” The Etchells fleet has an extremely strong and friendly community. I located the boat because I knew her current owners through racing and participating in the fleet.”

Velox Syreni, Etchells 31’

Interview with the Captain – Jay Watt

About the Boat

Why did you choose to buy a Etchells?
I was looking for a one-design keelboat with a strong local and national fleet. The Etchells also appealed to me aesthetically and technically – they are very pretty boats that also offer a great technical challenge to the sailor. Lastly, the age of the fleet means that Etchells exists at virtually every price point and skill level; there are casual wet-sailed weekend fleet where the majority of the boats are worth a few thousand dollars all the way up to multi-boat international programs with brand new boats and professional crews.

What are the features you like most about Etchells vs. other boats you’ve raced?
Etchells are extreme “tuner” boats with fine tune adjustments for systems that are not even adjustable on many other one-design boats. The strong international fleet also drives constant innovation such as the transverse mounted jib cars and remote releases for fraculators that I added to the boat this season.

How did you come to find/locate her before purchasing (and what’s the boat’s history if you know it)?
The Etchells fleet has an extremely strong and friendly community. I located the boat because I knew her current owners through racing and participating in the fleet.

What races have you competed in?
For the Etchells:

  • Marblehead Racing Association Saturdays, Memorial Day and Labor Day Regattas: 2014-2021
  • Jaguar Cup (Miami): 2015
  • Lake Washington (Seattle) Saturday Series: 2015-2016
  • Lobster Bowl (Maine): 2016
  • Etchells Nationals (Marblehead): 2021

I also race with AFRICA for PHRF and local Ocean Races as well as Frostbiting on Tech Dinghies out of Boston Yacht Club in the winter months.

Who first introduced you to sailing (/how did you get into the sport)?
My parents actually met at the Quannapowitt Yacht Club in Wakefield Ma as teenagers. They got away from sailing as they became adults but stayed in the area. I grew up in Wakefield and when I was around 9, we went to visit the club. They were just starting out a junior sailing program so I was part of the first class and the rest is history.

What boats have you previously owned?
This is my 2nd Etchells, the first was another Ontario Etchells #706 “Duck”. That boat is now sailing as part of the Portland Yacht Club fleet owned by John Milburn and renamed “Greyhound” Boston Whaler Montauk 15 “Little Mischief” (2018+) Sea Ray, “Go! Go! Go!” initially a 215WE then upgraded to a 260 (2014-2018) O’Day 40, “Northstar” (2010-2014) O’Day Daysailer 1, Hull #11094 & Hull #403 (1992-2016) – Acquired 11094 in 1992, Raced extensively at Quannapowitt Yacht Club, Replaced with fully restored Hull #403

What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
Finding and coordinating the very specific services that I cannot perform myself.

Do you have any notable sailing/racing resources you use (apps, websites)?



Do you have any advice for those looking to buy an Etchells like yours?
Figure out a real estimate for what you are going to spend each year on upgrading the boat and keeping it competitive and model that out. There are plenty of boats out there, so viewing the initial outlay in terms of how that fits into the annual spend will help you best evaluate different options. Also look at the venue the boat is coming from – different prevailing wind conditions and sea states will wear boats differently. That’s a bigger factor than age in most cases.

What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
When we got a new boat, I asked my kids what they wanted to name it. My daughter, who loves pink, quickly pronounced “Fast Mermaid”. My son felt it was too cutesy, so I suggested Velox Syreni which is Latin for Fast/Quick Mermaid. He thought that sounded cool and agreed. I am not sure he has translated it yet. 🙂

Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Velox Syreni!