Small picture of a Mercer 44

Mercer 44 Odyssey

Odyssey was Cape Cod Shipbuilding's 4th Mercer built in 1968. She was initially named Rondina and was owned by the Goodwins who own the boatyard. She was sold to Bob and Claudia Theising of Essex Connecticut and was renamed to Minx. She was bought from them by the Watson family who renamed her to "Odyssey". We are thrilled with her sailing performance, love her dearly, and think her lines, appointments, and class are 2nd to none.

Lately we have moved the mainsheet sheet out of the cockpit to a traveler on the doghouse which is a huge improvement. Not only has it made the cockpit safer for the passengers but it has improved or ability to sheet the main in close. We have also added a new windlass which we love. But the best change we've made to her recently is moving to a 80% jib from our 115%. It had allowed us to sheet it home on inboard tracks which has increased our pointing significantly. We assume that her performance in light winds has suffered but we've not seen any significant changes. Certainly her pointing and upwind speeds in any but the lightest breeze has been greatly improved.

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Date Description

No big adventures in Odyssey this year. We did take a nice cruise with Tim, Ro, Gray, and Nancy down to the Elizabeth Islands in Buzzards bay. We had 2 days of 25 knots of wind which was a bit much but everyone did fine. Lots of daysails with friends and family.

This winter Odyssey is getting a new Yanmar engine replacing her original Westerbeke and we are also considering finally putting a Navigation Station in place of our current quarterberth / junk storage. Looking at designs and layouts for the area. We are also moving the jib sailtrack 8" aft, reworking the dorade boxes, and repainting the hull and cockpit.


Gray and Nancy Watson took Odyssey on her yearly voyage North. After some shifty winds on the other side of the Cape Code Canal, we sailed through a pod of whales after passing Provincetown. A little (~25ft) Minkey whale swam with us for 20 minutes or so with tales, flukes, spouts, and loud breathing noises to windward. Fabulous.

NE breeze keep us a little East of our rumline and when we arrived off of Monhegan and tacked to motorsail down East, we started to notice a different sound coming from the engine transmission. Turns out that we were losing and then lost a bearing in the reduction gear of our Westerbeke engine so all we could use the engine for was charging batteries. We were becalmed for 18-24 hours near Matinicus Rock and lashing the dinghy alongside as a tender and towing from the front were difficult due to the rolling and other boat motion. Finally the SW wind, which had been forcasted for 2 days, came up so we sailed down past Frenchborough through dense fog and made it to Mt. Desert. The wind finally failed us there but it was calm enough so lashing our little dink alongside with our trusty Honda 4hp outboard gave us an impressive 2.8 knots and got us the rest of the way into Southwest Harbor and the Hinkley boat yard. Although parts for the old engine are very scarce (please email me if you know of the location of an old model 4105) it turned out that Gordon Goodwin from Cape Cod Ship had one so the part was overnighted up and swapped in.

Nancy continued her cruise with Peter and Chris Randolph for a week ending up in Damariscotta River at our friends the Florys. Rob was planning to join Gray and Nancy on the way back down to Marion but leg problems kept him sidelined.

Nancy and Gray took off from Maine on Sunday morning with 25-30 knots from the SW -- right in the face. The wind stayed strong for at least 36 hours making us sail 230nm to go 109nm on the chart. Aside from some leaking around the hatches and the dorade boxes (both which will be rebuilt over the winter), the boat handled well. Most of the time we ran with just the jib and saw consistantly above 7 knots with a high of 8.4. We had to sleep for a couple of hours in Province Town to time the canal and then made it back to Marion Tuesday midday. What a sail!

On the way out to the boat to head to Maine, I snapped some pictures of Winsome. When we stopped in Manset harbor in the Hinkley yacht basin, I took a couple of Wandering Aengus.


Gray Watson was relocated up to Lexington, MA in 1999. For this reason Odyssey was launched early in the season and they enjoyed a number of day sails around Buzzards Bay in June and July.

In August, Gray, Andrew, and Nancy Watson took her through the Cape Cod Canal and North on her annual trip to Maine. The voyage was bittersweet due to the fact that it was the first year without our father Charles, who died in January. Had beautiful weather up in the Maine with challenging winds and the usual fog and Maine navigation excitement. Met up with Chris and Hillary Crowley aboard their Mercer Wandering Aengus in Southwest Harbor and had a great time swapping war stories about our babies.

We went as far Down East as Roque (sp?) Island and had some great sailing. Additional crew support from Ritu Thamman (Andrew's wife) and Peter Randolph who helped Gray and Nancy sail her back from Mount Dessert back to Marion, MA. On the way home achieved 8.3 knots in the middle of Cape Cod Bay (sic) with 15 knots apparent off the quarter with 3-4ft waves.

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