A Tale of Two Islands; Sailboats Vs. Powerboats; DEVA — Call It “Ramblings”

Today (Monday) has been one of those days we cherish most in New England:  Absolutely stunning light, the wind soft, temperature the same.  It’s the type of day we remember in February, something we strive to attain.  It gives us reason and hope.

A confession:  I grew up in southern California, where every day it seemed like God, she put her hand on the thermostat and set it at 75 degrees.  Fog in the morning, and good sailing (to no place) in the afternoon.

We spent three-four summers in Maine when I was a kid… enough to make me wish I had grown up here instead.  But I wasn’t able to pursue that dream until I was 18.  A day like today reawakens that rememberance.  I don’t mind the cold, bleak winter days when I can look forward to a day like today.  Even the bugs take the day off, seeming to rejoice in the singular pleasure that a day like this brings.

Over the course of the past two weeks, I’ve spent equal time on an island in Buzzards Bay (MA) and on another island in Penobscot Bay (ME).  On the first, we’d wake to sit on the porch and plan our day of sailing, swimming, and watching the fleets sail by, off to the race course:  50 Optis, a dozen or so 420s and Beetle Cats, half a dozen Sakonnet 23s, and myriad fishing boats and the occasional other sailboat.  Temps in the 80s, high humidity, and winds in the 20-knot category.  The human company was excellent and exceptional.  Water temp:  perfect.

The Penobscot Bay island was equally fabulous, but I think with light that is unmatched anywhere than perhaps Scandinavia this time of year.  Light almost dripping, I think.  Even the water temp wasn’t that bad.

Back here in Brooklin, I went powerboating yesterday aboard the beautiful yacht AVELLAR.  Just buzzing about, and visiting DEVA as she now sits proudly on her mooring in Benjamin River (ME).  We bent her sails on today, and I’ll give you an update of her next week — after her extensive renovations this winter/spring/summer by the great people at DN Hylan’s.  If I said she’s now the most gorgeous boat I have ever seen, you’ll please excuse me — I’m just her steward.

Deva 2014(before her booms and sails were on)

As much as I love the powerboat (see previous posts on AVELLAR) — and I do — it seems, for me at least, powerboating is about getting from Point A to B.  With sailing — again, for me — it’s about the travel, not the destination.  For me, it’s the feel in the tiller, the sails perfectly aligned, the gentle slipping through the water, the seabirds and seals and porpoises… the ultimate quietness.  And I get to do this in the unbearable beauty of the incomparable Eggemoggin Reach.

I know I’m in heaven.  This is why I exist.  Does it ever get better than this?

Please add your comments below.  And thanks to all who commented on the last post.  And thanks for indulgence.


Posted in My Wooden Boat of June 2014 | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Not Sunfish. Dabchick.

I hope we can all agree the Sunfish is a great boat to sail when you’re a kid?  Just a perfect lake boat.

sunfish(Photo courtesy Laser Performance Sailing; http://na.laserperformance.com/sunfish/home)

From the website:  “The Sunfish is the most popular recreational sailboat in history. Its classic design, unmatched stability and sailing ease are enjoyed by all ages. Owners appreciate the lightweight hull, which easily travels on the top of a car. The ultra-durable construction ensures years of maintenance-free enjoyment. Sailing trips are a breeze, just load the Sunfish on your car and go!”

So, as is our daily wont, John Hanson and I were talking about boats….

The Sunfish is just great.  But wouldn’t in be even better if you could build one with your kids, partner, friends, grandkids?

Like the Opti and countless others, the class doesn’t permit this.  See the last post for more discussion/whining about this topic.

John pondered for a moment and said “Dabchick.”

Please raise your hand and comment if you’ve heard of this class.  Bonus points if you’ve built one and/or sailed one.  (Dudley Dix, you certainly have.)

I’m familiar with them only through monthly reading of the South African sailing magazine, Sailing.


(Photo courtesy Dabchick Class Association, http://home.mweb.co.za/co/corlang)

Dabchick2(Photo courtesy Imperial Yacht Club, http://www.imperialyachtclub.co.za/dingyhy-classes/dabchick)

According to that website, more than 3,000 sets of plans have been sold.  According to the Class Association, that number is now 3,500.  For some reason, the class rules specify they must be built by “professionals.”  And I can’t find out how one acquires plans.

This looks like a very fun boat.  Who can tell us more about it?

Thanks, Carl


Posted in My Wooden Boat of July 2014 | Tagged , , | 6 Comments