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Company, founded by Frit’s son, Lee, built trawlers and the occasional sailboat. “We built a lot of boats in the 1980s, and then the luxury tax imposition stopped us dead in our tracks,” Dave Cherubini says. “We didn’t build a boat for 10 years. It’s just like the locusts, these cyclical periods, they come every 17 years. The Great Recession is another swarm of locusts, a man-eating cicada. “The luxury tax took the brand name out of the


game. More production boats were being pumped out at very low prices, which kept people in the game and kept families into sailing. What was lost was the name brand because of the generation gap. People that were buying these boats in the 70s and 80s were at retirement age then, so it’s been forgotten about. It needs to be reintroduced.” By 2003, Dave was restoring boats and pianos


at a small shop he kept on the Delaware River. At one point, he found old templates and sketches of the Cherubini 44 and 48 schooner in a dumpster, about to be hauled away. He saved the templates, butwasnotquite ready to revive the familybusiness. It took a few phone calls from old clients — and


a sign of guidance from a three-legged cat named Thumper — to get Dave back in the game. First, Chris O’Flinn wanted to buy White Hawk, the first Cherubini 44, from her original owner, but only if he could hire a Cherubini to restore her. Next came a call from Rob Turkewitz, in South Carolina, asking whether Dave knew anything about another 44calledFirstLight—the44thathadsurvivedHugo. “One night I was sitting there, pondering what


to do, and I actually asked Thumper for advice. “Should I do it?’ And he just lifted his one front paw, like putting his periscope up to the sky.” Cherubini laughs. “There was some kind of a connection there. That’s when I decided I couldn’t let this thing die.” By 2005, he had built the first of the brand


new Cherubini 44 Mark II for longtime client Dave Ballard. The result was “Elysium,” a magnificent, distinctive sailing yacht with a knifelike hull shape, long and narrow with a fine entry, inspired by the legendary Baltimore clippers. By slicing through the bow wave instead of always settling in behind it, the 44 is unshackled from the drudgery of strict displacement waterline rules. It only draws 4 foot, 10 inches of draft, has a


12-foot beam, designed displacement at 28,000 pounds, and carries 1,140 square feet of sail. “It’s extraordinarily sea-kindly, the safest boat that was ever built, and it’s an absolute rocket ship,” Cherubini says. “It’s built to the gills,” says Dave, who pulls out a ridiculously thick cutout of the hull section,


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