Spectator — June 2001
By Tom Fexas
Boats Are Like Golf Clubs,
|More boats I really need.|
Last month we explored the reasons why different boats, like different golf clubs, are needed for different purposes. I figured I needed a minimum of 11 vessels. The list concludes this month.
The problem is, large yachts require a large crew intruding on my privacy and always causing problems. Therefore, my large motoryacht will be easily handled by two people. She will be 60 feet long with a 40-foot beam and six decks high. Then, when Med-moored, her stern will appear bigger than that of all the others, even though she can easily be handled by my wife and me.
There is nothing smarter on the water than a well-maintained wooden cruiser--say, a 1954 53-foot Chris-Craft Constellation. By the way, before it was sold to the Brits, Chris-Craft came out with a line of "retro boats," but in my opinion it was not retro enough. The company only went back to the `60s, when most boats looked alike. It should have gone back to the `50s, when Chris-Crafts stood alone with their outstanding styling. Beautiful raked bows with bullnosed stem heads, varnished strip mahogany or teak main decks, varnished mahogany cabin sides, custom chrome-on-bronze deck fittings liberally sprinkled throughout the boat, softly rounded superstructures, and the most beautiful transoms--raked and radiused to perfection--with two large exhaust pipes that produced a sound at idle unlike any other boat. I need a boat that makes those exhaust sounds, plus I really miss using Calahans chiltered varnish.
Owning a sailboat also would allow me to wear some salty clothes. You know the sailing uniform--beat-up, salt-encrusted topsiders, ratty, dirty tyrolean shorts, and a torn, salt-encrusted T-shirt that proclaims something cool like "Folk Boats Forever." Obtaining these clothes is not a problem because I understand there are places you can buy preweathered sailing clothes so you don't have to go through all the trouble of actually sailing to look salty.
Oh yeah! It would also allow me to have a scraggily, out of control beard inhabited by various denizens of the insect world feeding on morsels of meals from the last five years. Finally, owning a sailboat qualifies me to be as tight as a clam's butt when it comes to spending money.
This article originally appeared in the May 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.