Tradeoffs, Tradeoffs

The glorious parade of yachts passing by our place every day consists mostly of fairly mundane sport fish and center consoles, but thankfully something different/rare/beautiful/impressive shows up often. Herewith a few that caught my eye over the past few weeks:

Above, an example of a relatively typical modern sedan powerboat. Not sure what it is – could be a Princess or Fairline from England. I’m not in love with the look – reverse sheer, oddly shaped hull windows, somewhat busy topsides with a lot of creases/notches/swoops – but this is one of the nicer ones and I don’t actively dislike it.

Next is the kind of homely, oddball live-aboard ketch that charms me – aft mast is raked in a different direction from the mainmast, decks festooned with fenders/bicycles/spare tanks/who knows, anonymous plain-Jane hull a bit low in the water. Wandering on a budget, getting it done, don’t bother me.

Finally, is a very “yar” Dutch pilothouse cruiser. Elegant sheerline, deckhouse and pilothouse in proper proportion, tasteful dark green hull. The seagoing aspirations of this yacht, probably made of steel, are shown by tall paravane stabilizing fins on each side. They are lowered into the water offshore and keep the motion quite tolerable. On the other hand, their height makes it impossible for this yacht to pass under all but the highest bridges on the ICW. Tradeoffs, tradeoffs.

First, a tiny cruising sloop of immense charm. Note huge boom extending past transom – requiring detachable backstays every time you tack I assume. Sheerline is as jaunty and swoopy as possible in such a tiny yacht. Deckhouse is way plump, inky black inside with just one teeny portlight. There’s even a small dinghy on a towline. This little sloop wandered in the St. Lucie Inlet – from the Bahamas? Can you imagine living aboard for weeks or months? Top speed 4 knots? God bless single-handed roamers.

Next is another charmer – a Pilgrim 40 pilothouse – houseboat-style powerboat, chugging resolutely down the ICW. Note pilothouse windows with rounded tops, Swedish crown adorning flybridge front, plenty of flags – US Ensign, Swedish courtesy flag, personal signal to port, and Great Loop burgee on bow. Stubby plumb bow, but you can’t see lovely rounded transom in this shot. Isn’t this a doughty yacht? Owner not content with simple “Vagabond” name – it is “HMS Vagabond.” So there.

Last is a rare junk-rigged schooner, designed by Tom Colvin. This looks like it is made of aluminum, left unfinished for zero maintenance. The junk rig doesn’t need stays, is utterly simple to reef and manage, and works OK on a reach or downwind. To weather, fire up the diesel. This is bone-simple cruising, unyachty, almost a sea-going loft.

Lots more I can send, array of yachts terrific lately.


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