Where to start…

November 2022, Mike casually mentions we should buy a boat…I roll my eyes and redirect the conversation. How nonsensical, we know nothing about boats, never owned one, let alone an ocean-going vessel built to circumnavigate the globe????

Unbeknownst to me Mike had been researching for months and JMYS, Jeff Merrill, was the go-to person with extensive experience and a stellar reputation in the industry.  Jeff recommended we connect with one of his brokers and within a month we had a zoom call set up with Rob Piwowarczyk and his wife Deanna to give us some sense of the trawler life.

Following that call, I “drank the kool-aid” and committed to co-invest with Mike in this grand adventure.

Rob was endlessly patient in answering questions, providing an experienced sounding board, market comparables etc. with absolutely zero pressure to close. We were convinced we were looking for a Nordhavn given our range requirements, yet the availability and pricing made this a challenging find.

In the Spring of 2023 Rob had an off-market trawler that suited our criteria.  We closed on the purchase of our 66’ 1991 Cheoy Lee at the end of June 2023.  Rob’s attention to detail, recommendations on survey professionals was critical in understanding the scope of work to be undertaken to retrofit the boat for our intended purposes.

By the end of 2023 we were ready to embark on our grand adventure, with more than 50 hours completed with our training Captain and upgrades to navigation, mechanical and electrical systems.  In 5 months we have taken the boat more than 5,000 miles from Marina del Rey down the Pacific Coast, through the Panama Canal (with 13 people on board) and up to Jacksonville FL where we are having some further work completed in anticipation of a Northern crossing to Europe in July 2025.

We are living the dream and our desire to bring our extensive global network of friends and family together to join us by “hopping-on, hopping-off” is now a reality.

All of this made possible by Rob, whom we now consider a friend.

We hold Rob in the highest regard for his professionalism and his continued support of what many people considered a “hair-brained/half-baked” venture. Dream big and make your dreams a reality, grand adventures await.

Cynthia Thomas and Michael Surratt – 66′ Cheoy Lee – Golden Days

66’ Cheoy Lee