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Thread: ZOLTAN SAILS from CALIFORNIA to GREECE

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Orinda, California
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    From the Spring 2001 Ariel Newsletter

    COMMANDER 266 IN MEDITERRANEAN

    “This boat may be a little small, but it’s incredibly strong – built in a time when sailboats were built to last.” -- zoltangyurko

    Yes, there is a Pearson Commander in a marina on a beautiful Geek Island in the Mediterranean, about four hours from Athens. It spent the last seven years sailing two-thirds the way around the world from Los Angeles, across the Pacific and through the Indian Ocean to get there. The boat was advertised for sale on eBay in May of this year.

    Some of the story of this adventure is scheduled to appear in the September 2001 Cruising World magazine. It is also to be broadcast on the Travel Channel in August. Check your local listing. The following article is taken from the posting on eBay.com. The author and skipper is Zoltan Gyurko

    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 oceans. This boat may be a little small, but its incredibly strong--built in a time when sailboats where built to last. My Pearson 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-worthiness. The boat sails marvelously.

    There's an incredibly strong customized rigging system – way oversized, almost impossible for the mast to ever come down – it consists of 13 stainless 1/4 to 5/16 inch stays: dual forestay, dual backstays, intermediate backstays, a baby stay, and your 3 traditional side stays port and starboaard.

    When I bought the boat, I did some serious upgrading to the mast before I left Los Angeles: new spreaders, new base, new masthead made extra strong. The aluminum parts of the boat (mast, boom) have some corrosion 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 thru hulls are fine--best quality rubber material I could find in California was used to connect them to the cockpit and sink drains.

    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 an unusually long cockpit with a table built in – very nice for lazing around outside. 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 and very comfortably sleeps two people (I'm over 6 feet). There are two more births that can accommodate two others if necessary.

    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.

    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.

    Reply from: Zoltan Gyurko
    Date: 18 May 2001

    Re: Commander in Mediterranean
    Everyone I've ever met has warned me about the dangers of such a large cockpit as the Commander has. But the fact is – after having been through 30 foot plus seas and being pooped a number of times – the water in the cockpit unloads itself over the rails from the motion of the boat. You have to figure if you're gonna get pooped, the water is rough. And if the weather is rough, than a 26 foot Commander is heavily rolling as a natural consequence. Thus the water simply rolls right out in a serious pooping – usually within 3-10 seconds. On top of that, if you're really cruising in your commander, you'll probably have the cockpit at least semi filled. I often kept 55 gallons (that's correct) of gasoline in the cockpit when sailing up the Red Sea. In addition to that, I had a 20 lb. aluminum propane tank and a deflated Avon, thereby reducing most of the area in the cockpit. And yes, the well in the back wall is a great drain. The biggest danger (really just a hassle) of being pooped is making sure your cockpit locker hatch covers are water tight and secured in place.
    Last edited by Bill; 10-26-2016 at 01:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Orinda, California
    Posts
    2,230
    NOTE: Zoltan wrote an article about his trip that appeared in the March 2003 edition of Sailing Magazine. As I recall it concerned pirates . . .

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