New York 65 - SAFETY SKEG IS
AVAILABLE ON THIS BOAT. The Roberts safety skeg is designed to take
the best features
the LONG FIN / SKEG combination & add a SAFETY FACTOR.
NEW YORK / VOYAGER 655
Transits the North West Passage. See STUDY PLANS for photos etc.
Now, after almost
three hard months of nearly continuous travel, we're roughly
two-thirds of the way along the Northwest Passage, and we've put
literally thousands of miles behind us. And as far as our 64-foot
yacht, Ocean Watch, is concerned, I can't imagine a better tool for
the job at hand.
always had pretty lines, and that's a good sign. The previous
owners, a husband-and-wife team of marine biologists who'd used the
boat partly as a floating laboratory and also as their liveaboard
home, had looked after her well. But her systems, wiring, plumbing,
rig, and sails were old and tired. For the trip we had in mind,
she'd need a total overhaul. Last fall and winter, under the
direction of our first mate, Dave Logan, Ocean Watch was completely
transformed in a Seattle boatyard.
A little over a year and a half ago, when my old
sailing mate Mark Schrader informed me that e'd found the ideal boat
for Around the Americas
, our planned expedition into the Northwest Passage and beyond, I
was very pleased. But in all
honesty, when he
told me that the boat he'd discovered was a 20-year-old, Bruce
Roberts designed steel cutter that'd been cruising in Mexican waters
for the last decade, I was considerably less enthused.
Dave and I will be writing in
depth about her refit in an upcoming print edition of Cruising
World. For the time being, let me just say that when I drove out
West last May to begin the voyage, I knew she'd undergone a ton of
work. But I still couldn't believe my eyes. The last time I'd seen
the old girl, as the saying goes, she'd been ridden hard and put
away wet. Now she looked like she was ready for anything, and since
we were bound for the Arctic Circle, that was a very good thing
In the months since, we've encountered all sorts of
conditions, ranging from flat calms to small gales. Ocean Watch has
performed flawlessly across the board. On the trip north from
Mexico, our average speed was less than 5 knots, and we were pushing
hard. These days, with her new Lugger Marine diesel engine, she
makes a steady 7.5 knots under power in a moderate seaway at a very
efficient 1500 rpm. Under sail, with her new suit of canvas from
Carol Hasse's Port Townsend Sails loft (and a revamped rig,
including a new mast track to replace the former in-mast furling
mainsail), we've made speeds of nearly 10 knots when close-reaching
in 15 knots of wind.
Honestly, it's like we have a brand-new boat.
Luckily, we've yet to sail Ocean Watch in truly heavy air and
storm-tossed seas. That day, no doubt, is coming soon. But if what
we've seen thus far is any indication, we're more than a little
optimistic about how she'll fare. We've got a lot of confidence in
our boat, which any sailor knows is a very good thing to have. And
considering my first misgivings, that's been a very pleasant