Calliope Girl

Launched 1971
Owner Michael and Leah Didriksen
Purchased October 2008
Configuration Mk1 UK Coachroof,
Tall Rig with Baby Stay Click
here for

Calliope Girl Rig Data.pdf
Colour White
Berthed Port
Washington, NY
Sail Number 4546
Australian Registration  
State Registration  
Call Sign  
Builder Aquafibre
Hull Number ??
Fit Out Teak
Previous Owners Charles
Archer (2003-2008), Tom Digregorio (1990s-2003), Dr. Robert Vanvooren
Previous Names Vita
Dolce, Systolic

The Yacht’s Story

From Michael Didriksen Mar 09:

We purchased Calliope Girl in
October of 2008. She is one of the few S&S 34s resident in the U.S. and was
marketed here as a Palmer Johnson 34. Palmer Johnson did not build the
boats, but imported them from England, presumably from Aquafibre (formerly
Michael Winfield and partners). I believe that Palmer Johnson may have
imported them bare and done the interiors themselves, as the interior does
not match the interiors on the UK versions I have seen photos of. I have
heard that at one time there were three PJ34s sailing on the Great Lakes,
but cannot find any current records of such, so as far as I know this is the
only one still sailing.

She is currently undergoing a major
re-fit. When we purchased her, the 25 year old Universal diesel was in need
of a complete rebuild, so we took the opportunity to repower with a Yanmar
saildrive under the companionway steps. This will significantly open up the
salon. She also had a suspect keel-hull joint, which ended up requiring the
keel to be dropped. We discovered that some of the keel bolts had been
broken off during an attempt to replace them, and that instead of dropping
the keel and fixing the problem, new keel bolts were sistered into the
keel (and this was not done very precisely to boot). Also, some of the
other keel bolts showed significant signs of crevice corrosion, so we ended
up dropping the keel and pulling all of the keel bolts (those currently in
use and the old ones that had been orphaned) and replacing them with
silicon bronze bolts. Since we are also moving the engine aft, weve made
use of the opportunity to add an additional keel bolt at the far aft end of
the keel (this was previously not possible due to the drive shaft for the
prop). Other tasks for the re-fit include: complete electrical re-wiring,
new plumbing, new windows, new cap rail, new paint job on the deck and
re-bedding all deck hardware. We are already ridiculously over budget, of
course . . . .

Expected launch date is May 2009.

About the Owners

From Michael Didriksen Mar 09:

My documentation shows that Charles Archer bought the boat in
August of 2001. Prior to that, from September of 1992 until the sale to Archer,
it was owned by William Digregorio. Given the last name, I assume Digregorio
named her Vita Dolce. I also know that the owner prior to that was a Dr. Robert
Vanvooren (a cardiologist — so he must have named her Systolic), but I do not
know when he acquired the boat. It is possible he is the original owner, but I
don’t know. There were some documents on board showing he owned the boat as
early as 1979.

Webmaster note:

Charles Archer sailed and operate a very small sailing school out of Miami Beach.
A restoration was done from 1999-2002.


Photos: Michael Didriksen. Please click on photos to enlarge.

Calliope Girl Rig Data

Here you can see a section of the foredeck that is being re-cored.

In the water on the day of closing, 2008.

Wedges being driven into the keel-hull joint to pull the keel off the boat. We ended up replacing all of the keel bolts with silicon bronze, as the old ones showed some significant corrosion.

Here is a picture of the new engine mount.

Ready for re-launching. After launch. Sailing again at last!

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