Typical Formosa sail plan

Beausoleil is the on-water home of Jon & Shawna Gauthier. She’s a 1979 Formosa 51 ketch, 51′ on deck and 59′ 10″ in overall length from the tip of the bowsprit to the end of the mizzen boom. Her main mast reaches 63′ above the water, and she displaces 26 tons, has a 6.5′ draft and a beam of 14′ 2″. Jon & Shawna are currently cruising full-time.

Jon and Shawna moved aboard on July 4, 2008. They left their hometown of Marblehead, MA on September 17, 2008 to begin cruising down the East Coast of the US as the first phase of their cruise.

Beausoleil On A Reach

Beausoleil On A Reach

They’ve sailed as far south as Grenada in the Windward Islands of the Caribbean, spent two summers in Chesapeake Bay, a year and a half in Key West, and a year and a half in the Eastern Caribbean. They headed back from Grenada in 2013 to resume their careers.

4 Responses to About

  1. patrick says:

    Hello fellow sailors,
    I am in the market for a cruiser and found my self in a little dilemma. I have been looking at some Vagabond 47 and 51 and got excited but came across a Formosa 51 from William gardener same designer of the vagabond. Could you tell me your experience with your cruiser and what i should look for when buying a Formosa??( beside a surveyor report). We will be living aboard and sailing the Mexican coast . I read that it is a slow cruiser .

  2. capnjon says:

    In a nutshell, with the proper sail inventory, the Formosa 51 is not a slow cruiser. If you read my posting here, you’ll see what a properly tuned rig and new sails can do for on. We consistently sailed at about half the apparent windspeed the whole trip, with the exception of hitting hull speed – the theoretical speed limit of a displacement hulled boat.

    The drawback of an older Formosa, like any old boat, is that typically any boat on the market will require some TLC and upgrades to bring it up to the standards of a modern cruiser, if that’s what you’re looking for. You have to weigh the selling price and the cost of upgrades with that of a more modern boat. We probably could have saved a little money by going with a newer boat, but the jury’s out on whether it would have been any “better” or we’d have been any happier.

  3. Errol Greig, Jr says:

    Hi Jon,
    I met up with your sister Carol yesterday at the state park in St. Martinville and as we were catching up on family members she mentioned you and your wife living and traveling on your sailboat. I have a vague rememberance of you, being younger in school (I’m closer to Glen’s age), but then I mentioned my own interest in doing what you are doing. Currently I have a 15′ GulfCoast 1970 model sailboat that I’m learning on. So, I thought I’d drop you a line, check out your web-site, and dream a little bit longer. Maybe we can chat sometime. It would be great to hear of your travels. Here’s to smooth sailing. Errol

  4. Steve Davis says:

    Hi there,

    I producing a short article on the Exumas and wonder if I can get permission to use your image of Thunderball Grotto. You would be credited with the image, whether by name or website. Let me know as soon as you can, and thank you for your help.

    Steve Davis

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