f I’ve learned one thing, it’s that you should never say never. Like the owner of the boat named My Last Boat XIV, I made the mistake of thinking that my 2005 cruise in the Bahamas aboard Mana, a Morgan 382, was going to be my last sailing voyage after cruising more or less full-time for the previous 35 years. I had decided then that it was time to visit countries inland, rather than just seeing them from anchorages in ports and harbors. Two years ago, a tragic event proved me wrong. My very good friend Klaus Freienstein had died of a heart attack while sailing aboard his son’s boat on the Baltic. Time passed and shock was progressively replaced by gentle sadness. Lilo, his wife, had put up his boat, a Saltram 36 named Swantje, for sale. This was a fine cruising vessel aboard which Lilo and Klaus had sailed over the years from Germany throughout the United States and the Caribbean. The Alan Pape design is a traditional, heavy-displacement cutter derived from Colin Archer lines. Swantje was indeed a go-anywhere vessel — very strong and outfitted for any ocean. The problem was that Swantje had been left afloat in Andrés, near Boca Chica, a few miles east of Santo Domingo on the south coast of the Dominican Republic, and Lilo had received absolutely no offer for her. In despair, she asked me to move her boat to a better market in the U.S. Initially, I refused, thinking that my sailing career was over — I had not sailed for years — but I finally accepted.