In 1986, our family, Evelyn, Dave, and our son Alex, were looking for a hobby that all could participate in. We had tried flying after Evelyn completed her private pilot license course. Unfortunately, renting airplanes became more expensive and buying one seemed out of the question. A similar fate befell mobile home camping, after we explored the purchase and upkeep of a motor home.

One day we stopped at the Sailboat Shop off I-35 in San Antonio, Texas. There we saw a Capri 14.2 foot day sailor made by Catalina Yachts. The price was right and the adventure began. Over the next year we took the boat to two lakes in Central Texas, Canyon Lake near New Braunfels and Medina Lake southwest of San Antonio. We had a great time and wanted more time on the water. So we purchased a Catalina 22 Sloop, which we arranged to put at a slip on Canyon Lake.

We decided that this craft must be christened with a proper name, but what would that be. Alex suggested XANDER. He was in kindergarten at the time. When one of the teachers had asked him for his middle name, he had told them it was Xander, the second half of Alexander. Actually, Alexander is his middle name; his first is David. Alex thought Xander was an excellent name for a boat, so XanderYachts was born. We decided to call our Catalina 22 XANDER II, recognizing that our Capri had actually been the first in the series. We enjoyed three years of weekends sailing and working on XANDER II. She was a very exciting and as we learned forgiving boat.

In 1991, we transferred to the Annapolis, Maryland, area. We found XANDER II to be a little small for the Chesapeake. We had the opportunity to buy a Beneteau First 310 club racer, which we christened XANDER III in May 1992. We sailed her for three years in the mid-Chesapeake around Baltimore and Annapolis. In 1995, we transferred again to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. One of our most memorable time was the sail down the bay to Norfolk. We sailed XANDER III in the Lower Chesapeake and James River until we received an excellent offer for her. We had another transfer coming and decided to let her go.

In June 1997, we chartered a 36-foot sloop in the British Virgin Islands and had a wonderful time. This rekindled our desire to get back on the water. The next summer, we had an opportunity to buy XANDER IV in Deltaville, Virginia. We were living outside Washington DC at the time, so we’d drive 4 hours for a weekend of sailing. We fell in love with XANDER IV on our first cruise. We enjoyed sailing her off and on until summer 2000 when we transferred Hawaii for two years. Poor XANDER IV had to languish in the yard. The short tour in Hawaii did not warrant the expense to move the boat halfway around the world. With the events of 11 Sep 2001 and following, Evelyn was occupied completely by her military duties. We took a year off from sailing.

Finally, in July 2002, Dave and Alex took the month of July to completely refurbish and refit her for an Intracoastal Waterway cruise to Tampa, Florida, Evelyn’s last military assignment. We left Deltaville on 1 August for Tampa. We had a number of adventures (mostly plagued by a faulty electrical system), learned the wonders of radar and GPS, visited some amazing marinas, and came to appreciate how great XANDER IV is.

Now we have settle in St. Petersburg for the moment, awaiting the opportunity to retire and cruise the East Coast and Caribbean. We have upgraded the dock with power and water. After capsizing in the canal before is it was dredged, XANDER IV had a complete upgrade to her stove, refrigerator, air conditioner, and battery system. Her charging systems have been replaced, eliminating the problems we had on her ICW voyage. We can’t wait to get XANDER IV back out on the water.