Weapon of Choice

I.TIS THE SEASON: Long ago and far away I used to work a dozen or more boat shows a year, all around planet earth. That, plus monthly trips to Istanbul, left me in a near-constant state of jet lag. It all came back to me when, preparing for the coming boat show season, I rediscovered this great video – Weapon of Choice, by Fatboy Slim. That great hoofer Christopher Walken brought back to me the thrills and chills of  a peripatetic life. You’re gonna wanna wait for the ethereal Botticelli-like sailboat scene at the end:

Now I’m just pleasantly working a couple of local shows each year. Two are coming up:

  • The Newport Boat Show from September 15th through the 18th
  • The Norwalk Boat Show from September 22nd through the 25th

In truth, I never got tired of the boat show circuit. I used to particularly love the Annapolis Show, in part because of the incredibly complicated logistics it takes to put it together (the show has to put in and remove their own docks each year).

One of the best times I know is to book a room at the Marriott overlooking the show, and stay one extra day to watch the epic closing party. Here’s the sailboat version:

The Newport Boat Show is no less difficult to set up. I give the show organizers great  credit for shoe-horning in nine figures worth of boats, and making it look easy. As you’ll see on the bottom of this map, we will have three, countem, three jet boats next to the Black Pearl Restaurant (and our brand-spanking-new Hunt 72):

NIBS 2016 HH8.19 copy


Our largest offering will be the Talaria 43:


I’ve been watching this great video of a T43 underway. It draws me back to last week’s review in The Fog Warning of C. Raymond Hunt’s biography, A Genius at his Trade. I’ve become quite conscious of Hunt’s unique ability to look at a static, two dimensional drawing but perfectly picture what marine architects call the “laminar flow” of water over a hull.  This video highlights that flow. Keep your eye on the waterline, that spot where “the rubber hits the road,” so to speak. Note the almost complete lack of turbulence as she cuts through the water. This is what good naval architecture looks like, loyal readers:

If you want to see the T43 (and who wouldn’t?) she will only be at the Newport Show, not Norwalk. So, you snooze, you lose.

Our second offering will be our ever-so-popular Picnic Boat MK III.

Take a moment and  look back at my Newport dock diagram, above. Think about the scratch-potential of moving a fine yacht into one of those tight slips. But this clip of a MK III shows why it’s just not a big deal:

Pretty easy, huh? How about in a more challenging environment?

We’ve kept a Talaria 34 Pilothouse over in the Shinnecock Canal all summer. It’s a superb location, because to the south the Atlantic Ocean is just a few minutes away. Or head north, past Orient Point,  to quickly enter Block Island Sound.


But the tidal difference between the Shinnecock and Peconic Bays is a couple of feet, so sometimes, depending upon the phase of moon, the current can really rip down the canal.  It’s really more like a swift river at times, and docking a prop’ed boat (after all, it takes six hands to maneuver a double throttle/double gearshift/double bow thruster yacht!) takes skill plus luck.  But to achieve the docking ease shown in the above video in a ripping canal all you have to do is increase your RPM by about 15% and use your jetstick normally. Trust me,  she will obey!

Lastly, our new and much-buzzed-about Talaria 34R.


We just sold one to a knowledgable Hinckley owner (his third!) and when you see her at the shows you’ll understand why.

I’ve posted this particular video before, and probably will again. I just can’t get enough of the soundtrack’s baritone saxophone!

So that’s our Newport Fleet. Come see us, and to quote Fatboy Slim and Christopher Walken, find your Weapon of Choice!


II. The Gorilla in the Room (Redux)

Longtime readers  will remember my earlier blog (found on the home page as “My Original Blog). Over a span of four years that blog grew to have over 4,000 regular readers. I am really excited to report that The Fog Warning, in jut a few short months,  is now closing in on 1,000 regular readers. Thank you, one an all, for your support. It means a lot to me.

I’ve been averaging about a dozen insightful comments from loyal readers each posting. But last week’s posting (The Gorilla in the Room, about the true costs of yacht ownership) brought in over 40 responses, from as far away as Argentina. My favorite comment, however cryptic, came in from a Silicon Valley quant guy I’ve known for quite a while:

“Hmmm. Reduce #1 expense of boat ownership by 50%. Like it.”

Oh, that I could write with such eloquent economy!


This is big – I now have a 2013 Talaria 48 for sale in my backyard, so to speak. Meet me in Westchester and I promise you an eye-opening walkthrough. The circumstances of her sale are unique. Call me quick, and I’ll fill you in.

Here’s the listing:


Hurricane Hermine is making some noises today in Sag Harbor, where I keep my trawler. So I’m off to check her lines and to add some chafe protection. So ciao for now, peoples of the world. And remember, Newport Boat Show – Be there or be square!


Big Wave Dave

PS: The descriptions of C. Raymond Hunt’s genius in picturing water flow over a hull form reminded me of something, and it took a couple of days for me to put it together. Which is quite strange, because it’s a scene from my own novel-in-progress! Here’s the quote:

Hardened sailors on the circuit could be tough to keep up with, party-wise. But there was talk all that summer of some young black girl tearing up the docks and clubs every night of Key West Race Week. And after just a few minutes racing with Dawn it was clear to Tommy that she sailed exactly as she lived – wild, raw, and undisciplined.

Of course there was more to racing than speed. His dad had taught him it took focus, discipline, and tactics. But he couldn’t deny that Dawn had a brilliant feel for the wind. For her a breeze had an almost physical mass, and he sensed that she saw wind over water the way Van Gogh saw it over open fields; as colorful waves of swirling, airborne streams. 

She certainly had the intensity of an Olympic competitor. The story came up from Key West weeks before she arrived in Maine – trailing by twenty seconds around the final mark, she had slammed the wheel in frustration. Every crew within a quarter mile could hear her scream at the fitful wind: “Come on you motherfucker, give it to me!”

She broke two bones in her hand. And won the race by six seconds.