For many years, my brother, Phil, had a dream to sail around
He had to wait for his
wonderful wife, Marianne, to retire, as that had much to do with their funding
of a life at sea.
While waiting, he focused on learning everything he could
about sailing life.
Many people buy a
boat and then learn to sail.
had been different.
At ten years old, he
built his first boat.
We went to school
in a British forces school located in a former German naval base on the north
sea of Germany.
He sailed from our
school in Wilhelmshaven in northern Germany to Denmark.
Here is a picture of him at the helm after a
Then we moved to Bonn, Germany the then capitol of West
Germany. Our house was right on the
Rhein river as was the American Embassy school we attended. We watched the huge amount of traffic on the
river from our front window. We saw many
barges with families living aboard, sightseeing boats with tourists, large motorboats
with day sailors enjoying the river, and my brother in his 11’ kit Mirror sailboat he had built.
He sailed up and down the river at 13 years
old by himself and with friends among the heavy and large traffic. Here is a picture of him sailing in Germany.
When he returned to live in the U.S., he
focused his love of the sea by scuba
He started with a basic open
underwater class, eventually became an instructor, and opened his own dive
He also created an underwater film
class for PADI.
After selling the dive shop, he bought jet skis and an 18’ Hobie
Cat to again get out on the water.
did yearly trips to Lake Powell with his jet skis and rented houseboats.
He took his Hobie Cat on sailing trips to a
nearby lake and the Pacific Ocean.
Then he got serious about his dream to sail around the
world. After much research, he decided
he wanted a catamaran. He knew his wife
Marianne would be most comfortable on a cat plus wanted to share his journey
with friends and family.
So, he started researching every catamaran and their manufacturer
he could find.
He made spreadsheets of
what he was looking for and weighted his choices.
In the end he decided on a Fountaine Pajot
While a production boat, not
built for speed, it did sail well.
looked into purchase prices and calculated what it would cost to update an
older Salina and discovered that it would fit their budget.
He was getting within a couple years of
purchase when covid hit.
catamarans skyrocketed, and
all his careful planning went out the window.
It was back to the beginning.
Phil was an avid watcher of sailing videos starting with
Distant Shores. He saw a video series,
MJ Sailing, about a couple who were building their own catamaran from a kit. He revisited an idea he had previously
abandoned. Again researching, he found a
catamaran he was interested in, a Schionning Designs cat, the Solitaire 1490.
However, there were some things he wanted to
change about that model.
Schionning and they were more than happy to help fulfill his dream.
One of his many talents learned while waiting to live his
dream was 3D computer modeling. He set
about modeling his dream boat based on the Schionning design. The more he investigated the Solitaire the
more excited he became. Not only could have what he wanted in a catamaran, but the
Solitaire was an amazingly fast boat. Performance
was the one thing he wished he could have but could not find in a comfortable
reasonably priced cat. Then he found the
Solitaire; a very safe, fast, comfortable, catamaran. It was within his budget and comes from a 35-year-old
company, Schionning Designs, known for offering safe and fast catamarans.
The only problem was the daunting task of building it
himself. Luckily, his original plan for
sailing around the world included his friend Brian as XO and alternate captain.
Brian loved Phil's new plan to build a
catamaran and agreed to quit his job to
construct the boat with Phil.
In July, 2022, Phil and Marianne paid their first deposit on their semi-custom catamaran kit from Schionning. The goal is to build the catamaran in two
years or less. Schionning likes his
design so much they are giving it a new number and they think it will be a very
Phil's 3D concept model (left) was sent to Schionning and soon,
they came back with renders of the actual design model (below).
A meeting was held with the very knowledgeable
and friendly Schionning Designs team on Zoom about some changes they recommended
and some additional modifications Phil desired.
Currently Phil is waiting on the next set of
Working with Schionning is the first step on the way to
fulfilling the dream of a lifetime. He couldn't be happier.
~ My name is Rhonda. I will be joining my brother Phil, Marianne,
and Brian for long periods as they sail around the world.
If you are interested in Phil's Schionning Solitaire Catamaran,
please subscribe to our channel S/V Lynx to get notifications for our upcoming videos.
Here is a link to the S/V Lynx Youtube channel, or you may find it on the home page of the website, www.svlynx.com. You can
watch some of his dive videos while waiting for the construction and voyage videos to start coming out.