Summer Review

Lots and lots of interesting boats viewed from my perch in Stuart overlooking the ICW and in Narragansett Bay last summer.

Two utterly different but worthy boats. First, a glorious wooden gaff schooner racing in Narragansett Bay, rail down, every sail in the sail locker hoisted and pulling hard – seven of them. In the flesh, this yacht was flawless and the skipper must have been bursting with joy as his vessel charged along.

Second, a very sinuous, slinky, sizeable center console – an MTI 50’ I believe – pushed effortlessly by four or five potent outboards. The interplay of the S-curved sheer, arching T-top pillars and T-top plus a flowing graphics package is quite slick.

I include this steel trawler Vector not due to its uniqueness but due to the blog – ourodyssey.blogspot.com – written by the owners. They have lived aboard this ponderous, single-screw steel trawler for many years and post a new blog every few days about their wanderings up and down the East Coast. They manhandle Vector through tricky dockings, shallow dockings and deal with endless mechanical issues and recently some serious health issues.

This pleasing sloop appeals to me because of its “rightness” – it has very pretty proportions, a long deckhouse with lots of windows to being in natural light, a well-thought out color scheme, and it is clearly maintained with ample TLC and cash – a spiffy, able yacht.

Below, the power cat is really different – the reverse-sheer swooping down at the stern is unusual to say the least. The roof over the wheelhouse and cockpit flies upward, mimicking the downward slope of the sheer at the bow. Very imaginative and fun, and the rectangular windows marching along the hull add an interesting contrast to the swoopy sheer. It works for me, I like how the boat is low and minimal too.

Finally, this is a modern go-anywhere trawler, big and brawny. Not sure who makes it, but the high bow screams take me offshore, the forward-raked wheelhouse windows say all business, but the two-tiered main deck and cockpit say happy times at anchor. It looks thoroughly comfortable and competent.

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