What I love most are “her lines, traditional look, her motion through the water, and ease of sailing.”

Aujourd’hui, Friendship 40′

Interview with the Captain — Bob Gunn

Why did you choose to buy a Friendship?
At the time I owned a custom express cruiser I had built at Lyman Morse.  After a few years, I realized that I was truly a sailor at heart.  I saw an ad for the Friendship 40 in a magazine, went for a demo, and was sold.  She was everything my wife Marianne and I wanted in a sailboat. 

How did you come to find her?
I had been talking with Ted Fontaine, the designer and builder, about having a new one built in New Zealand (where they are all manufactured).  I believe at the time it would have been hull #9 or #10 of the hulls he was going to build.  The rate of exchange for NZ$ at the time made the boat quite expensive.  He called me up and told me a gentleman in New York City who owned hull #4 was interested in selling.  The boat was in Nantucket and I was able to negotiate a satisfactory price for her. 

Who first introduced you to boating?
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and had no experience with boating.  I moved to Marblehead in 1974.  I met a very nice older man standing on the beach at Little Harbor.  He was a neighbor of mine and I asked him what was the attraction to all this sailing.  Ended up that he owned a Bullseye, raced it, and took me along for a good part of the summer, and I was hooked. 

What boats have you previously owned?
Cape Dory Typhoon, C&C 29′, Cheoy Lee 38′, Mason 43′, and a Lyman Morse Express Cruiser.

What other kinds of boats did you consider before buying this Friendship model?

What are the features you like most about your boat?
Her lines, traditional look, her motion through the water, and ease of sailing.  She is perfectly set up to single hand.

What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
I purchased her in late August and sailed her to Newport Ship Yard where Ted Fontaine had his office.  She spent the winter there and I had Ted install the upgrades that are now standard on the hulls currently being built.  Bought her a new suit of sails and new covers for the cockpit and interior cushions.  Upgraded the electronics, and replaced the roller furler system with a Reckman from Sweden.  I had her re-awl gripped two years ago.  Right now I think all she needs is tender loving care, which she gets plenty of.

How do you typically use your boat over the summer, and where do you go?
She is primarily used as a day sailer and mostly single handed.

What the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
The only challenge I encountered originally was replacing circuit breakers.  Solved that problem by keeping a supply of backups on board.  The bright work needs yearly attention and gets a buff up each August. 

Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Friendship?
Contact Ted Fontaine.  There are only 20 in existence.  His plan was always to only build 20.  As far as I’ve seen, any that have come on the market have gone through Ted.  They don’t stay unsold very long and command top dollar. 

What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
All my boats, with the exception of the initial Cape Dory Typhoon, have been named Aujourd’hui.  Translated literally it means “Of This Day” or “Today.”  For personal reasons, “Today” has always held a special meaning to me, but it would not look great on a hull or sound very good.  I therefore decided to use the French. 

Check it Out
Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Aujourd’hui!