Stanley Paris: Not Ready to Fold

Published on November 29th, 2017

They say third times a charm, but that rule may not apply to Stanley Paris. Now 80 years old, Paris is eager to make up for his first two failed efforts to become the oldest person to ever sail non-stop and solo around the globe. So far, not so good.

After departing on November 18 from St Augustine, Florida, he reported on November 23 how a number of problems would require him to stop in Bermuda on November 24. His to-do list for the French designed Finot Conq 53 includes:

• Main auto pilot over works and squirrels the boat. Different settings do not seem to help.

• Losing battery power fast despite three hydrogenators down. Last voyage just one down was usually enough to keep up the batteries. Three down makes three vulnerable to damage.

• Clearly there is a battery drain. Noticed this in the day or two before I left such that when shore power was off batteries depleted fast. We have to find reason.

• Electrical short on cockpit B&G display – can’t touch control knob without getting a shock. Also, it won’t turn off.

• Secondary autopilot failed and for a time both were inoperable causing boat to do an accidental jibe – light winds no harm done.

• New refrigeration unit (other failed before departure) overheating and too hot to touch. Will lose most/all frozen meats.

• Finally noticed two days ago the water ballast tanks do not hold the water, it simply drains across to the lower tank. Also, can’t dump water from port tank. This will handicap me in strong winds and limit how much sail I can carry.

“It is unfortunate that setting a record of a non-stop from St. Augustine to St. Augustine, my home and the oldest city in the United States will not now be possible,” said Paris. “However, the principle records I am challenging remains the same – to be the oldest to solo circumnavigate and a second to break the record of Dodge Morgan from Bermuda back to Bermuda in 150 days, 6 hours and one minute.”

Paris hopes to start again on December 2 or 3.

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