Setting the Scene Page 2

Setting the Scene

Part 2: The work that was done on the interior and systems shows.

Written and Photographed by Kim Kavin - October 2003


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Her new owner set out to make Isabella a distant memory. He completed the renovations, priced Lady Elizabeth to bring business back, and hired experienced charter crew. She reentered the market this summer with rebuilt 12-cylinder Detroit Diesels; updated air conditioning; and new electronics, electronic stabilizer controls, soft goods throughout, bathroom fixtures, satellite phone and TV systems, galley appliances and countertops, teak foredeck, and a water heater that provides instant hot showers.

The work that was done on the interior and systems shows. The saloon’s leather sofa is comfy enough for cocktails, yet cushy enough for naps. We had cool staterooms and tons of hot water, along with flawless satellite TV service above decks and below. Her interior spaces are in keeping with her age, which means showers that may challenge anyone over six feet tall and a couple of twin berths sized more for children than adults—but Lady Elizabeth is nonetheless a comfortable boat and one that is well kept by Nesbitt and his wife, Trini Smith, who serves as mate/stew.

They met, ironically, in the pilothouse of a classic Trumpy and have been married for ten years, during which they lived aboard a 38-foot Chris-Craft and owned a share in a 42-foot Sea Ray bareboat. They later bought into a 60-foot Hyatt motoryacht, which they lived aboard as captain and mate/stew. The couple handled 11 weeks of charter in their first Florida/Bahamas season and learned from their mistakes, then moved up to a 72-foot Hatteras. They stayed until this past April, when they came aboard Lady Elizabeth.

Nesbitt and Smith consider the restored Burger their home, and they welcome guests aboard in that fashion. They treat their clients with professionalism, but they enjoy becoming friends with guests, too. “We like to have a nice, relaxed, nonstuffy trip,” Nesbitt explains. “If people want us to be constantly saluting, it’s gonna be a long trip. We can do it if we have to, but we’d rather not.”

Both are fans of children (the owner has three, all younger than five), which is nice because the boat’s high gunwales limit the chances of youngsters toddling toward danger. The boat is also willing to discuss charters that include dogs, since the couple’s Yorkshire terrier, Desdemona, lives aboard in the crew quarters forward. She keeps to herself if guests are averse to her presence, but our group welcomed her. She proved to be a worthy sea dog—keeping watch for dolphin from atop the settee at the helm, overseeing docking by poking her head through the hawseholes, and climbing up into our laps for long, comfortable naps during passages.

Next page > Part 3: “I don’t mind doing three or four kinds of dishes in the same meal, as long as I know in advance,” she explains. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

This article originally appeared in the September 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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