Help John save Checkmate

Good Day Everyone!


Many might know and many will receive this because of someone who cared and forwarded this to you. This is my story about transitioning from construction to chartering Checkmate, a 55 foot Doug Peterson sailboat. It all started about 2 years ago when I was building a home for a friend. He remembered when I built a 56 foot catamaran in Cape Town South Africa. The owner wanted to see how she would handle in heavy weather. So myself and a small crew sailed her around the Cape of Good Hope from Cape Town to Port Elisabeth.  The storm ended up being an extremely severe storm out of Antarctica. My friend was on an Oil rig that same night and they had a couple rogue waves that slammed over the platform, 65 feet above sea level. It was the same storm that sank the Ocean liner Oceanus.  We talked about us starting a sailing chartering company. He asked me to look for a sailboat that could do corporate charters.
I found Checkmate, built in 1982, one of the most advanced aluminum IOR racers ever built. I made an offer, my offer was accepted! So I sold everything I could to put down the 10% deposit. Long story short, with my friends help and commitment to be a partner, we closed on Checkmate. We hauled her out at Shelter Island boatyard in San Diego, California to have work done. My friend unfortunately had financial setbacks and left the partnership, leaving me with growing bills. I have managed to miraculously keep this dream alive for the past year on my own and with the help of a few good friends.
During the last year, we lost our home, while I was undergoing successful cancer treatment. I have been working 6-7 days a week ever since to keep it all going. I have been told to get out of construction and do something less stressful and taxing on my body. I have charters set up in August and September so I can do just that, but unless I can get Checkmate ready to go I will certainly lose the charters and probably Checkmate as well.
I am appealing to anyone who believes in the underdog, and in long shots to help me bridge this gap to fulfill a lifelong dream. I believe in sharing my love of sailing with not only clients, but endangered youths. Also as an Airforce Veteran with over 3500 combat hours and 6 congressional Air Medals and knowing how challenging it is to adjust to normal civilian life. I’d want to set up charters for Veterans with PTSD offering a therapeutic healing power only the ocean has to offer.

The funds raised will enable me to do what I haven't been able to do since I got out of the Airforce. The problem has always been the lack of funds to transition and in this case getting the needed upgrades to get her ready for charters at end of summer.  You will be like the angel Clarence in a Wonderful Life that lead to a large group of people doing a little, but making the impossible happen that will not only bless my own life, but many others who have the same dream to sail on an ocean with endless horizons.

‘Oh wind of heaven, by Thy might

Save all who dare the eagle’s flight.’


God Bless

This was a very special day when I got to spend an hour with Doug Peterson. He was inducted to the America's Cup Hall of Fame. He was very excited to know that Checkmate was going to be brought back to bristol condition. That's a promise that with everyone's help I can keep.

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John Belt
Provo, UT

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