In 1969, in Acapulco, Santana and my own yacht Senta, a 53-foot cutter designed by Philip Rhodes and built by the Oakland yard of W.F. Stone and Son, were alongside one another at the Acapulco Yacht Club. Babe Lamerdin was taking Santana back to San Francisco from the Bermuda race, and meeting him was a memorable pleasure. Babe clearly appreciated woodworking perfection and had the competence to create and maintain it. However, Santana had been sailed to the East Coast, raced to Bermuda, and then brought all the way back to the West Coast, and she looked as all wooden yachts do after thousands of continuous sea miles. Her varnish and paintwork were haggard, there were rigging and equipment problems, and it was evident that rest and recuperation were required. However, the boat was easily capable of proceeding home to San Francisco despite these defects. Santana was also successfully brought home by the Peets despite the ravages of more than two years at sea.
During recent years, the Peets have operated two different yachts in the charter business in the Caribbean, and my frequent visits aboard their Cordonazo revealed a meticulous and sustained maintenance, one incompatible with the implication that they may have been partly responsible for the engine room "pit" cluttered with empty oil cans and grease reported by Lamerdin when he went aboard Santana in 1974. At the time of Babe's visit, the Peets hadn't owned Santana for more than a year.
If the Peets didn't treat Santana "like a treasure," they did demonstrate what was and is more important: that Santana was a well-designed and properly built yacht capable of sailing around the world. I suspect that her designer and builder would be more pleased about and more proud of the circumnavigation than of the dubious distinctions of lavish lunches aboard, possession by movie stars or the spit and polish and sartorial elegance of a Newport opening day.