Site icon Eagle Seven Sailing

The Boat

S/Y Sundance36′ Morris Justine

Sundance is a product of Maine. She was designed by Chuck Paine in Camden and built by Morris Yachts in Southwest Harbor. Paine’s design is called the Justine and Sundance is Hull #28.

She’s our home! Less than 200 Square feet of living space, but the yard is pretty amazing.

Line Drawings




Our Dinghy

Heidi t/t Sundance

Builder: David Birch

Designer: Steve Redmond

Design Name: Tetra

Guide to construction by Tom Hill:

I wrote an essay about our tender for Points East Magazine:

The Little Red Boat That Could
Points East Magazine
June 2021

Back in 1999, my father built a rowboat. He named her after his granddaughter Heidi, who was born the same year.  The boat has provided excellent service for our family and especially for me. I calculate she has been towed and rowed over 35,000 nautical miles, a distance equal to 1.41 trips around the globe at the equator. She is eager for more. At 22 years young, she is just now entering her prime.

All the memories she’s provided drift back to me when I have her up on sawhorses for paint in the spring. Most prominently featured are the hours spent transfixed by her dance on the tow line. She skips along back there mile after mile in the random chop, always doing her best to catch up. Weeks, maybe months, of my life have been spent contently gazing upon this happy futility.

The boat was built to a Steve Redmond design called Tetra. Tom Hill’s helpful book, Ultralight Boat Building, details a technique for constructing her out of plywood and hardwood. My father chose Okoume plywood, 6-mil for the planking and 12-mil for the bottom and transom. The rails, keel, skeg, stem, breasthook, quarter knees, frames and seats were cut from Honduran mahogany. A handsome pair of spruce wide blade spoons with mahogany inlaid tips were provided by Shaw & Tenney for power.

I remember taking my coffee for a slow row and drift around Long Cove on Vinalhaven Island one silent morning. Margaret Wise Brown’s famous bedroom window from her children’s book Goodnight Moon came in and out of view through the fog. As did the tops of the trees surrounding the harbor and the tops of the masts in it. When the fog suddenly lifted, color flooded over everything. I rowed back toward the smells of frying eggs and bacon surrounded by the clearest, brightest Maine morning I had ever been a part of.

At only 44 pounds, Heidi’s no Ever Given and will never be stuck for long in any canal. Two people can carry her easily. In a pinch, one person can manage her on a shoulder alone. (I’ve been in exactly that pinch many times.) Thanks to her significant skeg and a narrow transom at the waterline, she tracks well under oar and rides light and straight on the towline. A low sheer line and graceful overhangs deliver a boat that rows like a dream and is pleasing to the eye. It also delivers a boat that is small for her 9’8’’ LOA. What she gains in performance and displacement, she gives back in load carrying capacity. She’s an ideal boat for a rower and a dog.

One powerful row down and back the length of Lake Tashmoo stands out. With Bill the dog settled in and still on the aft seat, my rowing rhythm settled in to match and we found ourselves in a rare groove. Every stroke sent us surging faster across the flat water. The big spoons snapping from feathered at the catch, grabbing water and tossing us forward in perfect balance stroke after stroke. If the dog so much as twitched his tail, all would have been lost. But he stayed impossibly still and we remained at the apex of balance and speed for an epic ride.

In the rowboat’s early days, a human passenger made any journey into a bit of a slog. When so loaded, she trimmed decidedly down in the stern and freeboard aft became precariously low. Add some chop, and the calmness of a slow row with a passenger was displaced by the angsty possibility of sinking. I eventually addressed this shortcoming with an expansion of the center bench and the addition of a second rowing station 16 inches forward of the original. She trims out nicely in her new configuration and ferrying a crew member now involves a good deal less bailing.

The obligatory morning row to the beach is one of the many advantages of sailing with a dog. A recent summer sunrise found us anchored off of Camp Island in Merchant Row, decadently situated between Maine’s Penobscot and Jericho Bays. The water here is clear and the beaches are very fine. It’s the sort of spot that begs to be explored by oar.

“Hop in Bill,” I said, “No time to waste. The boat needs a row.”

S/Y Sundance

Maintenance History


New Weems and Plath clock & barometer

New Yanmar engine instrument/key switch panel

New Standard Horizon VHF/AIS w/cockpit remote

New engine shift, throttle and kill cables

New Edson single lever engine shifter

New Yanmar engine raw water pump (Old one rebuilt and kept as a spare)

New Yanmar starter motor (Old one rebuilt and kept as a spare)

New Yanmar alternator (Old one rebuilt and kept as a spare)

New wheel leather and dodger grab bar leather

New engine driven cabin heater

New salt water washdown pump, hoses and sea strainer

New cockpit shower

New stereo

New bedding

New cabin accent pillows

New 200’  x 5/16’’ BBB anchor chain


New fenders and fender covers

New Cockpit locker fobs

Rebed deck prisms

Rebed side deck scuppers

Rebed chain plates

Rebed teak grabrails  (Grabrails stripped and varnished off the boat)

All exterior teak stipped and refinished with 4 coats of Cetol topped with 4 coats of Epifanaes.  Varnish is maintained with a 2 coats every 6 months schedule.


New Bimini

New VPC running rigging:

  • Main halyard
  • Genoa halyard
  • Spin halyard
  • Main sheet
  • Jib sheets
  • Jib car control lines
  • Traveller control lines
  • Roller furling
  • Boom vang
  • Topping lift
  • Reefing lines

All new Ray Marine electronics:

  • Chart plotter/GPS in new pod at helm
  • Dopler Radar
  • Autopilot
  • Depth, Speed, Wind

3 New DC outlets for phone chargers

New SeaFrost DC refrigeration system

New canvas pedestal cover

New handheld VHF

New handheld GPS


New teak helm step

LED running lights

New North Sails fully battened mainsail and mainsail cover

New North Sails 135 genoa

3 new 100 watt sunwear solar panels

3 new Northstar AGM batteries  (2 @ group 31, 1 @ group 27)

New fire extinguishers

New anchor windlass

New cabin lights in fwd state room


New Sextant

Engine rebuild:

New pistons and rings

New connecting rods w/ new bearings at both ends

New injectors

New valves and valve seals

New exhaust elbow

New exhaust hose

New belts

New hoses

New heat exchanger core

New oil cooler core

New engine mounts

New Racor 500 fuel filter

New toilet

All new head hoses and Y-valve

New Bomar overhead opening hatch in salon and fwd stateroom

New fuel tank vent line

New engine raw water intake hose and clamps and sea strainer

New Jonbouy man overboard inflatable horseshoe and pole


All new standing rigging and turnbuckles

New Harken roller furler

New LED masthead anchor/tricolor light

New steaming light

New VHF antenna

New Raymarine wind transducer

New Windex

All new mast wiring

New Edson leather spreader boots

New custom Forespar aluminum/carbon whisker pole w/ mast mount storage

Addition of second VPC Spin halyard

New cockpit drain hoses

New Force 10 three burner stove/oven

New propane line from locker to stove

New Propane solenoid and regulator and sniffers.

New steering cable and chain linkage


Strip bottom paint, barrier coat and paint

New radar backstay mount

New lifelines

New Raymarine Axiom Pro Chatplotter/Radar display

New Victron battery monitor

New iPad at nav station for Victron display and Ray Marine MFD repeater.

3 new aluminum propane bottles

3 new group 31 Northstar AGM batteries  (Replacing on a three year schedule.)

New Maine Point fender covers


New Spectra Cape Horn 18 GPH water maker

New Yanmar 3JH40 diesel engine w/ new transmission

New built on engine oil change pump

Engine N2k network to RayMarine MFD

New engine shaft

New cutlass bearing

New PSS shaft seal

New Max Prop (Old one kept as spare)

New engine shift and throttle cables

New custom 33 gallon aluminum fuel tank

New Maretron tank gauge system for fuel, and both water tanks

New fresh water system including all hose, faucets, pump & filtration system

New fresh water foot pump in galley and head

New sink and counter top in head

New rain water collection system

New Viking 4-man RescYou Pro life raft

New ACR ditch bag

4 new inflatable life jackets / harness

New flare kit


New custom knife block with hidden magnet

New dodger with new fly to Bimini

New RayMarine AIS transceiver

New Manual bilge pump with all new hose.

New electric bilge pump with all new hose and float switch

New high water alarm & pump complete w/ new hose and float switch

New mainsheet blocks

New mainsheet and jib sheets


New custom drawer for tools at nav station

New cutting board for galley sink cap

New custom toilet pump handle

New house bank batteries: Lithium batteries- 3 @ Battleborn 100AH

New Engine start battery: Odyssey AGM Group 31

2 additional new 100 watt sunwear solar panels (Total of 5 for 500 watts)

Improve Bimini top solar arrangement

Add spinnaker/furling line winches – 2 @ Barrient 19ST

New anchor chain – 180’ of 5/6’’ G4

New anchor – Rochna 25 (55lb)

New North Sails 100% jib

New North Sails mainsail w/ 3 reef points and full battens

Replace cockpit scupper drain deck fitting elbows

New Harken traveller car

2 additional propane bottles for a total of 5.

Custom pushpit propane canvas storage sleeve for additional bottles above

New Radar dome: Raymarine Doppler2

New cockpit shower – Whale twist hot and cold

New roller-furling line

New paper charts for entire East Coast plus  Bahamas plus Bermuda & Azores

New Navionics chart chip for east coast plus Bahamas

New C-map chart chip for Bahamas

New Custom oar storage bag for both primary and back-up oars


Engine raw water pump

Engine raw water pump impellers

Engine fuel and oil filters – 8 of each

Engine belts

Steering cable/chain linkage

Engine shift & throttle cables

Autopilot – complete with all components

Rule bilge pump (2)

Rule float switch (2)

Solar panel controller

Solar panel plug ends both male and female

LED running lights fwd and aft

Windlass controller

Windlass – complete

Toilet pump

Toilet pump handle (Custom)

Toilet rebuild kit

Propane regulator

Propane solenoid and controller

Fresh water pump

Fresh water foot pump

Saltwater wash down pump

Saltwater wash down hose

Saltwater wash down quick connect fitting

O-rings for above

Water filter elements

Water maker spares kit

Water maker replacement filters

All light bulbs & fuses

Halyards and sheets


Life Jacket cartridges

Max Prop



Dinghy garboard plug

Boarding ladder stand-off pads




Routine maintenance:

Prep and apply 2 coats of exterior varnish every 6 months

Change engine oil and filter every 250 hrs

Change fuel filters every 500 hrs

Change engine raw water pump impeller every 500 hrs

Change Max-Prop zinc every 2 months

Regular interior and exterior cleaning

Service winches, prop and steering system once a year

Hard sand prep and apply 2 coats of Interlux Micron CSC bottom paint once a year

Diver to scrub bottom once between annual bailouts for paint

Wax boat every 6 months (Topsides, smooth parts of cockpit, house and deck)

Varnish cabin sole every other year

Replace sails every 30K miles

S/Y Sundance – Fuel Chart

Fuel capacity:  33 Gal.  Conservative Range @ .8 gal/hr:  41 hrs or 205 miles @ 5 knots

Yanmar 3JH40  Eng. #: E10755  Transmission: KM35A2 Ratio: 2.64:1

Engine oil: Shell Rotella-T 15W40   Transmission fluid: Straight 30 weight engine oil

 Oil filter: Yanmar: 119305-35170  

Fuel filter:  Prime: 121857-55710-2    Secondary: 129A00-55800-HD

Impeller: 129670-42610  Belt: 129675-42280

Mack Boring: (908) 964-0700

Date     Hour Meter Hours Run         Gallons added           Gal/hr 

2014 – 2020 N/A 1026.5   691.3           .67

New Yanmar 3JH40 engine installed 2021

2021: 202.9 202.9 119.6 .59



S/Y Sundance 

Storage Plan 

1. Aft hanging locker 

Small hand tools 

Dewalt drill and saw 


Misc. electrical supplies 



Refrigerant supplies and tools 

Sewing kit 

Ditch bag (Passports, EPIRB, VHF)

Anchor bag

Foul weather gear

2. In Chart table 



Ships papers


Eye glasses / Sun glasses

3. Under Chart table 

Engine filters, supplies & spares 

4. Under Galley sink 

Water filter spares 

Filter wrenches 

Dish towels

Spare dish and hand soap

5. Low between engine and aft hanging locker 

Dorade caps 

Prop & hull zincs 

Max Prop spares

Wooden plugs 

6. Under Port Settee 

Rule 800 Bilge pumps
Rule Super Switch float switch
Toilet rebuild kit
Toilet pump – complete
Propane solenoid, regulator & controller Windlass controller & Solenoid
Battery Switch

Solar panel plugs
Oar locks & garboard plug for tender Boarding ladder stand-off pads 

Manual bilge pump rebuild kit

Steering cable/chain linkage Misc. 

RayMarine cables 

Barient winch parts

Blocks of wood

Solar panel regulator

Elec. & foot fresh water pumps

Running lights

7. Under Stb Settee 

Water maker spares and parts 

Shift & throttle cables 


Replacement faucets

Misc. small parts – bulbs, etc.

Misc. plumbing supplies 

Hose clamps

Force 10 stove spares 

O-rings and rubber gasket supplies

8. Outboard of stb settee seat backs 

Aft: Paint locker: Varnish & sandpaper, etc.

Fwd: Life Jackets & Harness tethers

9. Outboard of port settee seat backs 

Aft: food

Fwd: blankets

10. Salon stb fwd locker


AC Heater


11. Salon stb aft locker

Dog food & supplies


Dinghy cable lock & oar clamp

12. Salon port fwd locker


13. Salon port aft locker

Cleaning and waxing supplies

14. Outboard of toilet in head 

Spare toilet pump & spare handle

Spare foot pump

1st Aid Kit

15. Below floorboard in fwd cabin 

Spare Depth/Speed/Temp transducer 

16. Below seat in fwd cabin 

Behind seat-back: sockets and wrenches

Below seat: large hand tools

17. V-berth footwell port low 

Extra cleaning supplies & trash bags

18. V-berth footwell stb. low 

Rain boots

19. Below V-berth fwd. low 

Spare anchor windlass

20. Aft cockpit locker 

Dock lines

Spare lines

Spare hose

21. Port cockpit locker 


Fender board

Scrub brush


22. Stb cockpit locker 

Cockpit seat and cushions

Swing seat

Wine & beer


23. Under autopilot at steering quadrant

Spare Autopilot 

Exit mobile version