Off Grid Sailing


1981 Cheoy Lee Wittholz 53

Scroll through images below.  All images are from July/August 2019

C'est La Sea is a US flagged, USCG documented, heavily built offshore ocean cruising boat. Her heavy, long, deep fin keel with skeg-hung rudder give her both excellent tracking and great maneuverability. Her sea handling abilities are outstanding for long distance ocean cruising. And she is very fast, easily hitting 8-10 knots in a good breeze with little effort.

Since relaunching in August 2018, she has safely taken us offshore from Nova Scotia, Canada to Martinique in the Caribbean over the past 12 months. Before that, she made her way offshore from Panama to Nova Scotia with her previous owner.

The 80hp Ford Lehman 4 cyl Diesel engine is both simple and reliable. It was recently replaced and currently has ~1450 hours on it. The Borg Warner Transmission was also rebuilt. There is real 360 degree access to the engine and transmission.

The BD-35 compressor keeps the refrigeration very cold with about 50% duty cycle. The 640W solar system easily keeps up with the entire boat's electrical demand, without running the primary engine.

The vessel has two water tanks and two fuel tanks that are ~75 gallons each.

The mainsail and genoa are controlled by Rondal hydraulic furlers; each is controlled by a button at the helm. The staysail has a Proful unit. The entire rig was custom built and installed in 1991.


New in 2018/2019 are:

• Ablative Bottom Paint (5 coats)

• 675Ah House Battery Bank

• 390Ah Start/House Battery Bank

• Blue Seas Battery Switches (2)

• All primary and secondary wiring for batteries and heavy equipment was replaced

• Furuno Radar/iPad Display

• Q-Cell 320W solar panels (2)

• Victron MPPT 150/70 Tr Solar Controller

• Victron BVM-712 Smart Battery Monitor

• DC Ammeter

• Dual USB ports at nav station and port aft cabin

• Force 10 3-burner Propane Stove/Oven

• Viking 10lb Propane Tanks (2)

• Fire Extinguishers (2)

• Safety Gear

• CPT Autopilot

• LED Lighting

• Standard Horizon GX-2150 Fixed VHF

• Standard Horizon HX-870 Handheld VHF

• Delta 75lb Anchor

• 200' ACCO 3/8" G4 High Test primary anchor chain

• 200' 3/4" three-strand anchor line

3gpm fresh water pump

• Yamaha 2000W portable generator

• 11' Aquos Dinghy (soft bottom, rigid aluminum floor)

• 15 hp Tohatsu 4-stroke EFI outboard

• 1500 gph Rule bilge pump (2)

• 3700 gph Rule bilge pump

• Electronic float switch

• Bilge Alarm

• SS Galley Faucet

• VDO engine gauges (tach, water temp, oil pressure)

• Caframo 747 fans (6)

• 20-24gph Watermaker (installation required)

• Rebuilt steering

Other Equipment:

• Xantrex ProWatt SW 2000 Inverter

• MasterVolt 12-40/3 battery charger

• StockBurger Barometer and Clock

• West Marine folding chairs (2)

• 3-gal spare dinghy fuel tank

• 4.4lb claw anchor for dinghy with 22' chain/100' line

• Dinghy cable and locks

• Plastimo Radar Reflector

• 6-man hard case life raft

• Lofrans Tigres Electric Windlass (new gypsy, foot switch, and contactor 2019)

• Throwable cushions, life jackets (2018)

• Raymarine ST-60 Depth and Speed

C'est La Sea is a strong and seaworthy oceangoing sailboat. The encapsulated lead keel gives strength and rigidity to the hull, and groundings are not the worry as with a modern bolted fin keel. The boat is structurally sound, and just about everything mechanical has been gone through. The systems all work. She sails easy and fast. Recently sailing down the coast of Martinique, we were averaging 7.5 knots on a close reach with just 2/3 of the headsail rolled out, no mainsail. As you continue to read below, the boat comes with just about everything you need to take off for the next island. Just pack your bags. The current location of the boat in the Caribbean allows for any needed items, whether personal or boat related, to be easily found and added. There are 5 marine stores within dinghy distance of the boat's current location. A short cruise north to St. Martin brings you to a duty free, tax free, inexpensive port where most anything can be had, and shipping or flights are convenient and inexpensive.

As per the layout below, she boasts 4 full cabins and 2 heads along with a full galley. There are two identical bunk cabins (over/under) aft to port and starboard. Bunks have Sunbrella lee cloths. Forward to Starboard is the first head with storage aft in the passageway, including a large closet. Portside is the Galley, with the engine compartment dividing the two. Port amidship is the large curved settee that can comfortably seat 6, tight with 8, or shoulder-to-shoulder with 10. To starboard amidship is the the large navigation station and a linear settee. By simply lifting the back cushion and backing board, this converts in seconds to a queen pullman berth. Forward of the main salon and settees is the master cabin with an en-suite head with shower. The master cabin has a queen pullman berth to port and a "love seat settee" to starboard. Forward of the master cabin is the huge V-berth. Large storage areas can be found under every berth and settee and behind all settees. Storage on the boat is immense, especially under the V-berth, Master berth, and port Settee.

Ventilation is excellent on this vessel! All four cabins have large overhead hatches, plus another above the settee. There are 12 opening deck and hull ports to aid in establishing a cross breeze. The 6 Caframo fans also help cool you off when there is no breeze.

Some Basics:

53' (16.15m) LOD

41' (12.5m) LWL

14' 5" (4.42m) Beam

 1284 ft (119.28m) Sail Area

8' (2.44m) Draft

71.5' (21.8m) Mast AWL

43758 lbs (19849 k) Displacement

18000 lbs (8165 k) Ballast

After more than 25 years of cruising and building boats, it is time to move on, so there is a long list of items that will be included in the sale of the boat.


• 600W wind generator (used, requires installation, all parts included, some wiring installed)

• Shop Vac

• Extension cords

• Keter folding workbench with clamps

• Spare water pumps (2+)

• Spare hose of various sizes

• Hose clamps (100+)

• Wire, terminals, terminal blocks, and lots of electrical supplies

• Spare engine parts

• Several years worth of primary diesel filters

• Several years worth of engine belts

• Caulks and sealants

• 15+ gallons NO BLUSH epoxy

• Enough stainless steel shackles, pins, split rings, springs, blocks, and various tackle to open a small marine store!

• 300' 1/2" 3-strand (new)

• 300' 3/4" 3-strand (new)

• 66lb Claw, with chain and 3-strand

• Custom aluminum boarding ladder

• 10lb Aluminum propane tank

• 20lb Aluminum propane tank

• Parker water separator filter funnel

• PRI and Stabil (two years or more)

• Oil Change vacuum pump

• 5 gallon gasoline jerry cans (2) (2018)

• Spare Standard Horizon fixed VHF

• Marine plywood and lumber

• Emergency VHF antenna

• Tools (more than can be listed: cordless and corded, plus hand tools.)

• Stainless Cuisinart pots and pans

• Cast Iron

• Kitchenaid Stand Mixer

• Kitchenaid Food Processor

• J.A. Henckels Cutlery

• SS dinnerware

• SS mixing bowls

• Galley storage containers

• Plates, cups, bowls, glasses

• Other miscellaneous galleyware

• Pot holders

• Cleaning supplies

• Kitchen towels

• Bath towels/hand towels/wash cloths

• Books, guides, and other reading/research material

• Paper charts

• Navigation instruments (for manual chart plotting)

• Printer

• Sheets, pillow cases, etc.

• Board games

• Painting/maintenance supplies

• Fiberglass supplies

• Spare lines

• Jack lines

• Safety Harnesses

• Tethers

• Medical kit and supplies

With everything that is included, just bring your clothes, personal items, and your sense of adventure! C'est La Sea is ready to take you anywhere your dreams desire!

The boat is currently in St. Martin/Sint Maarten - Caribbean
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