For Chris and Debbie Verra, creators of Wind Over Water, having Battle Born LiFePO4 technology on board their Bristol 71.1 makes sailing a breeze. Based out of Canada, Chris and Debbie share tons of helpful content for sailing enthusiasts, whether it’s how to refit your boat on a budget or repairing aging instruments, or sailing adventures.
Meet Wind Over Water:
Chris and Debbie have been married for more than 35 years and have the same birthday! They have four daughters: Maggie, Hannah, Molly and Isabel. Chris has a background in marketing and Debbie previously worked in the medical field. Before their adventures neither had experience in electrical work or sailing. Chris and Debbie describe themselves as “frugal”, which was one of the factors that inspired them to fix up older boats.
All their daughters have sailed from a young age and have even carried on the family tradition with boats of their own. One by one they have given up on sailing to focus on work and raising families but Mom and Dad still keep up the family tradition.
One of their favorite places they have visited under sail was Georgetown, South Carolina. Rough sailing conditions caused an unexpected detour to this tiny gem and they stayed there several weeks, causing them to fall in love with this bicycle-friendly town.
Chris and Debbie like being able to work on their boat from the ground up because they get to know every aspect of their rig. They stripped all the wood, repainted it, installed new lifelines, dinghy davits and anchoring gear. During the pandemic, taking on projects that they could both do from the comfort of their apartment was something they had to adjust to instead of being able to sail.
“We know a number of young sailors, that if given the opportunity would love to go out and do what we do,” said Chris. “They see so many barriers in front of them, so we put together a series called Back Yard Boat Finds. In it we want to show beginners that these barriers are not as significant as they may appear.”
This series shows how you can find a boat for cheap and fix it up to the rig of your dreams. It was a great way for them to produce content during their country’s pause on travel.
“We found our dream boat hidden in the back of a yard in Rock Hall, Maryland and realized it was going to be a big job [fixing it up], but we put our heads to it,” said Chris. “It was a big task to sail the 41 footer back to Canada but we made it work.”
The Dream LiFePO4 System:
Chris and Debbie incorporate the following components in their boat, nicknamed “Windover”:
“As far as performance goes, the batteries have worked flawlessly so far. The battery capacity is such that we are having no trouble finding sufficient energy to run every system on board with plenty to spare,” Chris said. “We intend to do more cruising this coming season, since we usually sail from May until November.”
In a recent video on their Wind Over Water channel that addressed their battery winterization process, Chris called our batteries a gamechanger to have onboard.
“Lithium-ion technology is new to me and the Battle Born team has been so helpful with the batteries,” Chris said. “We’ve been able to achieve our dream platform to sail on, and companies like Battle Born have helped us do so.” They plan to release a recap video about their one year experience with Battle Born Batteries in their system, which will release soon on their YouTube channel!
“We really just want to do as much as we can ourselves,” said Chris. “If there was an event offshore while sailing and something went wrong, we know how everything is run on it.”
Windover’s refit is just about complete. She is getting noticed a lot on Eastern Lake Ontario. “Our boat gets photographed a lot, so we’re glad that people love it,” Debbie said.
Sailing Plans for Wind Over Water:
Chris and Debbie’s advice for future sailors is to just do it! They believe the Wind Over Water channel realistically showcases the trials of sailing and how they can be overcome. The couple is also looking to start a side series where they completely refit a boat from start to finish.
They’ve also got grand plans to sail once they’re permitted to do so. Chris wants to sail out from Belleville to the East Coast, then to Newfoundland and Greenland, then over through the United Kingdom and the canals of France, over to the Azores, Bahamas, and finally Bermuda.
“It’s an ambitious circle I think we could do over the course of several years,” Chris said. Debbie is not as keen on the offshore sailing and prefers the Great Lakes. “Maybe I’ll do it and Debbie can fly in to visit sometime!” said Chris.
As for Debbie, she’d love to go back onto the waters of New York and see the Statue of Liberty again. Seeing the monument in the same fashion as the immigrants that passed through on the water was such an emotional moment for her.
For the next few seasons they plan to focus on sailing the Great Lakes where they will spread the great word about Battle Born’s LiFePO4 technology to their fellow sailors.