About the Book
The book is about Ron's 25 years with his 1960 Sparkman & Stephens designed Dolphin 24 named Marionette. She had been donated to the Connecticut River Museum, having been out of the water for over 10 years. Having retired early from the ‘game,’ Ron looked forward to restoring this lovely but neglected boat for single-handed daysailing, overnighting from Niantic to places like Stonington, Fishers Island, and Block Island, and occasional racing. He did not realize at the time, he had signed on for a long term relationship with this very special 'lady' that would take him on voyages not imagined. In his words, “…she had a fascinating history, loved compliments, loved racing, especially in light air, and loved taking me for rides, especially to Maine, where pretty boats have a special place.”
One of Ron’s goals in writing this book was to create an informal conversational narrative akin to sailors swapping boat stories over a couple of beers at a favorite pub, and he succeeded. He details the restoration process, the construction of Marionette’s barn and her wooden dinghy ‘TEER, starting a Dolphin 24 Class website, attending the S&S 75th Anniversary celebration at Mystic Seaport, success in winning Off Sounding Regattas, international awards from the Sparkman & Stephens Association, and cruising Downeast to Maine.
Voyaging with Marionette is beautifully illustrated with lots and lots of photographs and has had several very complimentary magazine reviews - excerpts below from Points East, Windcheck, and Good Old Boat/Dogwatch magazines, and another by a local online news service, Lymeline.
About the Author
Ron Breault lives in Old Lyme, CT, is a member of the Niantic Bay Yacht Club in Niantic, CT (past Commodore), Off Soundings Club (past Treasurer), Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association (past Juniors Chair), and past U.S President of the International 420 Class Association. He is also webmaster of the Dolphin 24 Class website, which can be found at Dolphin24.org.
Praise for Voyaging with Marionette
Windcheck Magazine, August, 2020: "highly recommended...Although he did not realize at the time, Ron had signed on for a long-term love affair with a very special shoal draft 24-footer built during the boatbuilding industry’s transition from wood to fiberglass construction."
Points East Magazine, September, 2020: "Voyaging with Marionette is a love letter to his Dolphin 24"....In the book Breault reveals that, after retiring, he was casting about for something that would give his life meaning in the way his job previously had. His ownership of Marionette – and running a website dedicated to her class – seems to have been just the ticket
Good Old Boat/Dogwatch - August, 2020: "The sheer variety of clippings, photos, and anecdotes make the book fun to browse.... they have an endearing quality, each a proof of his everlasting devotion to Marionette"
Lymeline - August, 2020: "Ron and Marionette’s story illustrates superbly that famous conclusion drawn by 'Rat in Wind in the Willows': “Believe me, my young (and aged?) friend, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” So ease your sheets, cruise downwind a bit, pop a brew or two and enjoy this love story".