In the May issue of Latitude 38, we share the story of Hey Ya, an old sailboat that finds its way into the Banderas Bay Regatta.
Seven years ago I was having a beer at Vallarta Yacht Club when Ken ‘Yak’ Yachechak sat next to me. We exchanged greetings.
“Are you interested in being my partner in a boat?” asked Yak.
Always one to carefully consider big investments, I waited a few seconds before saying, “Sure!”
So began my relationship with Hey Ya, a Beneteau Oceanis 390 built in 1989. I was making a decision to purchase an almost-30-year-old boat pretty much sight unseen. What could possibly go wrong?
After years of work on the boat, including removing a staysail (who puts a staysail on a 39-ft Beneteau?) and practically rebuilding the aging Volvo Penta engine, Hey Ya was getting back to her former glory. Somewhere in there I bought Yak out. He became more interested in sailing Mike Seth’s J/145 Double Take than sailing an aging production boat that couldn’t point and had a habit of losing races, badly.
When COVID hit, I decided I was going to make lemonade out of lemons and devote a good deal of my quarantine time to Hey Ya. I did extensive rewiring, pulling out what seemed like miles of wire that wasn’t doing anything. As a retired electrical engineer, I had frequent “WTF?” moments during the project. In spite of a few compromises that still wink at me from time to time, I’m pretty pleased with the final result.
In addition to the rewire, I also contracted with a local company to re-canvas the boat and make new interior cushions. I put her on the hard, and Peter Vargas’s team at Sea Tek gave Hey Ya a new top-to-bottom paint job and thru-hulls. They worked on Hey Ya for two months, and like a lot of boat owners, I became a familiar face at the yard.
Hey Ya‘s refit-reveal was this year’s four-race Vallarta Cup in January. Holy moly, we won our division! I know that crew — and the fact that there were only three boats in our division — had a lot to do with it, but damn! A win is a win. It had to be the new paint! The question was, were we ready to tackle the Banderas Bay Regatta?
Read the rest of the story at Latitude 38.com.