“In the summer of 2018 I had the opportunity to change up my life and I wanted to sail down to the Bahamas. When I started looking for potential boats, I was looking for a heavy, rugged, blue water cruiser. I had never heard of a Lavranos before, but she was the only blue water-ready boat on the market close by.“
Red Sky, Lavranos 36′
Interview with the Captain — Elliot Pressman
Can you tell us about the expedition you are currently on and how this began (and who is involved)?
This year has been a tough and interesting one to say the least. During the summers, I work with an amazing team of people at Dolphin Marina and Restaurant in Harpswell, Maine. I had recently refit Red Sky and was itching to sail her harder and further than I had my last trip. It seemed as if this was as good of a time as any to head south to burn off steam and have some fun after the unexpected summer we all had. I extended the expedition to three of my good friends who I work with, and on Oct, 25th, I left with my dog, Maisy, and my three friends from Harpswell, Maine. Some have left, some have stayed, and others have joined. Cruising on a sailboat is different, and affects people in many different ways. Some get that fulfillment sooner than others. That is why there are people with friends who own boats, and people who own boats.
Where have you sailed so far, and where are you heading next?
Since Oct, 25th 2020, Red Sky has sailed down the east coast and made three Gulf Stream crossings. She is currently anchored on the East Side of the Abacos and planning to head further south in the next week to Eleuthera and Exuma!
Could you share a memorable story from your sailing adventures so far?
One of Red Sky’s earlier legs in the trip brought us to Newport Shipyard. We made our way from Onset Bay, just south of the Cape Cod Canal, and pulled into the Shipyard at night in pitch darkness. I had to dodge what seemed like a million mooring balls and made right for the face dock. As we got closer, the boats tied up got bigger and bigger, and before I knew it Red Sky was tied up across from a 180’ sailing yacht. I felt like a little fish in a very big pond. We knew we’d probably get moved to a different spot more suitable for Red Sky’s size, but we tried to plug into shore power anyway. We couldn’t find a single power pedestal with receptacles small enough for 30 amp, let alone 50 or 100! Tired, hungry, and itching to explore Newport we hustled off the dock and out into the yard. As we passed the security office, I poked my head in just to say hi and let someone know we had tied up. The security guard inside had a serious look on his face, and asked if I had a reservation. I said I did not, but that we would be here for a few days and that I’d check in first thing in the morning. He looked at me, shook his head, told me we couldn’t be here, and said he’d go down and untie Red Sky from the dock. As you can imagine, my face turned from confusion to horror! When he saw my eyes widen (he couldn’t see my face with my mask on) he started laughing and said he was just screwing with us, that we were all good. It must have been a boring night for him and he definitely got the guys and I off guard!
Most under-rated piece of equipment for long-range cruising?
An iPad with an external GPS unit and your choice of chart plotting software. In my experience, fancy chart plotters are overpriced and unreliable, especially if the Captain did not install the system. The more you know your systems, when they fail, the more likely you will be able to repair and overcome failure. Redundancy in navigating with an iPad is effortless. If it crashes or finds its way into the drink, another one (if you have one – my crew all have iPads) is a reach away. I’ve got 99 problems but NMEA 2000 ain’t one!
Do you have any other notable resources you use (apps, devices, etc)?
– Garmin Glo GPS unlit (x2 for redundancy)
– iPad with Aqua Maps, all NOAA charts and Explorer Charts for the Bahamas (paper chart backups)
– Iridium Go! Satellite phone and Predict Wind weather provider. These two tools are essentials for offshore weather forecasts and peace of mind.
– A reliable autopilot system that the Captain knows inside and out.
About the Boat
Why did you choose to buy a Lavranos?
In the summer of 2018 I had the opportunity to change up my life and I wanted to sail down to the Bahamas. When I started looking for potential boats, I was looking for a heavy, rugged, blue water cruiser. I had never heard of a Lavranos before, but she was the only blue water-ready boat on the market close by. She was for sale in Eliot, Maine, and her last survey was done on the month and day of my birthday. I knew she had to be mine.
What other kinds of boats did you consider before buying this model (and how did they compare)?
I was fortunate to have great guidance from a close friend who had done a lot of offshore deliveries in all kinds of sailboats when he was my age. He gave me a ton of advice in what to look for and what not to look for. I started out looking at a C&C 36 that would have barely made it past the CCC, a few Sabre 34’s, and finally Red Sky. It was less about the model and more about the preparedness of the vessel, and her previous owner had taken great care of her. In comparison to the other boats I looked at, Red Sky was blue-water ready.
What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
As of now, my only planned improvements are minor. I have a few cosmetic details inside. I was able to knock off many items on my to-do list during her refit and she is just the way I want her. One of my favorite improvements made to Red Sky before departing on this trip is the hard dodger enclosure that I built. I used the existing soft dodger frame and built around it with Azec home siding material and ¼” plexiglass. It holds two 100w solar panels on top and keeps the crew nice and dry in a heavy sea!
How do you typically use your boat over the summer, and where do you go?
I live on Red Sky full time in the summer while working at the marina, so I do not get a lot of time to do any extended cruising, but take advantage of any opportunity I get for a quick day sail, overnight at an island or local marina.
Do you belong to a yacht club or other boating organizations?
I do not. Too young, not enough time!
What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
Finding an extra pair of hands when the bolt is outside and the nut is inside…
Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Lavranos like yours?
Good luck finding another Lavranos for sale! There were only 100 or so built, and just like myself, if you’ve got one you’re probably going to hold onto it for a while.
What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
On my first trip with her, the emotions and feelings of endless opportunities and freedom paired with a watercolor of a sunset with the sun igniting the sky always stuck with me. A red sky at night is a sailors delight, and she will always be that to me.
Check it Out
Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Red Sky!