I. Our Last Event –
Last weekend’s Hinckley Experience Event in Westchester was much fun, as these pix will attest. What is it about fine yachts that they bring out the nicest people?
The fine little yacht at the dock in Rye is the Hinckley Talaria 29R, and this was my first opportunity to see one up close and personal. The “R” in 29R stands for Runabout, and as this wonderful aerial footage shows, that’s exactly what she does:
Worry not – I’ll have more to say about exactly where and when you can see this rocket later in this report.
The next morning I ran the Talaria 34 Pilothouse from Rye to Hampton Bays. That’s about a 75 mile run, and at 30 knots the T34 made short and easy work of it, burning just 18 gallons per hour, combined.
I did it alone (well, in truth I had Angelique Kidjo with me to provide the soundtrack) and sitting in my “easy chair” helm for a couple of hours I gave some thought to my singlehanded routines at sea. Curious? I’ll put on my “Safety Dave” hat for you…
When I first started in this biz, a little over fifteen years ago, (strange as it may sound, I use to be a social worker) I had a memorable “man overboard” conversation with a colleague. He was a much more experienced offshore sailor than I, and was rather gloomy about the prospects of a successful at-sea recovery from a sailboat. He shot down every strategy that I knew as unworkable in the real world. Finally I asked him what the best solution was. I still think about his answer every time I’m on a boat:
Just stay on the freaking boat!
He was right. So my approach whenever I’m underway, and most especially when I’m alone, is to never leave the cockpit if I don’t have to. What impressed me in my delivery this week was the discovery that Hinckley makes this easy in at least three ways:
First, with the jets tied into the jetstick’s computer control, in Hover-Lock mode the boat sits at virtual anchor, no matter what the wind and tide do. Whether waiting for a bridge to open or a fuel dock to get free, this allows you to calmly prepare for your next steps without undue pressure or worries. It’s become my favorite toy.
Secondly, Hinckley’s fenders come with precisely measured whips and pre-set location points. I could snap these fenders to their respective D-rings either directly from the cockpit or right through the helm window. I’ve been on no other boat where this is possible. No more unnecessary climbing on deck!
Third, before I even left the dock I ran the attached dock lines back through the helm window, rather than removing them or leaving them coiled on deck (making sure they wouldn’t wrap around either the throttles or the jetstick):
With jetstick control, its so easy to smoothly drift the boat sideways towards the dockhand, and simply reach out the window and hand him or her your lines. No fuss, no muss, no cursing. And, without having to worry about spinning props, misthrown or dropped lines won’t wrap themselves around your drive system at the worst possible moment. Why this only happens when there is a crowd of spectators on the docks is beyond me. Enough said about that…
So here’s me, “staying on the freaking boat”, at 30 knots:
Note that I’m not using the wheel. And no, I wasn’t running on autopilot. Rather, I had the system set to Power Steer mode. Just point ahead, and turn the switch one click to the right, and correct by jetstick as required. I barely had to touch it – perhaps a degree or two of adjustment every ten minutes or so. Way cool, way comfortable, way Captain Kirk!
So, delivery done, our Talaria 34 Pilothouse is now in Hampton Bays, available for you to see at any time. If you’d like to see her, just launch a flare:
Earlier in this post I mentioned you could see our 29R. I’m working hard on getting one to Montauk for our next event at the Montauk Lake Club, August 26th through the 29th. My next post will have the details and a reservation form to guarantee you a look. I’m really excited about this event, so please stand by.
IV. And now for something completely different:
This is just a teaser. I’ll tie it all together for you in the next posting, after I finish some interviews with the folks up in Maine. But for the moment, just say Swordfish. Or, headache. As in, I got a haddock too!
Ciao for now, buds. And call about any little thing.