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Ronnie Simpson’s New Ride

Sailor, journalist, racer, Latitude 38 contributor, delivery skipper and Iraq war veteran Ronnie Simpson recently scored, moving to the new-to-him Serendipity 43 Puffin. As Ronnie explained on his Facebook page, “About eight months after selling my Peterson 34 Quiver, I am once again a boat owner. Pretty shortly after moving to Maui in August I started looking at boats again. By about November, the hunt was really on. Eventually, my online searches led me to San Pedro, California, to look at another Doug Peterson design, a Serendipity 43.”

Serendipity 43 Puffin
We can see why Ronnie is stoked to now own the Serendipity 43 Puffin.
© 2022 Ronnie Simpson

“She needs some work but is super-cool and pretty nice, and a lot of boat for the money. Custom-finished in Santa Cruz, she is a pretty unique boat and has a way different interior from any of her sisterships. The boat also comes with a ton of sails, including a full race inventory. Basically a bigger and nicer version of my last boat, and drawn by the same designer. I’m so far super-stoked on this Doug Peterson-designed Serendipity 43 currently named Puffin. I’ll change the name, but she was known and raced as Samiko in NorCal for a long time, up until a few years ago. Still living and working in Maui and not 100% sure why I just bought a 43-ft sailboat in California, but let the adventures begin! Stoked!”

Ronnie Simpson
Does sailing, and a new boat, make Ronnie Simpson happy? You bet!

Many readers know Ronnie’s story as a wounded Iraq vet who got into sailing later in life, jumped in with both feet, and has done Singlehanded Transpacific Races and numerous other events. He now has well over 100,000 miles under his keel. His energy for new and interesting sailing boats and adventures is inspiring. We can’t help liking it when someone like Ronnie finds a cool old boat to revitalize and continue its legacy.

Serendipity 43 Puffin
The Serendipity 43 Samiko, seen here in in race mode, will be in cruise mode for the Baja Ha-Ha.
© 2022 Courtesy Dexter Bailey

We wrote to Ronnie. He explained further, “I bought the boat. I’m not entirely sure why, but I like boats. I was drawn to it, and I could afford it, and so I bought it. Because of its current location, it only made sense to me to deliver it down to San Diego and then refit it for the Baja Ha-Ha and then probably deliver it to Maui shortly afterward. I’ll have to refit the boat remotely from now until August, as I still have a good job on Maui and it is likely that I will return there in about December. I will take a summer sabbatical from work to do Pacific Cup delivery work and media work as media manager for the Pacific Cup, then a Serendipity 43 refit in September and October, then the Ha-Ha.

“As for long-term plans, I really don’t know what they are. It’s just another boat. I always have boats and I always do something with them, but the actual sailing is usually pretty different from the Day One plans. Certainly, the long-term vision involves Fiji, a place that I love and where I gave a go at making a business and life. I gave the boat a Fijian name, MatuaMai, which basically means I’m growing up or maturing. This boat choice reflects those goals. The name is also a double entendre because the boat is growing up too. It’s literally a bigger, nicer, more grown-up version of my last boat, the Peterson 34 Quiver. It was also important to me to give the boat Fijian vibes from Day One.

“She was hull #26 of 26 and was purchased out of the boatyard in Richmond as a hull and deck that was not completed. Then she was reportedly taken down to Moore’s Reef, finished between ’90 and ’92, and launched in late ’92 with her first sea trials in 1993. She has a custom interior, slightly shorter keel for cruising, etc.”

Ronnie Simpson Serendipity 43
Ronnie Simpson’s Serendipity 43 sports a unique interior with some room to cruise.
© 2022 Ronnie Simpson

“She ended up not cruising too much because the owner, Dexter Bailey, was having too much fun racing in the IOR Warhorse division in the 2000s. She raced against Infinity, Aleta, Zamazaan and others. Bailey sold the boat in 2018 and had the boat delivered down to L.A. in 2019.”

Serendipity 43
The sleek deck layout for this Serendipity 43 is one of many variations on a theme.
© 2022 Ronnie Simpson

“It sat still due to COVID and personal reasons. Now in early 2022, I have become the third owner and will certainly use the boat. I’ll be doing my first real sailing on the boat next weekend. The first adventure is to take the boat to San Diego and put it in a marina sometime around mid-April. She will stay in San Diego for a refit and then leave with the Ha-Ha.”

Like many parts of life, sailboat sales are constrained by supply-chain issues. However, there remain many good used boats available that, in the right hands, can be restored to sail again. This Serendipity 43 is in the right hands. We’ll look forward to seeing her sailing again soon and joining the Ha-Ha fleet in the fall. It sounds as if 2022 could be a 10,000-mile sailing year for Ronnie, with a good chunk of that on his sweet new ride. You can ride with Ronnie aboard SV Matuamai by following on Instagram here: @svmatuamai.


  1. Ross Angel 2 years ago

    I looked at her for some time Ronnie watched the indie film meltdown wipe out the picture biz and my search for the nxt bost… now renewed with a serious itch for an Imoca 40 the disapline required to actively sail one and race train for the route de rhum from France to Guadeloupe then bring her west for pacific cup. And a year training with the Dan Burne high point series … could be an exciting next two years … but before this insane idea creeped into my head I looked at your boat every day thinking family and in selfish thoughts bout her value as a mini globetrotter… anyway she’s a DP boat, a beautiful example from a different era unmatched in their fluidity… it’s the last boat you’ll Prbly ever get cause you’ll wind up jealousy protecting her Ronnie have fun dude
    Ross Angel

  2. Ronald Charles Harben 2 years ago

    Congratulations on your new-to-you Serendipity 43 purchase. If you need crew for the trip down to San Diego, the Baja HaHa, or the delivery back to HI; I’m available. I have done several power and sail boat deliveries up and down the West coast from the Panama Canal to Seattle. Please contact me for my resume and references. [email protected]

  3. Mark Wheeles 2 years ago

    An iconic IOR rocket in the hands of a great sailor. It will be interesting. Best of luck with MATUAMAI, Ron !

  4. Craig Brown 2 years ago

    Dear Ronnie: Enjoy your Serendipity 43, she carries a mast, boom, and other gear we replaced on mine when Bailey was originally putting her together. There is a web site for Serendipity 43s that you can add to the lore. Welcome aboard the Serendipity family. Corsair, hull #9. Of course, you could have bought mine that is sitting in St. Petersburg, FL. Craig Brown

  5. Memo Gidley 2 years ago

    Looks great Ronnie!! Have fun!

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