Mem Pas Peur, my first sailing boat

How I got to acquire “Mem Pas Peur” – continuation from About Me

When I received Constantin Lascu’s phone call, I was a bit undecided because I had already engaged other brokerage companies in Spain and Croatia and was waiting for their confirmation to view several boats (Elan 33, Elan 295, Etap 28i). I was in one of those moments when I thought I really knew what kind of boat I wanted to purchase and narrowed down my list of options to a couple of brand names and models that I particularly liked. And I was also very fortunate that Cristiana quietly acquiesced to let me pursue my dream of finding the “perfect” boat, perhaps hoping that it would take me months, if not years, before I would decide on something.

Constantin’s call intrigued me a lot because he told me that a French single-hander sailed from Marseille with an older 28 feet boat that was in very good condition and prepared for long single or short-handed voyages. When he further told me that Marc, its owner, had crossed the Atlantic 27 times and the Pacific 5 times and that he prepared this boat for himself to cruise on his own, I decided that I really must see it.

Mem Pas Peur
Mem Pas Peur in Tomis Marina during first visit, June 2014

And so I came to Constanta mostly interested to meet the experienced French skipper and see the work that he has done on this small boat. From the outside I was immediately impressed by “Mem Pas Peur” – the boat did not seem small at all. It was actually wide for its length which made for a spacious cockpit. Later I learned that this particular model, Kelt 8.5 that was produced by Kelt Marine between 1983 and 1987, and subsequently by Kirie (Feeling 29), was a revolutionary one at the beginning of the 1980s. Designed by a famous French naval architect, Gilles Vaton, it was one of the very first wide designs (LOA 8.5 m, width 3.06 m) that became very popular with the general public (won “Boat of the Year” award) and also much appreciated in racing competitions, winning many prizes between 1986 and 1991.

But all these facts I discovered later. For now I was fascinated how Marc took care of the smallest details and how everything on board was neatly planned and executed, from the installation of the auto-pilot and sonar systems (yes, you guessed right, the boat has 2 auto-pilots and 2 sonars!) to the perfection of the entire electric circuitry and from the general care of the Yanmar engine to the extra mounting of stanchions on fore deck for easily and safely handling the mainsail and reefing while sailing solo. Although the first time I visited Mem Pas Peur (from now on referred to as MPP for brevity) I could barely move inside due to all the gear that was spread everywhere, I could still appreciate the interior layout. The navigation desk on port side is quite big, the aft double-room is more than spacious for a 28 footer, the head compartment on starboard is fully functional with electric shower and the living room can accommodate easily 4 persons at the table while 2 can also sleep in single berths. The front V-berth is relatively small, but it is perfect for storing sails and other paraphernalia.

Mem Pas Peur
Mem Pas Peur – the extra stanchions mounted by Marc for handling easily and safely the mainsail and the storm jib stray in the foreground
Mem Pas Peur
Mem Pas Peur’s interior during my first visit πŸ™‚
Mem Pas Peur
Mem Pas Peur’s navigation desk; the electric panel is a true work of art!

The element that ultimately convinced me to purchase MPP was Marc’s passion for the boat. After the first visit I expressed my interest in MPP and decided to inspect the boat a second time, more carefully this time. When I arrived at the boat, I was quite shocked, Marc had moved out all his sailing gear (including a heavy fridge that took up a lot of space in the living room and a big dinghy from the cockpit locker), cleaned the boat and prepared a set of detailed notes that explained how everything functioned. He was very meticulous in his presentation and had the patience to go over certain aspects several times, until he was sure that I understood what I have to do. For instance he insisted thoroughly on how I should close the toilet valve after each use, half joking that I will surely sink the boat one day due to improper toilet operation πŸ™‚

Mem Pas Peur
Mem Pas Peur’s interior during my second visit!

After this second visit and after learning the story behind the name and the logo of the boat, which perhaps will be shared some other time, I became attached to MPP. I started to envision myself spending weekends with Cristiana, Tudor (our baby soon-to-be-sailor), and our friends cruising along the Black Sea coast with MPP, enjoying sunsets at anchor in Vama Veche and also exploring the Bulgarian harbours further south. A couple of days later I phoned Marc and told him that I would buy his boat.

This is how Mem Pas Peur, a small boat with big dreams built on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean 30 years ago, changed owners and readied herself for new adventures. Hopefully they will be just as glorious (ok, maybe glorious is too pompous.. let’s just say fun, safe and memorable) as her past adventures.

If you want to stay in touch, you can easily follow MPP’s (b)log. And if you are interested in taking part in some of her adventures, please let me know. I can always be reached by email or via the Contact page.

Fair winds!

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