January 2016 | Down East Yachting

An Ideal Chesapeake Bay Cruiser

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RR 6

First, understand that I love boats. I have since I was 10 years old. It all started when, as a transient military family living in Florida, our home was located next to a marina. There was something about the water, the fresh air, and seeing all those boats tied up and waiting for their next adventure, that pulled me in. Until I was 17 I had to be content with reading and dreaming about a boat of my own. Any size or kind would be okay.

Eventually, when our family was stationed in Patuxent Naval Air Station in southern Maryland, in the 1970’s, I would learn to waterski. Long story short, that would lead me to Florida, a sponsorship by Mastercraft, and by my mid-twenties would result in 4 National Water Ski titles.

I knew water skiing wouldn’t sustain me long-term, so I returned to the Chesapeake Bay area in my late 20’s, where I would go on to own a number of small boats over the years. Settled into the Annapolis area by the year 2000, married with two children, I had moved up to an open-bow 26ft, which was a great boat to cruise around local creeks in the upper Bay. However, by then I was really looking for something that could take me, my wife, Karen, and our best friend Pheobe, much further. We really wanted to explore the Bay.

RR 2Appreciate: Annapolis is located in the upper Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake is largest estuary in North America, 200 miles in length, with 11,000 miles of shoreline over 150 rivers. From Annapolis you are within a short distance of many quaint Bay side towns. St Michaels, Oxford, Chestertown, Harve deGrace, Solomons Island, and the list goes on. We knew these towns by car, but wanted to be able to traverse the Bay in relative comfort, and have the adventure by water.

So we began my search for our ideal boat. This search went on for almost 10 years. It was 2015 when we finally made the decision to move forward with this next stage of our boating life.

I had begun looking at ‘downeast’ boats after a trip to the Long Island area years ago. There were many noteworthy ‘Bay style’ boats around the Chesapeake to consider, but they tended to have lower profiles, showing their Bay heritage in the angle of deadrise. So, as we honed our criteria over a number of years we decided our boat had to:

  • RR 3Look terrific, with a traditional downeast flair
  • Do 14-18 knots to get us somewhere sooner, rather than later;
  • Be economical; we wanted a single engine. I’m mechanically inclined enough to know that 2 engines equals 2x fuel and maintenance
  • Be dry. Angry chop can build quickly on the Bay.
  • Have some essential creature comforts. The Bay area is heavy with heat and humidity in the summer, we needed air conditioning and ice makers to help us stay cool on the hottest days.

With that list in mind, we were fortunate to learn about Back Cove about 4 years ago. At the time we were looking at the BC 29, but when the 30 was introduced it became clear that the extra space on the helm and aft decks, and the center rear door, made it a winner.

This spring our search ended when we found a lightly used 2013 Back Cove 30 in Ft Myers, Florida. With the help of a broker, she was splashed in Annapolis this past April and has exceeded all expectations in her first season. Appropriately, we named her Wanderlust in the knowledge that she would take us everywhere we desired in safety and comfort.

RR 4

St Michaels, Solomons Island, and Baltimore all became short adventures cruises, but the real highlight of the mid-summer was a cruise to the Tides Inn near Irvington, Va. This trip, the week before July 4th , was roughly 90 nautical miles from Annapolis, including a stop-over in Solomons on the way down. It was a fortuitous stop, as a front unexpectedly RR 5moved through the Bay and generated significant rain. We had a great night at Zahnizers Marina, and the next day the weather was fair and clear as we continued south.

The previous days weather made the Potomac crossing challenging; those who cross this 13 mile River mouth will attest that it can have a mindset of its own! Our Back Cove 30, however, did a great job taking us down the final stretch to the mouth of the Rappahannock River. At this point Tides is a short ride up to its location on Carters Creek.

RR 7

Once at the Tides, it was all sun and fun, like taking a trip back in time. The Tides marina facility is very modern and up-to-date, and their staff is attentive to an unheard of level. We spent a number of days enjoying the Tides facilities, and taking short trips to other creeks that dot the Rappahannock in this area.

As summer passed, and the Bay shorelines took on the colors of Fall, we continued to cruise on weekends, and it became clear that we had made the right choice. Wanderlust is the ideal Bay cruising boat we were looking for. As we closed out 2015 we were already looking forward to the spring, when we can continue our adventures out and about on the Chesapeake Bay.

RR 8Ron & Karen are IT professionals who reside in the Annapolis community of Bay Ridge. In the summer months Wanderlust’s berth is on Lake Ogleton.

Jack: 10 years with Sabre Yachts

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Photo Dec 21, 8 27 50 AM

Despite the bustle and commotion of the Sabre Yachts wood shop, you would be hard-pressed to miss Jack. With his characteristic longshoreman’s cap and ponytail, not to mention his happy laugh and willingness to pass a few minutes in friendly chat, Jack has been an ingrained part of the Sabre Yachts team for ten years. Jack is kept on his toes with a large variety of projects, including his excellent work installing head and sol tile. Lucky for us, he was able to give me some time for an interview, and agreed to give some common sense tips about safety in the shop as well.

“Safety out here on the shop floor is all about common sense, you just have to know what you’re seeing. Rule one is always wear your safety glasses.”

What’s your favorite song of all time?

You Shook Me All Night Long, by AC/DC. They are my favorite band – that song was their first single after the original lead singer died.

What’s your favorite dessert?

Blueberry Pie

Where did you grow up?

Gorham, Maine

If you won a million dollars what would you spend it on?

I would make sure my three grand-babies were taken care of. Then I might build some good low-income housing; you know, a hand up, not a hand-out.

If you had to sell everything you own, and could only keep one thing, what would it be?

Probably my golf clubs. I started golfing when I worked at a shoe shop down at the Sebago Mall. My coworkers had a league and I got involved through them. These days I’m too old to play basketball, so golf is my thing.

What’s your least favorite thing about humanity?

The killing: if your ‘higher power’ isn’t the same as someone else’s people seem to think that the solution is killing. It sounds overly simple, but I think everyone should use the Golden Rule.

“Rule two – when you see guys wearing hardhats it means there’s something above you have to watch out for – always make eye contact so they know you’re there, and never walk through without an okay.”

How honest are you?

Very

Fishing or hunting?

Fishing. You can fish all year round, but you can only hunt during the right season.

If you could talk to someone who has passed away, who would it be, and what would you say?

That’s an easy one. I’d talk to my Ma, and I’d tell her I miss her.

If you could play an instrument what would it be?

Saxaphone

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

I’d go to the Dominican Republic. I lived there for about a year, and I’ve always wanted to go back.

What’s your favorite book of all time?

Siddhartha, by Hermanne Hesse. It’s a simple story about life, which he describes like a lazy river. I think that metaphor is really truthful and meaningful.

Photo Dec 21, 8 31 24 AM

“Here in the wood shop we have a lot of folks using saws, if there’s any chance of wood getting caught in the saw and kicking back we’ll have a shield behind us, always walk behind the shield.”

What movie, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, do you have to watch every time it’s on?

Top Gun

What would you most like to learn?

Spanish

Tell me about your earliest childhood memory:

Being a little kid, and making plans for Christmas morning with my sister. We were going to wake up our big brothers and make them get their paper routes done early, then we could open our presents.

What do you cook when you’re the only one home?

I’m a good cook, so I’ll make anything I want.

What’s your favorite sport/team?

Baseball. I’m a New York Yankees fan, which is a pretty unpopular thing to be around here! But most folks give me a pass when they find out my mother’s family is from New York and that she grew up there. My father’s a Red Sox fan, they used to get into it over which games we would watch on the television.

"Basically, anyone out here should use their common sense, and stick to the blue painted paths on the floor as much as possible."

“It’s pretty straight forward; anyone out here just needs to use their common sense, and it’s always good to stick to the blue painted paths on the floor as much as possible.”

Jack: 10 years with Sabre Yachts

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Photo Dec 21, 8 27 50 AM

Despite the bustle and commotion of the Sabre Yachts wood shop, you would be hard-pressed to miss Jack. With his characteristic longshoreman’s cap and ponytail, not to mention his happy laugh and willingness to pass a few minutes in friendly chat, Jack has been an ingrained part of the Sabre Yachts team for ten years. Jack is kept on his toes with a large variety of projects, including his excellent work installing head and sol tile. Lucky for us, he was able to give me some time for an interview, and agreed to give some common sense tips about safety in the shop as well.

“Safety out here on the shop floor is all about common sense, you just have to know what you’re seeing. Rule one is always wear your safety glasses.”

What’s your favorite song of all time?

You Shook Me All Night Long, by AC/DC. They are my favorite band – that song was their first single after the original lead singer died.

What’s your favorite dessert?

Blueberry Pie

Where did you grow up?

Gorham, Maine

If you won a million dollars what would you spend it on?

I would make sure my three grand-babies were taken care of. Then I might build some good low-income housing; you know, a hand up, not a hand-out.

If you had to sell everything you own, and could only keep one thing, what would it be?

Probably my golf clubs. I started golfing when I worked at a shoe shop down at the Sebago Mall. My coworkers had a league and I got involved through them. These days I’m too old to play basketball, so golf is my thing.

What’s your least favorite thing about humanity?

The killing: if your ‘higher power’ isn’t the same as someone else’s people seem to think that the solution is killing. It sounds overly simple, but I think everyone should use the Golden Rule.

“Rule two – when you see guys wearing hardhats it means there’s something above you have to watch out for – always make eye contact so they know you’re there, and never walk through without an okay.”

How honest are you?

Very

Fishing or hunting?

Fishing. You can fish all year round, but you can only hunt during the right season.

If you could talk to someone who has passed away, who would it be, and what would you say?

That’s an easy one. I’d talk to my Ma, and I’d tell her I miss her.

If you could play an instrument what would it be?

Saxaphone

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

I’d go to the Dominican Republic. I lived there for about a year, and I’ve always wanted to go back.

What’s your favorite book of all time?

Siddhartha, by Hermanne Hesse. It’s a simple story about life, which he describes like a lazy river. I think that metaphor is really truthful and meaningful.

Photo Dec 21, 8 31 24 AM

“Here in the wood shop we have a lot of folks using saws, if there’s any chance of wood getting caught in the saw and kicking back we’ll have a shield behind us, always walk behind the shield.”

What movie, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, do you have to watch every time it’s on?

Top Gun

What would you most like to learn?

Spanish

Tell me about your earliest childhood memory:

Being a little kid, and making plans for Christmas morning with my sister. We were going to wake up our big brothers and make them get their paper routes done early, then we could open our presents.

What do you cook when you’re the only one home?

I’m a good cook, so I’ll make anything I want.

What’s your favorite sport/team?

Baseball. I’m a New York Yankees fan, which is a pretty unpopular thing to be around here! But most folks give me a pass when they find out my mother’s family is from New York and that she grew up there. My father’s a Red Sox fan, they used to get into it over which games we would watch on the television.

"Basically, anyone out here should use their common sense, and stick to the blue painted paths on the floor as much as possible."

“It’s pretty straight forward; anyone out here just needs to use their common sense, and it’s always good to stick to the blue painted paths on the floor as much as possible.”

Jason: 5 years with Back Cove Yachts

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Jaosn 3

In his five years at Back Cove Yachts, Jason has developed an intricate understanding of how our boats function. He’s had to, as he does all the wiring into the control panel, which he relates to the nervous system of the boat. In his words, “If my part isn’t done right the whole thing falls apart.” This kind of attention to detail not only lets Jason excel at his job, but as the father of three girls. In celebration of five years of excellence, we set out to learn a bit more about him.

What super power would you like to have?

To know when someone is telling a lie. Not to always know the truth, necessarily, but just to know when someone isn’t telling it.

Where would you go in a time machine?

Into the future about 30 years to see how far my kids have come. I have three girls, and right now they are 13, 10, and 6 – I can’t wait to see the awesome things they will do.

What’s your favorite dessert?

Bananas Foster

Where did you grow up?

All over the Maine coast, really. We moved a lot for my parent’s jobs when I was a kid, so I spent a lot of years as the ‘new kid’ in school.

What’s the most difficult decision you’ve made in the last two years?

Letting go of someone I love so that they could be happy.

Tell us about something that was difficult, but made you a better person?

Learning to trust people, despite their faults.

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

A dog person. We have two, one is a young German Shepherd/Husky mix and she has a ton of energy, too much energy if I’m honest. Our other dog is a seven year old Terrier / Boxer mix and she’s pretty chilled out.

Name one thing that makes you smile, no matter what:

My girls.

Tell me about an embarrassing moment:

When I learned my kids are far more technologically advanced than I am.

What’s the most important thing you learned in school?

You’ll forget most of what they say is important.

If you won a million dollars what would you spend it on?

My Family.

What are you most proud of?

Again, my three girls. They are my life.

What’s your favorite color and why?

Green. I’ve always loved being outside and green is the color of nature and life.

What movie, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, do you have to watch every time i’ts on?

John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’

Jason 4

You have to sell everything you own and can only keep one thing – what do you keep?

My phone, unfortunately it has everything on it.

How honest are you?

As honest as I possibly can be. I’m brutal, I just can’t walk around wearing a mask. Unfortunately people don’t always want to hear the straight truth.

When you’re 80 what stories will you tell your grandchildren?

Nothing from my 40’s or younger, that’s for sure.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

New Zealand. My grandfather fought in WWII and he contracted malaria, so they sent him to New Zealand to recover. I’d love to go back and find the kids and grand-kids of the people he stayed with and learn more about them.

Jason 2