"Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester when asked why he carried so much alcohol on his solo sail around the world.

ABOUT BOOTLEGGER (Peterson/Wiggers 37)

During the summer of 2010 I started looking for a boat that I could enter in the Bermuda 1 – 2 to be held in June of 2011. She had to be well built , fast, have standing headroom, have no major structural issues, affordable , be convertible to a singlehanded boat, be attractive, and most of all, fun to sail.

The first boat that I gave serious consideration to was a J/41 named “Big Red Bird.” She pretty much fit the bill, but the broker that I talked with was a real asshole. His attitude caused me to hesitate and continue looking around and that’s when I found BOOTLEGGER. Michael Decker donated BOOTLEGGER (ex. Cava) to the Maine Maritime Academy in late 2003, and she was now up for sale. The details, conversations, and photos supplied by the broker, Andrea Devereux, had me driving up to Castine, Maine on March 4, 2011. Andrea was the perfect broker for me because she let me sell myself on the boat.

Castine, ME is not a typical winter destination for most people, especially during a very harsh winter, but upon arrival, it was -4 and there was 3-4 feet of snow surrounding the boat, I surveyed the boat for 4.5 hours and put a contract her with a closing of late April. The contract was accepted and I was as happy as an 18 year old with a Victoria Secret model that’s eager to please.

Builder                 Wiggers Custom Yachts, located in Ontario, Canada

Year                       1983 (hull number 6 of 14)

Designer              Doug Peterson

BOOTLEGGER’S Principal Dimensions:

11.33 m
3.63 m
9.42 m
2.13 m
Displacement (est.)
12000 lbs
5443.11 kg
7,000 lbs
3175.15 kg
15.29 m
4.45 m (J shorter than stock boat, 15.1’, sails and SPL the same)
13.41 m
4.14 m
Sail Area
678 ft2
63 m2
299 ft2
27.78 m2
100% jib
379 ft2
32.42 m2
155% genoa
568 ft2
52.77 m2
1364 ft2
126.72 m2

Other Parameters:

PHRF Base Rating
 (PHRF-NB =102 because of a headsail and furling credit)
 (LMPHRF=93 with furling credit, 90 without)
Theoretical Hull Speed

Capsize Ratio
IMS Calculated
Limit of Positive Stability
Brewer Comfort Ratio

A musical group by the name of “Sing Me A Fiction” used BOOTLEGGER in a music video for their new release, “A Part of the Crew”. It was a fun project and I had a small cameo.

Here’s a small sampling of some of the pictures that I took while doing the March 2011 survey in Maine and that I received from the broker.

Andrea supplied these, they were taken during the fall of 2010.

I took these during my March 2011 survey. You can see frost on most everything.


·         80 amp 12 volt Balmar alternator, model 91 (SN 1132), with internal regulator

·         3 -  12volt Interstate group 29 wet cell batteries each rated at 210 ah (2 in parallel and 1 for engine starting) located under nav seat

·         Quest 30 Amp Triple Battery Cruising Charger , Amps per output: 20/5/5

·         Circuit panel with breakers


·         Universal M25 21 HP diesel

·         Fresh water cooling

·         Walter V-drive, new in 1995

·         HURTH transmission model HBW-50 (2:1)

·        PSS dripless stuffing box

·         Martec 2 blade MKIII Eliptec propeller, RH17D X  10P

·         15 gallon aluminum fuel tank (cleaned April 2011)

·         1” 316 stainless steel shaft


·         Six adjustable 6’6” pipe berths with 2” cushions (four in quarter berth area and two above settees in main cabin)

·         Two 6’6” built in settee berths with 4” cushions in main cabin with blue sunbrella lee cloths

·         Semi-enclosed head forward and to port with Wilcox Crittenden “Head Mate” toilet equipped for overboard or holding tank (12 gallons) discharge

·         Amazon/Rule manual pump for overboard discharge of holding tank

·         Galley to port with deep sink and fresh water foot pump

·        Origo 6000 2 burner stove with oven and broiler
         35 gallon rubber water tank under port settee berth

·         Ice box to starboard with a hand pump to drain any water

·         Navigation center on center line and aft of companionway with opening port to cockpit


·         Hall mast with triple spreaders (new in 1987) and rod rigging

·         Sparcraft boom with internal jiffy reefing lines with gooseneck jammers

·         Navtec  hydraulic boomvang and flattener on boom

·         Navtec System V 4 function hydraulic system in cockpit for backstay, babystay, vang, and mainsail flattener

·         Harken Mark III unit 1 roller furler and headfoil

·         Spectra main, headsail, and spinnaker halyards

·         Spectra headsail and spinnaker sheets and guys

·         Dyneema checkstays

·         4 Barient #32 3 speed self tailing winches

·         2 Barient #23 2 speed self tailing winches for checkstays

·         2 Barient #23 2 speed self tailing winches halyard, reefing, and pole lift winches on cabin top


·         Two Henderson manual bilge pumps, one in cockpit and one down below

·         Rule electric automatic bilge pump

·         Seth Thomas quartz clock and barometer

·         Weems & Plath digital barometer with trend history at nav. center

·         30 lb. Danforth anchor with chain and rode

·         12 lb. Danforth anchor with chain and rode

·         Soft wood emergency plugs for thru-hulls (engine, sink, and head)

·         8 Type I life jackets

·         ORC category 1 SOLAS flares

·         2 deck mounted horseshoe buoys with attached strobe lights, one attached to MOB pole

·         MOB pole in stern tube


·         Ockam system with electronic fluxgate compass

·         8 Ockam displays (005); 6 in cockpit and 2 at navigation center

·         Full library of Ockam function cards (allows me to change the output of the displays)

·         B & G wind sensor

·         Hawkeye D10DX depth sounder/temperature with cockpit display

·         Garmin 78 GPS integrated with Ockam instruments, VHF, and computer

·        Spare autopilots - Raymarine tiller mounted Autohelm 2000 and 800 (for light air and motoring)  autopilots

·         Standard Horizon GX2100 VHF/AIS with remote RAM3 in cockpit. Masthead and stern mounted (emergency) antennas

·         Registered ACR GlobalFix 406 EPIRB with internal GPS
ShipModul MiniPlex-41BT multiplexer

SiriusXM Weather Satellite
  •   Panasonic Toughbook with latest editions of Squid and OpenCPN



 Cottage Park Yacht Club in Boston, MA
 In Castine, ME getting ready to sail solo to Boston, MA

Boston (getting ready for shipment to St Louis)

 Notice the dog on the lift?

St. Louis (New bottom paint, most holes on deck drilled, filled, and re-drilled, battery charger installed, new ports, and a whole lot more.)

 Blocks have been moved to paint sections of hull


 That's Matthew at the top of the mast