected all summer.

Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Soverel 33′ like yours?
If you are considering a Soverel 33 – buy it!  You will love it.

What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
The boat was named Renegade by its original owner in 1985 and has a cool logo on the sides. The name fits.

Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Renegade!