At a young age, Richard Charette was captivated by dynamics which provide for an airplane wing to rise above the earth and a sailing vessel to move forward toward the wind without the power of an engine. His fascination with powered flight was his major interest but he soon learned that, in theory, flying and sailing have very similar attributes.
He started his flying lessons at the age of 15, soloed on his 16th birthday, and was a Commercial Pilot by the age of 18. He went on to become a FAA certified Flight Instructor with both multi-engine and instrument instructor endorsements. Over 30 years ago, Richard began his sailing career by serving as a crewmember on the prestigious sailing yawl Aurora. Wanting to own his own classic sailing vessel, Richard searched for a yacht built for ocean passages and having the graceful lines of vessels from a bygone era. After an extensive search, a vessel designed by the accomplished marine architect A. E. (Bill) Luders and built by C. E. Ryder in Bristol, RI was located. The particular Sea Sprite which Richard acquired was one of only 18 built and may very well be the only one sailing in the Great Lakes today. Richard decommissioned the vessel and after a six-year keel up restoration, Panache was re-launched in 2007 with distinctive classic designs and with all of today’s modern features. Panache continues to turn heads at every port she enters.
Transitioning his teaching and communication skills learned during many years, as a Flight Instructor was an easy move. Now as a USCG Master Mariner Marine Captain, Captain Richard Charette is able to bring the joys of sailing to those who have a love of the open waters and the silence of being propelled over it on the classic sailing vessel PANACHE.