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Thread: Zoltan's old boat?

  1. #1
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    Zoltan's old boat?

    Hey guys, it's Bob Muggleston -- I'm a board member with hull #275. Wondering if you can help solve a mystery. A few days ago I was aboard hull #266, owned by Roy Thomas, who is also a board member. As you undoubtedly know, hull #266 might be the most famous of all Commanders -- it's the one sailed by Zoltan Istvan (formerly Gyurko) 3/4 of the way around the world. Anyway, Roy and I spent part of our delivery (from Niantic to Chester, in Conn.) examining the boat, looking for proof that Zoltan had indeed been aboard the boat. Roy has had doubts since he first discovered that he supposedly owns Zoltan's old boat. Some of the peculiarities: the standing rig, which Zoltan heavily modified (larger gauge stays and shrouds, double headstay, welded cap at top of mast) is clearly original. There are no stainless steel cleats, which Zoltan supposedly added. The winches aren't bronze. There's no sign of the 50-gallon fresh water tank Zoltan installed beneath the cockpit sole. Curiously absent are the old bolt holes that once held a wind vane. The hull number plate looks . . . odd. Like it was recently made. The list goes on and on. But who would fake something like that, especially when there's so little to gain? The only thing that makes sense to me is that when Zoltan originally listed the boat for sale in Greece, he listed it with the wrong hull number. Roy says the boat was called Whydah when he first got it, and he believes the name prior to that was Halcyon. I'm interested in all this for personal reasons, but also because I plan on writing a story about all of this for Points East magazine, where I'm an editor. Any thoughts? Many thanks in advance!

    -Bob
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  2. #2
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    The Wa?y

    Certainly, The Way name is painted professionally in the bottom photo.
    And it will certainly be easy enough to see where Zoltan's clunky stanchions once where,
    if they since have been removed from the lazaret area.
    One of those large handheld mirrors from the drugstore will help.
    When you look inside the laz and up into the deck & transom underneath... with the mirror.

    That pair of mushroom thruhulls in the transom will be hard to erase their having been
    there, now that they are gone.

    But I think if your boat has the original rigging, that would be most suspicious,
    especially examined closely to see if the 3/16" wire has ever been removed.
    There shouldbe enough caked paint and discolorations... and leaks... to convince you that
    the rig was never upgraded.

    And it would have been thoroly upgraded by Zoltan. Probably chainplates too.
    If he went to 1/4 wire, he'd have to use 7/16 or 1/2" bolts on plates & mast.

    So that leaves the Builders Number Plate, which could have been cleaned up.
    But you think something's wrong about it....?
    A number of archived technical posts on the subject exist here.
    Bill Phelon, who knows most about our boats, may have an idea about the mystery.
    And what boat roy has.

    Are former owners able to be traced and contacted for specific identity clues?
    Last edited by ebb; 11-18-2016 at 08:30 AM.

  3. #3
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    ZOLTAN's AD FOR THE WAY

    The following is Zoltan's classified ad for THE WAY which he sent to us for publication in our newsletter. It appears to be a complete description of the boat and its hardware. (Because of its length, it will continue in the next post. BTW - there were no paragraphs in the original!)

    ************
    WHY NOT LEAVE EVERYTHING BEHIND AND GO TO THE MEDITERRANEAN FOR SOME "CRUISING"? I am selling a 26-foot Full Keeled Pearson "Commander" Sloop currently in a marina in a beautiful Greek island in the Mediterranean. This exact sailboat is going to be featured on the "Travel Channel" this August and in "Cruising World Magazine" in the September issue. In 1994 I left Los Angeles with this boat and spent the next seven years sailing it 2/3 around the world-crossing both the Pacific and the Indian. This boat may be a little small, but its incredibly strong--built in a time when sailboats where built to last. My Peason is Hull #266 and was built in Rhode Island in 1966. It weighs just under 6000 pounds; the full keel is over 50% the boat's weight, proof of the boat's sea-worthyness. The boat sails marvelously. It comes with the original owners manual and all the specs. The boat is structurally in good condition, but if you want an aesthetically beautiful boat, then you're going to have to do a thorough paint/varnish job both inside and out. The gel coat is old, some places are chipping off, specifically on the no skid part of the deck. It's definitely needing some aesthetic attention. The hull is in good solid condition--I last painted the bottom of the boat in summer 2000 when it was out of the water for an inspection. There's an incredibly strong rigging system--way oversized, almost impossible for the mast to ever come down: there are 13 stainless 1/4 to 5/16 inch stays: dual forestay, dual backstays, intermediate backstays, a baby stay, and your 3 traditional side stays on each side. The rigging is in good condition. There's lots of spare rigging on board too,
    and spare "staylocks". When I bought the boat I did some serious upgrading to the mast before I left Los Angeles: brand new spreaders, brand new base, brand new masthead made extra strong. The aluminum parts of the boat (mast, boom) have some corriosion where the different metals are meeting--pretty standard stuff and nothing to keep me from sailing. The bronze on the rudder and bottom where the keel is--is in good shape. The thruhulls are fine--best qualityu rubber material I could find in California was used to connect them to the cockpit and sink. The beam of the boat is 8 ft, the keel is almost 4 feet deep. This is a perfect boat for the French Canals. It has a tiller and a unusually long cockpit with a table built into it--very nice for lazing around outside (look at photo). The inside of the boat is a lot bigger than you think. There's almost standing head room and plenty of room to move around and cook. The V-birth of the boat is made into one giant bed (in photo) and very comfortably sleeps two people (I'm over 6 feet). There are two more births that can accomadate two others if necessary. There are charts and books galore on the Meditrerranean in the boat, everything you need to cruise the entire region safely. The boatcomes with an "Avon" Redcrest dingy that doesn't leak and has paddles, a 1.75 HP Tanka little engine (needs a little work, but still runs), and a pump. The boat has a one-burner propane stove, an expensive large 20 Lb aluminum propane tank. There is a stainless sink (in photo), a fold-up cutting board, and a large ice chest. The boat comes with all cooking items, pots, pans, utensils, you name it. I was on this boat for 7 years--its all ready to be lived in, everything is there. There is a small navigation table where a laptop can be run. Yes, the boat has 110 volts for power--there's an 140 watt inverter--as well as the normal12 Volts. It also has a transformer for going 110v to 240v (European power). There's two big batteries--one is brand new still under warranty. There are two "marine grade" solar panels (one Siemens 10 watt, one BP 20 watts); there are many inside and outside lights,special low wattage florecent light, nav lights, spreader lights. There is a low wattage Hella jet fan for when it gets hot. There is a 1995 10 horse Mariner outboard long shaft that also produces power. I am the original owner of the outboard, it runs great, has paperwork, has lots of spares. It fits in a well near the aft of the boat (dry-dock photo). I have one main 18 gallon fuel tank, and three other 5 gallon one's that fit tightly in the aft lazarette or cockpit. THere is an enormous green dodger that can be taken up or down that I had made in Malasia (look at photo). There are a tons of electronics on board: including an Apelco fish finder, a very new Autohelm AH800 tiller pilot for electronic self steering, a Magellen GPS, an epirb (needs a battery), a Horizon VHF radio with a Metzo attena on the mast, a Grundig yachtboy 400 single side band radio for listening to news/music anywhere in the world--everything works, everything has paperwork. There's a barometer, binoculars, an Entire Full Set of scuba diving equipment including a tank (the tank is full, but needs a Hydro), BC, regulators, gauge, compass, first stage, second stages, etc... There's a 35mm camera, a barbeque grill, a Richie compass, and Airguide compass, some fishing gear (Penn reel) to catch big fish, a sail sewing kit, an enormous bag of 75 or more charts of the world, all this extra paint,Wd40,etc,etc.., $40 in epoxy and fiberglass materail. There's tons of sailing gear, i.e. expensive cruising snatch blocks,etc., huge bag of various ropes, spare canvas/material bag. There's an enormous medicine chest with medicine for just about anything you can imagine, spare tubing for thru-hulls, hundreds of dollars of bolts and screws. There is Makita cordless drill, sander, and saw ($200 right there)--and an enormous tool chest with EVERY imaginable tool you would ever need. There's a 6 foot 7 inch Matt Calvini surfboard and ultralight cover. There's two big anchorsne 25lb CQR and one 18 pound danforth--over 125 feet of 5/16 chain and nearly 500 feet 7/16 inch rope. There's 3 special $100 stainless steel cletes so if a hurrican ever came I could ride out one on anchor--secure that my cletes would hold. There's a giant dive/spot light--super bright (ships can see you)-new they are $125. There's also an REI head lamp a mini-mag light. There's a solar shower, and two built in water tanks combined to make 42 gallon water capacity. There's a built in voltage meter, an aluminum fire hydrant, $25 worth of underwater epoxy for emergencies. There's a spinnaker pole. There's 8 sails: including one nearly new main (out of 3 mains),2 storm jibs, a Genoa, 2 working jibs, etc. Sails are in good usable condition, some are worse than other, some are better. There's 3 bronze winches, all working. There's a hawaiin sling, freediving fins and a two quality snorkeling masks.There's foul weather gear, 2 wetsuits, booties, gloves, hood. There's a survival bucket with alot of nice goodies like a space blanket, etc. There's an automatic bilge pump float-switch and two submersible bilge pumps (quality names--one is 2000 GPH, other is 500 GPH).There's also a hand bilge pump in
    the cockpit (Gusher).Please note Hydrovane in photo is not included. Coming with the boat there's also a good radar reflector, a large red battery switch, a wind indicator on top of the mast, a Mark 25 Davis Sextant with books and all. There's a swedish down blanket, two pillows, sheets, a bunch of clothes. There's more classic books than you can imagine: Hemingway, Conrad, London...There's plenty of books on how to sail...There's a nice Yamaha guitar and

  4. #4
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    ZOLTAN's AD FOR THE WAY - CONTINUED

    in case...THERE'S EVERYTHING YOU WOULD EVER NEED TO SAIL AROUND THE WORLD FOR SEVEN YEARS!!! So, if you are interested, please email and I can send you more photos. I'll email you my phone number--and we can discuss everything. The boat is ready to go structurally, but its just gonna need a good cleaning and paint job. The boat is ready to start sailing/cruising immediately though. I have Oregon ownership papers. I'd be willing to fly
    back to Greece with the buyer for a few days or so and show you everything--specifically where it's at. But you must pay 1/2 my traveling fare--which will be approximately $300. It might be in your best interest to have me help set up everything for you and show you things. We definately would need to discuss all this. Buyer is responsible for boat once he pays me. Buyer buys the boat as is. I can email you proof of anything you need--including title. I require 10% of the high bid to be wired to my bank account within 72 hours of the end of the auction. After that I require the rest within 10 days by a cashiers check, or a money order, or another wiring. Please do not bid unless you are going to buy the boat. The boat is in the water at a marina in Greece--about a 4 hour drive from Athens. Now is a great time to start sailing in the Med. The weather is fantastic, very warm. My boat has been in Greece for the last 5 months. If you buy it, you'll need to make arrangements for what you are going to do with it. You could probably leave it there. (Its currently staying for free except for small gardianage fees since the marina is unfinished). But you'll need to decide all that yourself. I can help make arrangements for you, and give you advice and contacts. Please email me at:zoltangyurko@yahoo.com if interested. Thanks. Buying this boat seven years ago was the best thing that I ever did for myself. It was a journey like no other. If you have the time, why not buy it and literally sail off into the sunset. The Mediterranean is a great place for beginning or advanced sailors/cruisers to see what the world has to offer. There's history and great culture. And on a sailboat, you see things you never would've otherwise. Aside from all that, living on a sailboat is an incredibly cheap way to travel since you don't pay for accomadation (most the time you are anchoring off places for free). You also don't pay transportation costs since the wind is, of course, free. And eating is generally cheap since you are quite often cooking on the boat. How does that Enya song go: "Sail away...sail away...sail away.... Sometimes you only get one shot in life. Why not take it?

  5. #5
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    WOW! That's like reading the side of a couple cinder blocks.

    But it appears the only real paint he put on the boat was to the bottom.
    The only major changes were to mast and rig.
    And those two unmentioned thru-hull scuppers in the transom.
    And those four galvanized(?) pipe stanchions on the rear deck.
    Which would take real effort to erase from inspection when removed.
    Same with bolt holes from the windvane.

    THE WAY may have experienced a refurbish from owners after Zoltan.
    But evidence would be hard to disappear unless for some reason
    real effort was used to cover it up. Seems unlikely the inside would
    not have clues of repairs in those hard to reach corners of the lazaret.

    If the Commander's provenance was important to subsequent owners,
    they could not have made extraordinary effort to erase its achievement.
    As they constantly show on "Antiques Roadshow", the value of a piece
    is in its untouched history. Testimony is everything.

    If the nicely done up vessel with a just as nicely painted name: THE WAY
    does not show evidence of all repairs inside the stern, it is not Zoltan's
    Commander.
    Last edited by ebb; 10-23-2016 at 02:20 AM.

  6. #6
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    The story of C-266 is now posted in the Sailing and Events forum. Thread title is: "ZOLTAN SAILS from CALIFORNIA to GREECE"
    Last edited by Bill; 10-23-2016 at 11:37 AM.

  7. #7
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    May 2016
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    Just read the newsletter. I agree with ebb; it would be virtually impossible to erase all evidence of Zoltan. He punched so many holes through that hull and some of them were in hard-to-reach places, especially inside the engine well. Even someone with deep pockets who was determined to do that very thing would be hard pressed. The thing to do -- beyond physically examining the boat more closely -- is trace the ownership chain. Zoltan sold the boat in Greece to a couple from New York. I know their names. I'll try to trace it forward from there. Man, I'll be devastated if I discover that Zoltan's real boat was cut up years ago, or sank somewhere in the Med. As an FYI, I know Zoltan going way back to my days at Cruising World, where I edited his stories and first marveled at his accomplishments aboard such a small boat. He wasn't a sailor when he left L.A., bound for Hawaii. His only experience was messing about in a 17-foot daysailer; he'd never been offshore. In fact, he didn't have a motor when he left. Someone towed him out of the harbor and he caught the tradewinds from there. His sextant skills were iffy at best. Which is to say that there's something to be said for ignorance. Sometimes knowing too much is a liability. He's since told me he never would have left had he known what he knows now. But thank God he did.

  8. #8
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    The Voyage is The Way

    Too many years ago to admit to, had a couple warehouse jobs in downtown San Francisco,
    spent every (extended) lunch break in wonderful used book stores. Amassed two 'libraries'
    of boat books that got sold to dealers and helped finance my boat project of the time....

    Read a lot and forgot a lot. Zoltan follows a tradition of usually singlehanders who go to
    sea without having experience. As you know, there were many who didn't write up their
    adventure for publication. But many did, and some accomplishments in stranger craft than
    can be imagined. Very often voyages made the man (and woman), and created a unique
    genre of virtuoso literature that only sailors can appreciate. Maybe dirigible pilots, too.

    More interesting than the boat (though not to the person here) is singlehand psychology.
    Not the sponsored-athletic-brouhaha-gear-freak-team-ocean-in-the-face-sled-racing... but
    maybe exemplified in one Bernard Moitessier, who rounded 3 Capes and crossed his
    outward bound track in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Singlehanded Race,
    first around...but then mid ocean set sail for friends in Tahiti, rather than returning
    to Plymouth, sponsors, reporters, and the stink of civilization. And if he had, making
    voyaging a competitive sport, rather than what it is for many of us: The Way.
    He called it La Longue Route, 1971, translated and many reprints since. The Long Way.

    Zoltan had extraordinary luck. Not to say, we don't make our luck. He sailed thru areas
    and experiences where others lost their life. Not to say, that if you don't survive, you don't
    get to write a book.
    Or have a kind editor to spread the word !!

    (...yes, got an image of peanut butter being spread on warm toast, stove-top baked in a
    pressure cooker oven.)
    Last edited by ebb; 11-18-2016 at 08:43 AM.

  9. #9
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    The Way?

    I bought The Way from Roy.

    Did we ever determine if this The Way is Zoltan's The Way?

    Mike Stratton
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  10. #10
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    Post No way

    Here's the last note from Bob Muggelston, an author who was searching for the boat and had reviewed a couple of possibilities when I asked if he had any progress finding it:

    Hi Bill, sorry for the late reply. No, that grape died on the vine. It truly is a
    head scratcher. The hull number matches Zoltan's boat, but I had long email exchanges
    with Zoltan, who made many huge modifications to the boat, while on paper, anyway,
    maintaining that he more or less bought the boat as an amateur sailor and sailed it out
    of the harbor it was in in California, bound for the South Pacific. For instance, he
    installed a giant water tank under the cockpit sole, and significantly upgraded the rig.
    From pictures you can see he drilled many large holes to accommodate his wind vane.
    There's no evidence whatsoever of these modifications. There's just no way that all
    the surgery Zoltan did could be cosmetically removed. Which leads me to believe that
    either Zoltan was somehow confused as to the actual hull number of his boat, or that
    someone pinched the plate off Zoltan's old boat and then re-installed it on another
    white hull. After the heavy use and abuse The Way received traveling nearly around the
    world, it's entirely conceivable that it was relegated to the scrap pile somewhere.
    That someone (Zoltan) traveled so far in a Commander, with its low freeboard, huge
    cockpit and extremely limited space below still boggles my mind.

    Happy Holidays!

    -Bob

  11. #11
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    Bob here

    Hey guys, I see someone posted my previous opinion as to the possibility of it being Zoltan's boat . . . I still stand by that response. I went pretty far down the rabbit hole trying to figure out what the deal is . . . I think I traced the boat now called The Way, which has a new owner, back several owners . . . where the trail went cold. Zoltan made such huge modifications on his boat that I seriously doubt hull 266 is his old boat. Either he was confused as to his hull number (which would be a bit strange), or someone took the badge and fixed it to their own boat. Which is too bad, as I was going to write a neat story about it. For anyone who didn't see it, the story of my own Commander wintering over in Northport Harbor on Long Island was published on Scuttlebutt (I'm the editor of Points East magazine). The link is here https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2...ent-boat-left/.

  12. #12
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    Great read, Bob M, and I'm glad Good Buddy is getting looked after properly now.
    Kurt - Ariel #422 Katie Marie
    --------------------------------------------------
    sailFar.net
    Small boats, long distances...

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