Cherubini 44 Mark II: Rhapsody in Blue
The recent launch of Elysium, an exquisite ketch-rigged Cherubini 44 Mark II, promises new life for one family of longtime sailors and another family of old-school boatbuilders. "Yachtstyle" from our October 2008 issue
We are four souls aboard Elysium sailing up Maryland's Eastern Bay in late June. Four incarnate souls, that is, but more if you count the Cherubini relatives-the uncles, the grandparents, the ancestors from a mistier Florentine past-whose own migration to the Elysian Fields can't keep them off the water with us on this tempestuous Chesapeake day.
Dave and Joanie Ballard know a thing or two about the Cherubinis, this family of designers and craftsmen, this family whose roots are so intertwined with Old World artistry and up-to-the minute technology in media that range from pianos to automobiles, from aircraft to pleasure boats. The Ballards also know something about how objects of lasting art can become part of the glue that binds a family together through the years. In 1984, Dave's dad bought the Cherubini 44 Sunshyner. For more than two decades, Dave and his brothers and their families sailed that boat together. Then, in the fall of 2006, when Ballard felt Sunshyner's time for a thorough refit had come, he contacted the folks at the newly reorganized Cherubini Yachts in Delran, New Jersey. After several conversations and one overnight ponder, Ballard arranged a trade and commissioned the yard to create a new 44 along the lines of the old. Elysium was launched last April.
"One of the reasons we built this boat was for our kids," says Ballard, 59, who retired this year from a career in home construction. "I know it'll change our lives. It already has."