We have been doing boats for a very long time. The main boat has always been a sailboat, starting with Hey Tomorrow from 1981-1986, then New Day from 1986 onward.
But our last cruise in New Day was frustrating:
Maybe four days down, four days back, with a week of time on station.
The weather was glorious with a lovely high. But the high moved East faster than expected and the wind was now bam! on the nose. By day three we were off Tampa, only half way to Key West. So there was no way that we were going to finish the trip as planned.
OK, no problem, never been to Tampa, I understand there is a lovely Greek village
north of Tampa, we’ll turn left and go there on a reach…
Well, not so fast. The high slid back West and now the winds are easterly, bam! on the nose…
We enjoyed Tarpon Springs for several days, but now it was time to head home. No problem, surely the high will move east and we’ll have an easy uphill ride back to Pensacola…
Nope, no such joy. It moved West again and the winds are yet again bam! on the nose. So we pulled into Cedar Key for a respite… (That is yet another story in itself…)
The high finally moved off to the northeast, so now again westerlies, bam! on the nose. So we motored to Appalachiacola. intent on traversing the swamp to get back to Pensacola.
I recounted this tale to the marina manager, so he asked, “why don’t you move to power?”
“Power?! Stinkpot?! Eeew. Not I!” said I.
“Not so fast,” he said.
You must read it yourself but in summary:
Robert Beebe was a U.S. Navy Captain in WWII. After the war he wanted to cruise the world, but didn’t want to mess with sails, for all of the reasons above and more. But there were no power cruisers of that sort at the time. So, as he was a Naval engineer, he set out to design a power cruiser that would have long legs like a sailboat but without the fussing about with wind and sails.
He recounts the details of the formulary in the book. These include displacement, hull speed, tankage, metacentric height, righting arm… the whole bit.
He had the boat built in Hong Kong and completed his dream.
Well, if he can do that, so can I.
So I went through the book, did my own calculations and came up with a profile that would let me escape the increasingly politically correct U.S.A. for more welcoming climes, should that become necessary.
As events unfolded, we sold New Day and moved back to New England.
But my calculations were complete and I had compiled a short list of boats that met the specs. Each of these boats would go from New England to Bermuda, then Bermuda to the Azores, then to Portugal, and thence coast-wise to wherever else we wanted to go.
And no bashing about to weather. If the weather was to exceed Force 3 we’d just stay put.
Gentlemen never go to weather. It tends to spill the champagne…
It was only a matter of time until I would execute the move…