Small picture of a Mercer 44

Mercer 44 Afterglow

Afterglow is in Houston and has been (we think) sold a couple of years back.

She was Cape Cod Shipbuilding's 7th Mercer built in 1980-81. She was initially named Silver Girl and was owned by Joe Rhodes of Connecticut and then was owned by John Jacobsen from Houston, Texas who changed her name to Afterglow. John completely refurbished and upgraded her. He removed the mizzen and converted her to a sloop with a roller furling main.

Bob Rouner bought her from John in 1996 and continues to upgrade and improve her. Bob has been with her to Mexico and Belize twice, both times returning from Isla Mujeres near Cancun singlehanded to Galveston, Texas. She is in great shape. Although Bob prefers the yawl rig and no roller furling for sailing performance, he admits that she is easy to singlehand, especially with her electric Lewmar winches. He put a new Westerbeke 42 in in 1997. She has a two piece full deck awning (it is hot there), dodger, bimini with backflap, Entec generator, Grunert refrig/freezer, air conditioning, radar, new DC control panel, Trace inverter, Icom SSB, Autohelm instruments and autopilot, Sailomat selfsteering gear, Lewmar windlass, etc.. Bob says she is really beautiful and stands out in the area.

Bob noticed in reading some of the news from the other Mercers that several owners have gone to smaller jibs. He got a new 90% jib last year to make it a little easier to beat across those square waves in the Gulf of Mexico.

In 2002, Bob took some time off to sail Afterglow. He left Houston on April 1 and sailed with a buddy to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. After a week there, he singlehanded to Chubb Cay, down to Georgetown, out to San Salvador, and on to Antigua. Wow! She is in St. Lucia now, and he will be leaving there shortly and cruising down to Venezuela for the remainder of the hurricane season. He sent allong a picture of her anchored in the Tobago Cays which is below. With the trades blowing steady since Antigua, he has often flown only the 90% jib, no main, and made between 6.2 and 6.8 knots cracked off the wind a little, under selfsteering gear. With rare exception, Afterglow is the queen of the anchorage everywhere. Often, either entering or leaving a harbor, he gets a call on the VHF from an admirer wanting to know what she is, and when we meet someone it is often "oh, you're the guy on the pretty sailboat."

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