Written by Justin Scott

Well this story took a new twist. Ten Days ago we reported that Viper #34 which was missing from our roster turned up on Lake Michigan. The owner told us that he was the original purchaser of the boat new and had sailed it every season (often single handed).  We were thrilled to hear from him and told his story of another “missing” Viper rejoining the fold in the article below. We invited him to meet up with Brian and Paul at the Chicago Boat Show and catch up on old times. Read the original article and what happens next.

Missing Viper Shows up on Lake Michigan

The growth of the class over the last two years has been fueled by new boats arriving from Rondar but occasionaly we still get calls from the owners of older boats that have been missing from our roster.

In December we found Viper # 15 which had been languishing in a garage on Long Island, unused for 6 years. #15 is now happily ensconced with the new Fishers Island Sound Viper fleet where she will see many active years of duty.

This weekend I recieved an email from the owner of Viper #34 which has been missing from our roster. Far from languishing, this boat is beloved by its owner and has been sailing every season since purchased new. I enclose his reply to my email because I think it captures the joie de vivre of sailing the Viper even if you don’t race.

”  I bought my boat #34 at the Strictly Sail show on Navy Pier in Chicago in 1997.  I’ve had 12 wonderful summers sailing on Lake Michigan.  I don’t race – just love to sail it.  Often single handed.

I will surely drop by to see you all at the Boat Show in two weeks.

Jon ”

STOP PRESS

Jon met up with Paul and Brian at the 2009 Strictly Sail Show at Chicago, 12 years after he bought his first Viper. He walked round the new Rondar Viper #99, cast his critical eye over the carbon mast, the sealed bow sprit, the new keel bulb molding and the other small refinements that Rondar have made.

Brian  “What do you think of the changes eh Jon ?  We’ve preserved all that’s best of the Viper but tweaked some improvements in build and boathandling. There is nothing that will make your boat uncompetitive once you’ve upgraded to the carbon mast.

Jon (Looking at the spin blocks)  “Hmmmm”

Paul  ” We moved the spin blocks forward. It makes gybes easier and faster. Its a 15 minute job to retrofit to your boat”

Jon (in understated Mid-Western way)  “Yup. I’ll take her”

Brian “I beg your pardon?”

Jon “I’ll buy her. The first boat has been very good to me but its been twelve years. Its time I treated myself to a new one”

Paul  “just like that?”

Jon (Pausing for thought) ………. ” I expect I can pick her up after the show. It’ll save you driving it home”

So the news is that Jon is the proud owner of #99. This means that #34 is for sale. Jon’s boat has been very well maintained and cared for. He would prefer it to go to a Chicago/Lake Michigan location so that this boat can help growth of Vipers in the Mid West. (Please call Brian for details).

Oh and Congratulations to Jon, who is both the longest standing Viper owner in the Class Association (we recieved his check last week) and until the next container the owner of the newest Viper in North America.