Rick and Claudia Traskos live in Glastonbury, CT – in the center of the state, just south of Hartford. They purchased CLAUDIA, a 1977 45’ Chris Craft MY in May of 1996.
They enjoy cruising out of the Westerly Yacht Club in Westerly, RI on the Pawcatuck River which is the CT/RI border. Their favorite destinations include Block Island, Nantucket, and Mystic Seaport. Any one who has taken any Power Squadron advanced navigation courses will remember some of these names! Their boat also serves nicely as a stationary gathering place for friends from CT and RI over the last few years.
Rick grew up in a boating family on the CT shore. He got his first boat when he was 8 years old. He successfully made Intercoastal Waterway trips as early as age 14 during school vacations and collectively has made the trip from FL to CT over 10 times. He worked at a marina through high school and college. Rick graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Finance and ultimately became a Marine Insurance Agent.
Having boaters and marine enthusiasts as clients opened up all kinds of adventures which included sailboat racing, sailboat charters in the Caribbean, plus those exciting Intercoastal Waterway trips. Rick’s boating adventures have ranged from Houston TX to Marblehead MA on any number of pleasure boats.
Rick & Claudia’s previous boat was a 40’ Viking purchased in Fort Lauderdale and which Rick returned to Niantic, CT. This is where Rick loved to “captain” for his many friends who fished for tuna and bass during the peak fishing seasons. In his “spare time”, he has been President of the local Country Club, President of a Dockominium, and Chairman of the Board of a Public Laser Company (Lasik Vision Correction).
Rick and Claudia have been married for 21 years. After searching from Boston to Florida for a specific Chris Craft Commander, Claudia found the listing for the 45’ in Riverside, RI in January 1996. This was about 70 miles from their home. They had to clean the snow off the ripped flying bridge canvas to view what they had found. Since it was a Chris Craft Commander, the boat was in relatively good condition for its age, but needed lots of cleaning. They removed 17 commercial sized garbage bags of “stuff” the former owners had left, mostly clothing, bureau/closet contents,
plus four BBQ grills! They did save some treasures! You won’t find too many boats that have a pair of crutches available for emergencies!
Rick told Claudia it would take 3 years to get the 45 to the shape they wanted her, but CLAUDIA (the boat) was ship shape in a very short time. Now entering their 18th season, they still work on CLAUDIA as any boat lover does… The 45 is heavily customized with new teak and mahogany sides on the aft salon with “picture windows”. She has wrap around panels on the aft salon and flybridge to allow for extra seating. All passengers have a great view! With the 4 double berths, one single berth and the two aft seats they can sleep 11 and often run with 20 to 30 people without feeling crowded.
Being a dedicated diesel sniffer, Rick is happy and proud of the 35 year old Detroit 8V-71's that have performed flawlessly over the years. He has yet to need to put a wrench on either engine or transmission other than for normal maintenance (knock on teak). The boat’s engine room is huge and a pleasure to work in. Every man has his own ideal cave…
Rick joined the Commander Club in 2001 and has been one of our most prolific contributors to our discussion forum. His years of boating experiences, combined with his perspective as a Marine Insurance Agent are especially valuable, and his contributions appear in our latest SuperDisc 288 times ! Rick says for Claudia (wife & boat) and himself the major benefits of club membership are the institutional knowledge available for just about any Commander related project or problem, and even more important are the lasting friendships they have made with many club members, friendships that would have never happened without their membership in the Commander Club! The Commander Club is fortunate to have Rick & Claudia as members, and look forward to many more years of their friendship and contributions.
/ Dick Morland, CCCC Chief Commander