It was during the St. Pete Boat Show of December, 2011 that Katy and I met Michael Eldridge. He was in the US Air Force and I was an Airline Pilot. We met on a new 2011 Jeanneau Yacht when he asked me if I could help him find his first Sailing Vessel and teach him and his wife to sail. She was still serving our country over seas and he wanted to surprise her with their first Sailboat. I recall thinking to myself almost five years ago,“Maybe he would buy a new Jeanneau from me…down the road.” In addition to being at MF displays, look for our welcoming booth at St. Pete Boat ShowIn less than a week, we were able to achieve his first sailboat goals with a near perfect 2007 Catalina 309 that was so clean that you could eat sushi right off the bottom of the bilge. We made an offer that was accepted and by the end of the month he and his wife, just home from overseas, were proud sailboat owners.

Michael and Zonna, I recall, were a little overwhelmed during our sail from downtown St. Pete to Clearwater Marina. My twin brother, Richard, and I had so much fun teaching them the basics of sailing that day. I suggested that if they wanted to St. Pete Boat Show really learn fast that they should join the Dunedin Boat Club and get into racing with their C309 “Amber Waves.” They did, and over the years they learned the ropes and how to sail her fast.

We stayed in touch over the past five years visiting me at boat shows every year and when it was time to grow into a larger new Jeanneau 389, they again took my advice and visited both the Catalina factory (with me along) and the US Jeanneau factory. They were amazed at the advancements Jeanneau Yachts had made in the way sailboats were made over and beyond the competition.

They saw the tremendous value in the manufacturing process each Jeanneau Yacht benefits from and decided that they simply had to have the best!

Not long ago, in Annapolis, Maryland, Michael saw his dream of owning a brand new 2017 Jeanneau yacht become a reality – “Sea View Play”. He and his lovely wife, Zonna, are now a part of the Jeanneau family as well as the Atlantic Cruising Yachts family. They, like many happy ACY Jeanneau owners, have taken advantage of our Business Yacht Ownership® program and will join the Sailing Florida Yacht Charter Base at the Venoy Marina Resort in downtown St. Petersburg, owned and operated by my friend Capt. Dave Amman and his professional team of captains and ASA instructors.

It has been such a fantastic journey to watch as Michael and Zonna have grown into the sailors they are today. Please help me congratulate my friends, Michael and Zonna, for seeing their yachting dreams achieved.

And, by the way, if you wish to charter their brand new 2017 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 389 (Swing Keel!), you can find her in St. Pete after Zonna sails “Sea View Play” from Annapolis all the way to St. Petersburg. I couldn’t be more proud of Michael and Zonna!

Published On: September 4, 2017Categories: Business Yacht Ownership, Charters, Richard Fachtmann, Yacht Sales


  • Dauntless on the Bay

  • My corroded keel bolt nuts – How to fix!

  • REFIT IN 2019 – 1998 TAYANA 55 Yacht For Sale in Florida