Proud owners of a new 2020 Oceanis 41.1, Ron Floyd and Kathy Fleming of Carlsbad, California have been sailing for as long as they’ve known each other. And Ron, a good bit longer than that.
“I first bought a 23-foot, trailerable sailboat back in the 70s,” he said, “without knowing anything about sailing. So I watched a video, put it in the water, and basically taught myself.”
Since then, Ron has owned a handful of boats, both sail and power (his other passion is scuba diving), each a little larger and with a little more performance than the one before. He had to take a hiatus in the mid-80s to focus on his financial advisory business and didn’t return to boating until eight or nine years ago with his wife, Kathy.
“Kathy and I joined some sailing clubs and were renting boats at first but got tired of cleaning and preparing our rental boat every time we wanted to spend the weekend sailing. That’s when I began to look into buying.”
His first Beneteau was an Oceanis 35.1. “Originally, I was thinking of buying a used BENETEAU from a charter company but finally decided on a new 35.1 with the help of South Coast Yachts.”
He joined SailTime, a fractional ownership program to defray some of the costs. “SailTime was great. We loved the economics of it, and we were able to enjoy the boat without too many scheduling conflicts with the other members.”
After a while though, he had ‘customized’ the boat with special-made spinnakers, a dinghy, and a barbecue. “Kathy and I got tired of hauling these things aboard before each of our sailing weekends then hauling them back to our garage afterward. She was embracing the sailing lifestyle more and more, and we realized that we were ready for a change.”
Two years later, Ron and Kathy took the next step in their sailing journey – a boat that was 100 percent their own. South Coast Yachts was there to help guide them again. Ron recalled,
“South Coast Yachts does such a wonderful job connecting BENETEAU owners with each other through events like the BENETEAU Cup and Rendezvous. It was only natural we use them to help us find our next boat. No matter who you work with there, whether it’s Barrett, Paul, Sean, Keenan, or the others, there’s a special connection with the customer. It’s more than a transaction. It’s a relationship.”