sv cavalo
SV Cavalo

This is Cavalo. She’s our 1978 cutter-rigged Westsail 43. She was built in good ol’ Costa Mesa, California and as far as we know never left the state until we got our hands on her. Matt picked her up in 2010 after several years of neglect, and she was in need of some serious TLC, but with four years of hard work she was finally fit to head offshore. With a canoe stern and enough fiberglass to build two boats out of, she has both beautifully classic lines (at least we think so) and the strength to handle what it takes to go far and away, which is exactly where we’re taking her. In the nearly four years it’s been since sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge for warmer waters, we’ve taken Cavalo over 26,000 sea-miles throughout the North and South Pacific in what is only the beginning of fulfilling her destiny as a world cruiser. The original line drawing for the Westsail 43 can be seen right here.

We try to keep things simple on board. We get our power from two 140-watt solar panels and an Air X marine wind turbine, and our engine is equipped with an alternator for the times that we need the extra juice. It may not seem like much, but it keeps the fridge cold, the cameras charged, and on sunnier days it’s enough to run our Spectra water maker.


matthew pierce

This is Matt. Matt grew up in New England and was sailing before he could walk. He’s an avid water sportsman with an agenda of surfing, kiting and spearfishing, and will find a way to be on the water regardless of weather conditions. After growing up on his family’s Irwin 52, Matt had a long time dream of one day owning his own boat that he could chase the best waves with. After looking at over sixty sailboats he finally found Cavalo, and the rest is history. Matt can fix just about anything, out-read just about anyone, and has an absurd collection of hats.


ann cushing

This is Annie. Annie also grew up in New England, though on a farm in the mountains and far away from the sea. She’s all about finding edibles and taking tips from the locals on how to live off the tropical land. In the past four years she’s taken to the sea, learning to sail, surf, kite, and freedive, and takes great responsibility in making sure Cavalo is as environmentally-friendly as possible. Annie likes to bring trash back from the beach and has a collection of shells that may be more absurd than Matt’s hats.




Though our homes aren’t far apart, we met all the way across the country in the San Francisco Bay. We’d like to say it was fate, but it was more likely a setup (if you’re reading this, you know who you are). Six months later we were sailing away together, and after four years we’re still a remarkably functional pair. Nice work, matchmaker.

Questions, comments, seeking or offering travel advice? We’d love to hear from anyone and everyone! Drop us a line here on the blog, on our Facebook page, or email us directly at:
Happy Sailing ~ Cavalowestsail 43 sv cavalo wave