“We arrived at Jensen Yacht Sales in Old Saybrook about 10 minutes after they launched the Show 34. We went on board, and I was sold. I thought to myself, this is the boat I was going to live on and sail to the Bahamas. I did both, and the rest is history.

Dream Catcher, Barberis 34’

Interview with the Captain – Robert Bova

About the Boat

Why did you choose to buy a Barberis?
I first came across the Barberis Show 34 at the Boston Boat Show back in the early 80s. I remember thinking to myself what a great looking boat this is compared to the others at the show. The Show 34 is designed by Doug Peterson and classed as an IOR ¾ Tonner which was popular back in the 70s and 80s. But what was different with this build was that the interior was finished off with a full teak interior with tons of storage, making it a great boat for racing and cruising.

What other kinds of boats did you consider before buying this particular model (and how did they compare)?
I have always been the type of sailor who tended to gravitate toward foreign built sailboats especially the ones built in Europe. Before I purchased the Barberis Show 34, I looked at a Niagara 35, Westerly, She 33 and a Beneteau 34. All were nice boats, but it was the Italian workmanship of the Barberis that sold me.

How did you come to find/locate her before purchasing (and what’s the boat’s history if you know it)?
I found the Barberis while looking through Soundings magazine. My dad and I went down to Milford, CT to look at a Niagara 35 in the spring of 1995. On our way back home, I was flipping through Soundings and just happen to notice that there was a Barberis Show 34 for sale in Old Saybrook, CT. I ask my dad if he was up for another stop. We arrived at Jensen Yacht Sales in Old Saybrook about 10 minutes after they launched the Show 34. We went on board, and I was sold. I thought to myself, this is the boat I was going to live on and sail to the Bahamas. I did both, and the rest is history.

What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
When you own a boat for almost 27 years, you can’t even imagine what improvements and or modifications one does. I have done a tremendous number of improvements relating to both comfort and sailing. To make the boat a comfortable full time liveaboard and long-term cruising I installed a 16,000 BTU Newport Dickerson diesel heater, 12v/120V refrigeration, wind generator just to name a few of the big-ticket items. When I purchased the boat in June 1995, it had the basic layout when it came to sail handling. To make it more solo sailing friendly, I replaced the standard genoa t-track to adjustable Harken genoa tracks. And not being a fan of mid-boom sheeting, I moved the mainsheet off the coach roof to the cockpit with a nice Antal system. I also installed a Navico Autopilot which I ended up replacing with a 2020 Raymarine Autopilot. Last year I also took out the old Datamarine instruments and replaced them with an all new Raymarine instrument pack.

What are the features you like most about your boat?
There are a lot of great features, but I would have to say it’s the storage and the full teak interior that make it a warm and inviting place to hang out. Being a Doug Peterson design, you know it’s going to sail well. It easily sails to its rating and its structural grid system in my opinion was superior to other vessels in its class at that time.

Who first introduced you to boating/sailing?
My Parents introduced me to sailing when I was 12. My dad took me sailing on his friend’s sailboat which was a Coranado 25 named Sea n’ Ski out of Palmer Cove Yacht Club. Shortly afterward my parents bought a Catalina 25, and we joined PCYC. I started racing at a very young age on a boat named Bonnie Lassie, and we ended up winning our class in the 1985 Marblehead – Halifax Race.

Do you belong to a yacht club or other boating/sailing organizations?
I’ve been a member of Palmer Cove Yacht Club in Salem, MA since 1986, where I’m the Race Committee Chairperson. I’m also the Rear Commodore of PHRF-NE.

What boats have you previously owned?
My very boat was a 16’ Hobbie Cat, followed by a Laser, then a J-24 and a Great Dane 28.

How do you typically use your boat over the summer, and where do you go?
Currently it’s mostly the typical day sails, two-week cruises to Maine or the Cape and Islands. This past summer I raced the boat in the BYC Wednesday night series, which was a first for Dream Catcher. I’ve also been active in trying to gain more and more interest in Shorthanded racing. A few years ago, I launched the Facebook group New England Shorthanded Offshore Racing Club in the hopes to attract other sailors interested in Shorthanded racing. Dream Catcher is fully setup for shorthanded racing.

What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
I haven’t had that much of an issue servicing the boat. Some parts, like for the stove, I had to source from a company the UK years ago. Other than that, I’m able to make it all work.

Do you have any notable boating resources you use?
In this current landscape it’s obviously all online. Being into shorthanded racing I tend to gravitate toward some of the European publications and online group pages. One of my favorites is Yachting Monthly & Seahorse Magazine. They post a lot of videos and articles relating to various sailing techniques especially when it comes to shorthanded sailing.

Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Barberis like yours?
My boat is for sale as we are looking to move up in size. So, if anyone is interested, please hit me up. Barberis built a very nice boat back in the day. They worked with a number of great designers such as Doug Peterson and Rob Humphreys. Barberis is a very hard boat to find in the States. It’s a great sailing boat with a well laid out interior for cruising.

What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
It took me months to come up with a name. So, one day, I was in Salem walking through a store on Derby St. This store had Dream Catchers hanging all over the place. After reading the history of a Dream Catcher, and with my personal dream of fulltime cruising, I realized right then and there, that’s going to be the name of my boat. I fulfilled that dream in October of 1999 when I set sail for a yearlong cruise from Salem, MA to the Georgetown, Bahamas.

Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Dream Catcher!