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Shannon Smith's ORION, Yankee # 178, Lake Mead, Pennsylvania (updated September 16, 2019)  
September 16, 2019. ORION has a new caretaker - Shannon Smith. Below is his check in email, preceded by former owner Phil Groben check out email (minor edits)


Thank you for posting my wish to sell Orion. I'm pleased to say that there was considerable interest, and now Orion will soon find its new home on Lake Mead, Pennsylvainia.

For Shannon Smith, the new owner, Yankee Dolphin 24 is a family affair... his mother, Dana Sonnenberger is the proud owner of #115. (http://dolphin24.org/dana_jeanne.html) I' m happy that Orion is passing into hands that are predisposed to want one and I'm confident that she (can a boat named Orion be a she? (Webmaster Note: Of course! - This is the 21st century!!!!) will be cared for and used well.

Thanks again,

Phil Groben


As we were going to press with this update Shannon's check in email arrived. Here it is.

Hi Ron and Phil

I’m looking forward to sailing Orion (#178) in the near future, hopefully by the end of September. Her transport out to Lake Mead will begin on September 25, I’ll keep you posted and send some pictures.

Currently she is at Seven Seas Yacht Club in Buffalo. My mom (Dana) and uncle are cleaning her up, and giving me all sorts of advice and ideas… LOL.

Phil, once again thank you for selling me your boat, and for helping with the transition. Much appreciated!!

Best wishes

Shannon Smith

ps FYI we’re trying to get a Dolphin for my brother, so we may have 3 in the family. Will keep you posted ... :)








This is the history we have on #178 up to this point

August 2, 2019. Well, there comes a time..... We got the following email from Phil


I'm North of 75 years old, have outlived my dear wife (cancer) and find myself not much interested in sailing anymore. I was out once last year and so far, once this year, with little interest in going out again. I think it's time for this boat to move into the hands of someone who will appreciate and sail her.

Since I've had her, she has remained on Seneca Lake in the New York Fingerlakes. She has been sailed every year since I've owned her, including this year, and I can say that she is sound and sails well. I have always kept her in a lift, lowering her only when I was actually sailing, typically no more than 20 - 30 hours a season. Everything works and I expect I'll probably take her out only once or twice more this season which will end Labor Day.

For the last 5 years, I've stored the boat in the lift over the winter instead of putting it on its trailer. I have an EZ Loader trailer for it, but it has not been used, or even moved in that time. Both sails are new with me and have low usage, as you can imagine from the amount I've sailed her. I can't remember exactly when I purchased the main sail, but I'm thinking about 5 years ago. The jib, a Genoa, has 2 very light seasons on it. The motor is a Yamaha 6.9hp that is in very good condition.

I think Orion would be a great project boat for someone who is so inclined. The cabin needs to be updated and refurbished, the hull, while it's sound, needs to be painted, as well as topside, and if I were doing it, I would replace all of the wood.trim. It's all there, but has definitely weathered.

All that being said, I'm writing this to you because I'd like for the boat to pass to someone who will make good use of it and put some TLC into it. I have flirted with the idea of giving it away, but probably I would want the buyer to have at least some financial stake in it. It occurred to me that you might know of a candidate. I have no plans to list Orion for sale anywhere else until next spring. Please feel free to give my personal information to anyone you deem appropriate.


Anyone interested contact me at phil@groben.us

July 21, 2009 Phil checked in on July 21 with the following email

My wife and I purchased Orion from Eric Hazlitt at the beginning of the summer and now have her at our place in Lodi, NY on Seneca Lake.  Having had most of my experience on a Star, in comparison, the Dolphin 24 is a sweet sailing boat.  We expect to do painting and some other work next year, but for now we are enjoying her as is.  We will probably rename her at that time and will let you know.

 Phil Groben


November 30, 2013. We have had some Dolphin discovery activity (soon to be released as field investigations are ongoing) on nearby Cayugo Lake (Colossal and the Ithaca Dolphin) and this led website staff to check out what was happening on the neighboring Finger Lake - Lake Senaca. Here is Phil's response:

Hi Ron,

We still have our boat on Seneca Lake, near Lodi, NY... Never did get around to renaming her (it's still Orion). My wife and I are retired and spend our summers there. We love sailing our Dolphin 24 and, because it was in such great condition when we got her, we've had to perform almost no maintenance on her.

Phil Groben


January 13, 2014. Phil sent in the following report. (minor edit).

Nothing new to report. We still have not changed the name and have done little work on it, but the boat is still in good shape and is wonderful to sail. We live in Phoenix, Arizona, but spend our summers at our place on Seneca Lake in New York where we keep our Dolphin 24.


The recent discoveries of 2 Dolphins up on the Finger Lakes inspired staff to get a geography lesson. The Finger Lakes are a series of north/south lakes in upstate New York, draining into Lake Ontario, and separated by 'mountains'. With the help of Google Earth staff offers the following

Click on the above pictures for a larger view, click on the new pictures to move around; click the back arrow on your browser to get back here


March 16, 2018. There are some pretty tough emails in this webmaster game, Here's one


Sorry to be so tardy with my update. Orion is still alive and kicking. We keep Orion in a lift where it lives year around, even during winter months. This will be my first summer by myself as my wife of 30 years, Nancy, succumbed to lung cancer last fall.

Phil Groben

RIP Nancy






Looking back

We first found out about this boat when former owner Eric Hazlitt checked in on December 19, 2007

Just found your site! Guess I hadn't googled it in awhile. I have Yankee Dolphin #178 "ORION" on Seneca Lake in upstate NY. I'm glad to see that there is a site dedicated to this great boat.

Eric Hazlitt, Hector, NY.


January 29, 2009. Eric has bought a bigger boat and decided to put Orion up for sale. We have some pictures from the ad that was running on YachtWorld.To go directly to the ad click here.


February 3, 2009 Eric sent in some additional info about Orion and his new boat - edited

Hi Ron

Being the diseased boat rat that I am. I just had to buy the Pearson Triton out of the "Dead Boat" row at my local marina. The Dolphin was just a little bit too small for day sailing my extended family and I figured that if I was going to go through all of the pains of restoring an old sailboat I had better go with one a little better suited for my situation.

The Dolphin is a hell of a good boat and a great sailer! She's a solid boat but she needs a bit of TLC. Someone painted the deck with a brush years ago so that needs to be addressed and her brightwork needs refinishing but her standing rigging is new and she has a roller furling genny.



















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