What kind of boat is Sonrisa?
Sonrisa is a 1981 Valiant 40, cutter rigged sloop.
Why did you choose Sonrisa?
As a design, the Valiant 40 is known for her balance of strength and speed, her smooth sailing motion, and her ability to keep her passengers safe and sound. Rumor has it, Sonrisa has more sisters cruising the blue water than any other sailboat design; I have no way of confirming this rumor - other than to confirm that Sonrisa has had three sets of owners, and all three of them have trusted her enough to venture offshore long distances.
Sonrisa herself has a spirit you can feel from the moment you climb aboard; you know for sure she loves being at sea. Her two prior owners took careful care of her, so she was in good shape the day we bought her. Our refit focused on maintenance items that are wise to replace on a re-occurring cycle like rigging and chainplates. For a fully summary of her refit projects and costs, go to www.oddgodfrey.com/costtally.
How did you find Sonrisa?
Sonrisa was the first boat, in the first slip, behind the first broker's office we visited. We looked at a number of other boats after we first met Sonrisa, but none so beautiful, none so ready to go. She called to us. She'd been waiting for us for a couple years. Practically speaking, though, we perused www.yachtworld.com for years prior to the official boat hunt, getting an idea of price range and type of boat we liked. We read John Vigor's Twenty Used Sailboats That Will Take You Anywhere and John Kretchmer's Best Used Boat Notebook. Andrew read several articles about surveying boats, and brushed up on his knowledge of diesel engines. We started the hunt with basic parameters: the boat must be within a five hour drive of Las Vegas, priced under $125,000, blue water capable, with minimal refit required. (We wanted to sail, not restore an old boat.)
Can we have a grand tour?
Yep! Check out the blog post: www.oddgodfrey.com/oddlog/thegrandtour
Where has Sonrisa sailed before?
Sonrisa was built in Bellingham, Washington in 1981. She served as a charter boat in the Caribbean for a while - Neptune only knows what those days were like. We all know she's tough, though, so whatever those days brought to her she took it on the chin and kept sailing. The first official logs or records we have for her start in April of 1990. We believe she started her long haul sailing out of Bonaire in January of 1989. She sailed through the Panama Canal February 15, passing through her first lock at 10 a.m. that morning, tied up in the center of a fleet of six sailboats. From there, she sailed into the South Pacific, crossing as far west as New Caledonia, then looping northward through Solomon Islands, Micronesia, Japan and back to San Francisco by December of 1993. There, she was sold to her next set of owners who sailed her to Mexico and back, twice. She cast off on her second Pacific crossing in 2005, safely navigating all the way to New Zealand. Much to her chagrin, she had to be lofted onto a container ship in New Zealand and moved back to the US under another ship's power because her owners ran into health troubles. The container ship delivered her to the East Coast, and then she sailed down the Intercostal Waterway to Texas. From Texas, she was taken over land by truck to San Diego. She was put up for sail in 2010, and she waited November of 2012 for the Oddgodfreys to find her. She enjoyed escorting us through Pacific waters she knew well, and now she's very happy to be bopping around in Indonesia where her wake has never crossed before. She dreams of completing her own circumnavigation, and we hope to be able to help her achieve her goal.