Ciprian Popica - Sailing To Discover The World


sv Anastasia is a 28 feet Pearson Triton built in 1960. I purchased her from my friends Kostya and Elena. She was my home for two years from 2016 to 2018.

The Story

This was back in 2015 in the Thanksgiving day, when I was back on a cruise ship for one more contract. At that time I already had nearly two years living full time aboard my first sailboat, a Grampian Marine 26. Is a funny story on how I purchased that boat too, but in a later blog article and a video. Since I decided that I want to sail around the world, I wanted to change the sailboat I had. So I texted my friends and neighbors at the Miami Yacht Club, if they know about a sailboat for sale. My friends were Kostya and Elena, living aboard next to my boat.

I told them that I want a full keel sailboat with an inboard Diesel, no bigger than 30 feet. I knew and liked Anastasia as she used to be their first liveaboard sailboat. They told me Anastasia is for sale if I want to buy her. We spoke about the price ( $6000 ) and asked them if I can make monthly payments since I didn’t had all the money. We agreed on that and that is how I ended up moving aboard a new sailboat. New to me, as she was built in 1960.

The Sailboat

Anastasia was a liveaboard sailboat for a family of three. My friend Kostya fixed her the best he could and she was not at all in a bad condition. But clearly she was not prepared for ocean sailing. To be honest many fellow sailors told me she is not ready for any kind of sailing. I thought I should listen to them as they had more experience than me. Turns out I was wrong and if I knew that I would probably be onboard even today. Instead I always waited to prepare her the best I could.

Since my only way of making money was to go back on cruise ships, every time I was back aboard after months away, I had to start all over every single time. The money I was saving had to keep me and my expenses for six months, the time I was allowed to stay in US each year on my tourist visa. Sadly I never had the chance to prepare her for some serious offshore sailing as I wanted to. But she did proved me that she is a small but solid boat during my first 1000 miles solo voyage to Cuba and a bit more.

Pearson Triton

I knew about Pearson Triton sailboats from James Baldwin’s voyages aboard his sailboat Atom. He made me fall in love with the design.

This was the first boat other than dinghy, built by Pearson Yachts in 1959 ( cousins Clint and Everett Pearson ) and one of the most successful as they would build more than 700 hulls. I may be wrong, but if I’m not mistaking, I think Pearson Triton was one of the first fiberglass sailboat designs.


Designer: Carl Alberg,
Hull Type: Long Keel,
Rigging Type: Fractional Sloop,
LOA: 28.33 ft / 8.63 m,
LWL: 21.50 ft / 6.55 m,
Beam: 8.25 ft / 2.51 m,
Draft (max): 3.92 ft / 1.19 m,
Displacement: 6,930 lb / 3,143 kg,
Ballast: 3,019 lb / 1,369 kg,
Construction: Fiberglass ( solid laminate ),
Ballast Type: Lead.

The Pearson Triton sailboat originally came with an Atomic 4 gas engine of 30hp made by Universal. Aboard Anastasia I had a 16hp Yanmar Diesel 2GM20F. It was more than enough for my needs and worked just fine.

I did had some issues with the belt on the water pump and I had to change it about three times in the 1000 miles I made ( not always motoring ). I also had to tighten up the belt multiple times while motoring when there was no wind.

Sailboat Design

On a first look I can clearly see that she was originally designed as a weekend family cruiser. But it turns out she can do a lot more. From my experience aboard Anastasia, one thing I liked was that she seems really stable in heavy winds. I had to go through two not very pleasant storms and I felt comfortable.

Well prepared I think the Pearson Triton can make a really nice offshore cruiser. Down bellow in the cabin there is enough place especially for a single person. For longer passages there would be enough space for storage. With a few modifications on the interior that I had in mind, she would become the perfect sailboat for me. Sadly I didn’t had the chance to do that.

Anastasia was not prepared for offshore passages. The rigging was about ten years long and a little rusty, the sails were also old but they did great in strong winds. As equipment aboard, all I had was a Deep Sounder and an old GPS that I kept aboard as a backup. For navigation I used Navionics on my phone, that was also my video camera. There was also a VHF radio aboard, but it didn’t work as the coax cable going to the antenna was broken. Instead I used a cheap VHF – UHF Baofeng that I programed for the VHF marine channels.

There was no windvane or autopilot aboard. I did had self steering using the sheet to tiller method. I had to make constant changes and adjustments though, as the wind was constantly coming and going. During the storms was not so easy, as the sheet to tiller method didn’t quite work in strong wind. There was not enough strength in the bungie chords. For the second storm I had to stay at the tiller almost 48 hours, that meant no sleep either. But I loved every second of it and I was sailing fast, comparing to the usual speed.

Anastasia In Varadero - Cuba ( 2018 )


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