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Rybovich: "The Fighting Lady"

Discussion in 'Rybovich Yacht' started by messboy, Feb 2, 2008.

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  1. messboy

    messboy New Member

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    Worked for the Phipps Family out of Palm Beach and one of their vessels was a Rybovich, The Fighting Lady. If my memory hasn't failed me.
  2. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    There is a "Fighting Lady" at Sailfish Marina in Palm Beach shores, FL run by Capt Kip. Super guy and very nice boat. IIRC it's the namesake for "fighting lady yellow".
  3. billwa

    billwa New Member

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    The Fighting Lady

    Actually the Fighting Lady is a Merritt. When the Phipps family brought it to Dad's marina (Bill's Sailfish Marina) Harold Abbott was the captain.
    Abbott was a big arrogant guy who thought being a Phipps captain should bring him special privilages. He soon found out otherwise when his attitude forced Dad to inform the Phipps that "If he stayed with the boat, the boat would have to find other places to dock".
    Within days, Abbott was gone and Gary Stuve became captain.
    The Phipps...a great family.
  4. messboy

    messboy New Member

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    fighting lady

    thanks for the info. did you get a chance to see the yacht vergemere the phipps had. fingers obannon was the captain at the time I was on board. he was from the fort meyers area I believe. I was onboard for about two years if I remember correctly. the big boat was dark blue with a grey topside, defoe cruisemaster. thanks again for the clarification.
  5. billwa

    billwa New Member

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    the yacht vergemere

    Not familiar with the yacht vergemere the phipps had. How long ago was that?
    I do know of the Buckpasser, captain is Larry Hastings, helluva nice guy that considers the old man (if he's still living) as close as his own Dad. Also, Jack Connors is on the boat.
    It's a 78' (I think) steel hull with a helicopter pad. They would take it & the Fighting Lady to the Yucatan on trips.
    Last time I saw the boat was at Fl Diesel Marine (dry dock). Larry showed me around, quite impressive.
    BTW, I lived in CO for 4 years...Conifer & Littleton.
    Been back in FL for 1 year after being gone for 15 years. Went to the Sailfish Marina which included Dad's marina (Bill's Sailfish Marina), the Sailfish Center & the 3 vacant lots next to Dad's...all one big marina now, completely re-done, and seems like a tourist attraction. All of the captains I knew are either dead or moved to different marinas. Only boat that's still there when Dad sold is the Fighting Lady.
  6. messboy

    messboy New Member

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    billwa,
    I grew up in miami, went to coral gables high. I worked at Craig key in the keys during my summers. moved to colorado in 86 twenty miles south of pueblo. the first yacht I worked on was the shiawassee out of star island mia bch. I worked on the vergemere I believe in the early sixties. at that time we spent time at florida yacht repair up the mia river. we spent most of the time in the bahamas and the keys. sometimes nelson doubleday jr who was married to flossy phipps would be on board. a real nice guy. they would cook their own breakfest. also, a few trips to cat cay. I remember sitting on top of the roof at cat cay with nelson doubleday and the waiter was bringing drinks up the ladder. the crew got everything they wanted from cigarettes to booze, just name your brand. I just turned sixty nine, but look fifty nine. It must have been all that fresh air and beer. hope all is well. having trouble with my capital letters on this machine.
  7. saltysenior

    saltysenior Senior Member

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    bill's ''friendly'' marina

    as I recall.....the fighting lady now at the marina was the original fighting lady....an andy mortison about 48'...this boat was too big and too slow to fish for tuna over in the bahamas which young ''dinny''phipps enjoyed ....he had a smaller andy [37'] built, and that boat came to bill's to charter fish,as dinny only used the boat in the spring...

    the original 48' andy,i believe,became the miami based ''station break'' and then the palm beach based ''topaz''....now she is at the sailfish marina painted ''fighting lady yellow'',a color concocted by gary stuve,to paint the 37' one year...i ran into the 37' up in md.[kent is.] and there was talk of restoring her, but she was in bad shape.....dinny phipps went on to build 2 43' merrits ,also called ''fighting lady...

    mr.phipps owned the ''vergemer'' a 118' defoe [capt. fingers o'bannon]...this boat was sold to ralph evinrude and his wife francis langford ,and was kept at stuart during the winters..it was called ''chanticleer''...i last saw this boat on the sassafras river md about 2000

    mr phipps then built the burger ''buckpasser''[98'?]and used this boat w/ the fishboat tagging along for many trips.....in the mid 80's the phipps had a yard in japan build a new ''buckpasser''[120'] which the family still enjoys...

    the burger was also sold to f.langford, again named the ''chanticleer'' and was lengthen to 105'
  8. messboy

    messboy New Member

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    vergemere

    Thanks saltysenior,
    Always wondered what happened to the defoe. Glad to hear she wasn't scrapped. If my memory doesn't elude me the Fighting Lady I remember was painted pale blue with white topside. Capt. Obannon was a great guy. His son still lives in the Ft. meyers area as far as I know. On the vergemere I think the first mate was Jim Brown and fingers uncle was the engineer. I believe the valet was named mack. The cook was Ray Young. Hope all is well with you, thanks again.
  9. saltysenior

    saltysenior Senior Member

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    if you google ..fighting lady charters....their website has a photo of the boat that was the one you were referring to...she was 44'
  10. messboy

    messboy New Member

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    fighting lady

    saltysenior,
    Thanks for the info. Time flys doesn't it.
  11. Spindlebeak

    Spindlebeak New Member

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    Clarification

    This post is about 9 months old so I'm sure nobody cares but came across it and thought I'd add in my 2 cents.

    SeniorSalty is pretty much correct.

    The 1963 Andy Mortensen was the Original "Fighting Lady" built for Ogden Phipps. Phipps later built a 43 Merritt and kept the name "Fighting Lady", both hulls were painted fighting lady yellow.

    Until a month ago the Andy was a charter boat at Sailfish Marina in Palm Beach, it is now chartering out of Blowing Rocks Marina in Jupiter (same name, color and contact info). The Merritt is now painted green (sea foam green I believe). The awgrip paint was named after Merritt even though it wasn't the "Original" Fighting Lady.

    -Capt. Kip Jr. Fighting Lady Sportfishing www.fightingladysportfishing.com
  12. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Welcome to Yacht Forums.

    As the original post as wacky as it is was made on 02-02-08 I guess the post you just made is very close to 2.5 yrs after that one not just 9 months.

    I wouldn't worry though, a resurrected post with good accurate information like you just posted is always good and welcomed by most of the contributors to this thread who I assume are still with us as some at least seem to post fairly regularly elsewhere on YF.
  13. Joe Bellavia

    Joe Bellavia New Member

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    it was a merritt not a Rybovich
  14. saltysenior

    saltysenior Senior Member

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    the 3rd & 4th Fighting Ladies where Merrits .....#1 & 2 were Andy boats....the first one to move into Bill's Marina was the #2 Andy, a 37 '
    .....
  15. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Great clarification, what is the Andy (Mortenson?) story, not very much discussion on those boats.
  16. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    They were built on the Miami river. My dads friend owned their last boat. They weren't fast. Problem was they built a few boats with wood that had termites in it due to where the wood was stored.