I hate to have back to back negative posts but my readers know I love 1980s Sabres and I have a particular affinity for Sabre 42 since I owned and loved one for several years. These are beautiful, well made boats that will easily live 50, 60, 70 years with a minimum level of care. In my estimation they are halfway between products and works of art.
Last week I got the awful news that the J/29 I loved and cared for from 1996 through 2002 was abandoned by its owner in the Ferry Point marina. The marina took over the title of the boat and discovered that she had filled up with rainwater while sitting on land, destroying the interior. When boat yards are in a situation where they have taken title to a worthless boat, they cut them up and have them hauled off to the dump to free up space for paying customers. That is what happened to my poor baby.
I found out because over the years I have kept in touch with the guy who owned her before the last owner. As it happens I had travelled to see her a couple of times in recent years and I knew she had fallen into neglect. When I saw her in 2018 right after we sold Le Saberage she was in the water and had obviously not been sailed in many months or even years. I asked Peter to put me in touch with her owner to see if I could help fix her up and get her sold. The owner, who was reputed to be in poor health, never responded to Peter.
I spent my first weekend back in Annapolis doing the Annapolis Yacht Club double handed distance race! I was back on Moondust, the Beneteau 36.7 racing with Tim again. As usual the best way I can tell the story is to step aside and let a pro writer (Tim) tell it for me by linking to his blog article here. His narrative is perfect – I would only add a couple of details from my perspective:
I got an email from a reader with the following questions about living and working aboard. I thought I would post my email response here in Q&A format to help any other readers that may have similar questions:
Question: What’s been your experience trying to work while living about your boat? Have you had significant issues with connectivity or power while cruising nearshore? Do you end up spending most of your workdays docked in marinas or are you able to anchor out and still effectively communicate with the outside world? How about sharing a space, even with separate cabins, with someone else trying to do their thing? Would having to listen to another person’s phone or video calls end up driving your shipmate nuts?
Yesterday we arrived back in Annapolis to close out our 2021 New England cruise, and when I updated my log book I realized I had just passed 15,000 passage making miles! Over a third of those have been aboard Rover and almost half have been aboard Hylas sailboats. Not bad!
I have been moaning for years that “they just don’t make them like they used to” when it comes to modern cruising boats, especially when it comes to comically bad keels they are putting on them these days. While anchored near Shelter Island yesterday, I noticed a late model cruising sailboat trying to beat to weather in the 15-20 knot breeze that had kicked up. The boat was being sailed close hauled with both jib and main well reefed down. Initially, I had a view of the boat’s port side, but when it tacked I had an almost perfect view from astern. I was so astonished at what I saw that I pulled out my cell phone and captured this video:
In disbelief I wondered if this boat wasn’t being swept to leeward by the current. So I pulled out Navionics and checked the chart. The current was running strong FROM RIGHT TO LEFT as seen from the perspective of the video!
Yes folks, they really are building boats that sail this badly. It’s no wonder that production boat I lined up against years ago in my Sabre 42 wound up sliding a mile to leeward of me by the time we cross the Chesapeake near Annapolis. But I guess as long as people do all of their research at the boat shows and choose boats based on interior accommodation instead of sailing characteristics, they’ll keep building boats like this and people will keep buying them.
How about that! We had ideal conditions for a mid-day sail from Nantucket to Edgartown today: Winds starting in the upper teens from beam apparent that built into the low 20s with gusts to 28 or so. We did some really fantastic double-headed beam reaching and then tightened up to a close reach where we had to douse the staysail and reef the genoa well in to stay on our feet. What a ball!
In the past I have written on these pages that there isn’t nearly as much sailing living the cruising lifestyle as one might think. This was true even when I was on my single-handed sabbatical on the Sabre, but it’s even more true on Rover with two of us working full time. We can really only make large passages over the weekends and the odds are usually against us for conditions to be right for sailing without the help of the engine. This season in particular the conditions simply haven’t lined up such that we could stop the main engine and still keep the speeds up enough to make our destinations in a reasonable amount of time. As a result, apart from a brief sail between Block Island and Newport on our original delivery north, we have only motored or motor sailed this entire season.
Yesterday the stars finally aligned and we had perfect conditions to sail in the ocean all the way down the eastern coast of Cape Cod, mostly under spinnaker! For me this was like a glass of water to a man in the desert and it really recharged my batteries. Rather than write about it, I am just going to post a few photos and videos to let you come along for the ride!
Up until now our 2021 New England cruise hasn’t been the smoothest, so my posts here haven’t been that upbeat. It’s time to change the tune a bit, so here are some photos of our current neighborhood: Provincetown on Cape Cod. I am loving being back here at anchor enjoying the seals and late evening scotches looking at the night sky on the bow.
We had a couple of nice days in the outer anchorage of Vineyard Haven last week – apart from the ferry noise and wakes beginning at 6 am every day. The forecast for Friday night, however showed a strong breeze building from the east-northeast. Looking at the way the harbor is oriented, we figured we would have some beam swell from waves hooking around the shoreline but nothing worse. The forecast was off, however, and in reality we had 20-25 knots of wind from the north northeast. It was a sleepless night capped by by a 3-4 am anchor watch to be be sure the swells didn’t yank our Rocna out of the bottom. Here were the conditions when we got up, which had lightened considerably from the 3-4 am period:
Realizing we weren’t going to have a very good day for napping, we decided to pull into Lagoon Pond. Here were the conditions in Lagoon Pond:
Lagoon Pond was crazy scenic too. Lesson learned! No more outside anchorage for us at Vineyard Haven! Other lesson learned: our Rocna kicks ass.