Utterly Idiosyncratic Boats

By | Boats

Some more passing boats, worth noting for utterly idiosyncratic reasons chosen by the photographer.

On left, a serious pilothouse cruising sloop. Note three anchors at the ready – this dude wants to sleep well at anchor. Canadian flag with proper US courtesy flag. Round port light at aft end of pilothouse makes it cute as hell. Next is simple, clean, good looking lobster-boat style cruiser. Pretty sheer, perfect tumblehome aft, efficient and seaworthy. I’d hate to go up on the foredeck in a rolly anchorage with no bow rails though. On right is intriguing cat-ketch daysailer. This little thing slipped by at a good clip in light airs, note the fully-battened sails, no shrouds or stays. Fun fun fun.

Three power catamarans, a breed I like but they aren’t that common for a number of reasons. The first is quite sleek and likely high performance, the second is purposeful and meant for offshore passages, the third is chunky and inflicted with chaotic angles and windows. All three have flat or reverse-angle sheerlines, not your old-fashioned yacht look. Oddly, I quite like number three – the wacky windows would make the cabins light and bright, I love the staircase from the bridge to the foredeck for easy anchoring and docking, big sociable fly bridge. For moderate weather harbor-hopping, a comfortable, efficient boat.

You can’t find three boats more unlike each other than the above! On the left, a Labor of Love – an old, wooden gaff yawl, what a handful to maintain and sail! Big heavy spars, an acrobats-only bowsprit, low freeboard – a wet boat for sure. But proudly flying New York Yacht Club burgee and personal signal of owner.  Yachty to the max. Middle is a 1920’s commuter yacht, I believe restored completely. Originally owned by Jock Whitney, scion of NY establishment wealth. Is that impractical, rounded, sloping stern a work of art of what? Narrow, sleek, slices though the water. What a way to travel! Third is a Nordhaven 62, built and intended for globe-girdling passagemaking. This one is festooned with dinghies, kayaks, paddelboards, a massive pair of anchors. Note tough wheelhouse with Portuguese bridge forward, ready for you to pace to and fro as you plow through tumbling grey seas on your way to the Aleutians.

Boat on left is a sub-sector of cruising powerboats designed to resemble tugboats. This one is especially appealing – a Lord Nelson 37, note very swoopy sheer, rounded transom, single diesel grumbling the boat along at eight or nice knots max. Middle photo is Alden Countess 44 ketch, one of very early fiberglass cruising sailboats. Designed by the Office of John Alden, one of America’s great naval architects. Probably a dog in light airs, but reassuring and comfortable when it blows. On the right, a very distinctive small sloop. Most small sailboats are very generic, but whoever designed this had a fine eye. The sheer tucks up saucily at the stern, short bowsprit adds character, I think this designer nailed it.