Nanny Cay is truly home base for Libertas, a Beneteau First 40 owned by Walter Keenan and Chesness Cogswell, and her owners are proud to be keeping her local. She’s racing BVI Spring Regatta this week in Jib and Main and going into the final day of racing is leading a small fleet with three wins and a second place. Earlier in the week, Libertas won her division in the Round Tortola Race for the Nanny Cay Cup.
Keenan, who used to reside in San Francisco where he raced Farr 40s, splits his time between the US east coast, Puerto Rico and the BVI. He purchased Libertas, formerly a bareboat after finding her in the yard at Nanny Cay.
“I bought the boat a little more than a year ago at the end of the pandemic because I was tired of not going sailing,” Keenan said. “I was looking for an inexpensive boat that I could leave and store/dry sail at Nanny Cay in the BVI because, other than San Francisco Bay, it’s the nicest place to go sailing and the water is a lot warmer!”
In her previously life, Libertas had been originally built for Sunsail and had been in a pool of like-boats used for teambuilding, group charters, and some racing, Keenan explained.
“We were familiar with the Beneteau and were happy to find a fixer upper. We utilized all the resources at Nanny Cay to get her ready to go sailing, and now the guys who did the work will hopefully sail on the boat with us. We try to make this the local home-town boat at Nanny Cay and just have fun.”
Keenan has no plans to move Libertas anywhere, he loves Nanny Cay and enjoys sailing the BVI and other nearby islands.
“We’re just having fun around here, we can go over to St Maarten or Puerto Rico if there’s something going on there,” Keenan said. “We just wanted a boat for around here that’s solid, won’t break and is safe. It’s enjoyable to sail and because it’s a former bareboat, nothing about it matters – her appearance looks like she’s a former bareboat,” Keenan laughed, “but that’s fine with us!”
Keenan and his wife Susan also keep a beautiful cruising boat at Nanny Cay during the winter season. They sold their second home and bought a second boat – Mystery – which they sail seasonally between the east coast and the Caribbean, making the deliveries themselves. Mystery is a 63’ one-off design by Ted Fontaine and built by Lyman-Morse and launched in 2002 as Amelia, then known as Young America.
“She’s a center cockpit pilothouse design with a shallow draft keel, a roller furling main and all that easy stuff,” Keenan said. “We left Newport, RI in September and arrived in Tortola in March after going down the east coast and going through the Bahamas, which really was fun.”
We’re looking forward to seeing Libertas and her local crew in 2024 at BVI Spring Regatta! – Michelle Slade